There does not seem to be a central organisation where a parent can find the sort of reading help that is needed. Parents of eleven plus children may occasionally find their children picking up adult books. Some parents may find it acceptable for their eleven year old to read a Dick Francis – but could quiver with trepidation over Jackie Collins.
Collections of children’s book must have built up over the years in libraries, schools and college of education libraries. Some private collectors must have comprehensive libraries. It would not be difficult to imagine that a private collector would have a number of early child centred classics.
“Good morning. I have an eleven year old daughter. She read all the Harry Potter series when she was eight and nine and now wants something different.”
“She is studying for her Eleven Plus. She likes ballet, horses and rock climbing. She does not like the books we call the classics so won’t read books like `Anne of Green Gables’ and `How Green was my Valley’. She thinks they are old fashioned. She hates science fiction.”
“Oh yes. Her grandfather likes the Sharpe series of books and they have watched many of the DVDs together. And yes, I can not interest her in cookery books. She says that she will need to learn to cook when she goes to university and does not want to start now.”
“I have asked at her school for lists of books. She won’t go into the children’s section of our local library. She dismisses the books as being for children. When we offer a teen age book she just mutters `read that’ and won’t entertain any further discussion.
“We already have lots of books at home which information in them. She wants to read a book for pleasure. Please help me to find something for her to read for pleasure.
“Yes I do know that my daughter is dependent on me for books to read. I don’t want her to read unsuitable books. I don’t really know what her tastes are. Yes I do know that the most popular books are those referred by her friends – but then I don’t always know what has been recommended. I don’t like to pry – but I do need to monitor.”
“Of course we have books at home. Of course we read at home. Although my daughter is eleven her reading tastes seem to be in the more adult books. I suppose she has a reading age of around fourteen. I am grateful for a good vocabulary while she is doing verbal reasoning exercises but I don’t like her reading books where there is little natural goodness. She liked to have stories about toadstools and gauzy wings read to her when she was very little – but has grown out of these years ago. Please help.”