Weird dreams and haunted houses already help to keep children's fiction writers in business: now they're influencing information books.
Research on children's beliefs for a new publisher reveals that young readers are more likely to believe that dreams can come true, that some houses are haunted and that "science can't explain everything" than they are to believe in heaven.
Element Children's Books, a small independent publisher, took a survey of more than 1,000 10 to 15-year-olds and reports from accompanying discussion groups into account when drawing up their list. Titles including an Encyclopedia of Mind, Body, Spirit and Earth by Joanna Crosse and books on astrology and feng shui are being launched this weekend.
The survey, carried out at 13 schools by ChildWise Limited, found four in five children believe that dreams can come true while just over half (53 per cent) believe that there is a heaven. Meanwhile, 73 per cent of children said that they believed in ghosts.