The best of books;Leading Article;Opinion

12th March 1999 at 00:00
Reading maketh a full child, as Bacon might have said, and writing an exact child. In this age of information, it is more important than ever that children develop the skills that will make them adventurous and critical readers - and thoughtful fluent writers.

The TES information book awards celebrate the best of non-fiction writing for children, and offer an illuminating and often heartening view of the quality of publishing for young people today. The winners, announced this week in Friday magazine, are two outstanding books about growing up in wartime. The authors take their subjects and their readers seriously, and are not afraid of a demanding narrative text.

In tune with our Music for the Millennium campaign, we chose music as the subject for our schoolbook award, sponsored by the Educational Publishers Council. Our aim is to reinforce the importance of imaginative resources in an area where many teachers are non-specialists and lack confidence, especially in primary schools. Our judges proved exacting, dismissing the inaccurate, the patronising, the ill-defined - and the just plain dull. The winning books exemplify the best of educational publishing: excellent practitioners sharing their expertise with the teaching world.

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