The Kids Are All Wrong (Again)

Lunch was spend reading the new issue of the very fine women’s writing magazine, Mslexia. The lead article is all about kids and reading. It appears that reading is on the decline throughout the Western world (Oh noes! Moral Panic!!!). But, like most statistics, it all depends on what you measure:

An article in The New York Times last year profiled Nadia, a teenager who struggles to engage with books. She enjoyed one history book, but couldn’t get into the fantasy novel that her mother bought her. The article then sadly states that ‘Nadia never became a big reader.’ It then goes on to detail her obsession with Japanese manga comics and online fan-fiction, which she both reads and writes.

Because, you know, magazines, graphic novels, and everything delivered electronically rather than on paper, is not “reading”.


Anyway, it was a great article, and I note that the author, Lili Wilkinson, runs a web site for YA readers called Inside A Dog. Scott Westerfeld is one of her writers in residence. And the whole thing is run by the Centre for Youth Literature, at the State Library of Victoria, which means that it is in Melbourne and should therefore be a primary target for anyone doing PR for next year’s Worldcon. Hint, hint.