Children fail to see them as real people, Jacqueline Wilson says
Children are so accustomed to school visits from modern authors that they can struggle to see classic writers as real people, according to Jacqueline Wilson.
The best-selling children's author said: "Modern authors have become well-known because they do so many school and library visits." Her novels, which include The Story of Tracy Beaker, are regularly among the most-borrowed from British libraries.
"The problem is that classic authors like Noel Streatfeild, Robert Louis Stevenson and Louisa May Alcott can't really strut their stuff around the schools," she added.
Ms Wilson was speaking to TES in response to a survey published this week, which shows that 82 per cent of English teachers see pupils struggling to identify with classic authors such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bront.
The British Library survey of 520 teachers also reveals that 76 per cent of English teachers believe that their students find it difficult to think of classic authors as real people.
"Pupils just think of poets as dead white males," said Bethan Marshall, senior lecturer in English education at King's College London. "They think they're completely irrelevant. Authors now seem more real than those who wrote hundreds of years ago."
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