Monday, September 8, 2008

No to Age Banding

There is a website dedicated to doing away with "Age Banding" or putting age levels on books. Their description is:

We are writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, educationalists, psychologists, parents and grandparents. Some of the undersigned writers and illustrators have a measure of control over what appears on the covers of their books; others have less.

But we are all agreed that the proposal to put an age-guidance figure on books for children is ill-conceived, damaging to the interests of young readers, and highly unlikely, despite the claims made by those publishers promoting the scheme, to make the slightest difference to sales.

We take this step to disavow publicly any connection with such age-guidance figures, and to state our passionately-held conviction that everything about a book should seek to welcome readers in and not keep them out.

At a recent meeting Philip Pullman ( the author of His Dark Material trilogy) gave a 20 minute speech on his opinion of the perils of age banding. It is interesting. If you read it, post a response here. I would find this an interesting topic to discuss.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Age banding is anti-child, anti-individuality, and just plain idiotic. Kids are already far enough under the thumb of the adults who control their lives - books are an area where they can escape that control. Of course, they SHOULD be under the thumb of their parents ... but NOT under the control of some anonymous committee who is deciding what is right for all the different kinds of children and families that exist.

So yes, now that you mention it, I AM saying that Age Banding is akin to censorship.