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Point of interest

Should reading be by the book?

"The important aim should be a reading that is wide and deep, rather than numerical," children's author Alan Garner responded in a newspaper article to Michael Gove's suggestion that children should read 50 books a year. He recalled devouring The Beano, Enid Blyton, HG Wells, Kipling, wildlife books, fairy tales and encyclopaedias, which had "resulted, painlessly, in a large vocabulary, an awareness of differences of style, the absorption of grammar and syntax and an ability to spell". Fellow children's novelist Philip Pullman insisted that "children should be allowed - and encouraged - to read as much rubbish as they want to".

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