Thursday, 1 May 2008

Age-ranging of children’s books

Beginning in Autumn 2008, the majority of new children’s fiction titles will come with a specified age range on the back cover of the book, specifying whether they are suitable for readers aged 5+, 7+, 9+ and 13+ or teens. There has been mixed reaction to the introduction of such markings. Booksellers are, for the most part, in favour, being of the opinion that a large percentage of people buying children’s books aren’t buying them for their own children and call on staff to recommend books for children of different ages. However concerns will surely exist about getting the right book to the right child. Age is probably the least deciding factor on what books to choose for children. There’s a very real danger of reluctant readers becoming discouraged if the book they have chosen and are most comfortable with has an age range which is less than their personal age. Adults choosing books should be primarily concerned with who the child is that they are choosing for, and not so much what age they are.

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