Michael Gove and the (controversial) 50 books

Michael GoveI expect you have all read about Michael Gove’s proposal that every child reads 50 books a year.  I have waited to comment, so that I could bring some of the arguments against this proposal – and there have been many objections – into this article.  Whilst every school librarian would agree that pupils should read more books, it is setting the arbitary limit of 50 that is causing comment.  For some pupils – and I would have been one of them – 50 books is far too few.  For some, 5 quality books would be a good goal to have.  Librarians, who are reading specialists after all, are experts at assessing and matching books to pupils, choosing just the right books for their audience.  Not authors, as Gove suggests.  I like authors – as a school librarian I would be mad not to! – but they are not the experts in choosing books for children, we are.  Lots of people have blogged and commented about this proposal- what do you think?

Read also:

Anne Robinson’s succinct letter in the Telegraph

 Article in Scotland on Sunday

Excellent (as always) blog post by school librarian Nicola McNee

Lynne Coppendale’s letter to Michael Gove

Author Bali Rai’s blog post – a great read!

2 thoughts on “Michael Gove and the (controversial) 50 books

  1. Hmm … 50 books a year seems too many to me. I’m an author and I’d heartily love to agree that kids should read above that numer. However, having researched this topic for a talk I’m giving at a librarians’ seminar next money, I can say one thing is abundantly clear, and that is that kids say they’re turned off reading by being told what to read. And surely, if kids are told to read “x” amount of titles, then they’re going to be led to read what adults think they should be reading. Self-defeating, really. How about a goal of 50 and bonus points for reading more?

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