Bring on the summer!

It’s been a long slog but I’ve made it to the end of my Open University course and submitted the last assignment:)



Having been a Primary School Teacher for 30+ years children’s literature featured daily in my life but it didn’t prepare me for what I experienced from doing this course. I was a little surprised when I first looked at the reading list to find I had only read a couple of the books- Treasure Island and Peter Rabbit. Of course I was familiar with Peter Pan, but only through watching the Disney cartoon! So a lot of new reading experiences were in store. As you can imagine some I loved and some I was thoroughly sick of by the time I’d completed the relevant assignment. I was surprised to find myself really enjoying Swallows and Amazons and I absolutely loved Role of Thunder by Mildred D. Taylor. Her account of growing up as a black child in the American South in the 60’s was both educational and entertaining and, I should imagine, would definitely give older children something to think about. Perhaps the set of books that I found most of an eye-opener myself, were the dystopic, teenage books- Junk, The Bunker Diaries and Divergent. Their topics of drugs, violence, teenage pregnancy, kidnapping, death and teenage prostitution were definitely a lot different to anything that I read as a teenager- and probably from the books I read now! I definitely learned a lot and I doubt I’ll ever read a children’s book in the same way again! As in those long ago school and student days, the exams are over -Bring on the long, lazy days of summer:)


3 thoughts on “Bring on the summer!

  1. Well done, that’s a big accomplishment! I’m aware that children’s literature has changed greatly since my growing-up days. I think mostly for the better, insofar as there is so much more variety. But my daughter found it quite difficult to find non-dark young people’s fiction when she was about 13 (before she fell ill she was a great reader – can’t concentrate well enough to read much now). Some of the books that are considered “8 – 12” are VERY hard-hitting. She actually complained to Waterstone’s once about a book that she found incredibly upsetting, she said it shouldn’t be for that age group, but they disagreed… I still reread children’s lit – P L Travers, Madeleine L’Engle…

    • Thank you:) I was especially interested to hear about your daughter’s comments as I began to wonder if it was possible to find a contemporary book that wasn’t ‘dark’ in the young adults category. It definitely is ‘the flavour of the moment’ as this type of book seems to be the ones that win the book prizes. I certainly agree that things have definitely changed for the better and there is a bigger choice of styles and subjects covered, generally. Sorry to hear that your daughter hasn’t regained the concentration to get back to into reading for pleasure. I hope this will stage of her recovery won’t be far away.

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