Age Banding in Britain

The scheme to put age banding on children's books (7+, 8 + etc) in the UK has kicked up a storm of protest. Here's the "No to Age Banding" website where you can read a petition signed by UK authors and educators and illustrators and other book type people (including Alan Garner)...1215 when I last looked.

For more on the Author's Rebellion, here's an article that came out last Friday in the Bookseller, from which the following quote is taken:

In the statement the authors outline a number of reasons why age-ranging is damaging: it will discourage children from reading outside their age band; it is over-prescriptive; and it is unnecessary in that there are plenty of clues on books as to their target reader. "To tell a story as well and inclusively as possible, and then find someone at the door turning readers away, is contrary to everything we value about books, and reading, and literature itself," it says.

And here's an eloquent discussion of the issue from a children's book seller in Scotland, and a great post from Liz over at A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Teacozy.

The whole concept of age banding seems so unnecessary to me. So Brave New World-ish. These generalizing assumptions about people based on their age could lead to societal disapproval (she bought her 7 year old a Nine!) to law (it is crime to allow children to read books above their age level. The Experts Know Best)....or children might have to start showing proof of age at the library....

And now I personally am filled with Doubt. Have I (shudder) read my own 7 books that are 8s, 9s, or even 10s? Yes. I think I have. That explains everything.

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