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To think this wave of cartoon/comic style books is awful.

(48 Posts)
manicinsomniac Thu 02-Jul-15 15:42:12

I had a library lesson with one of my classes today (Year 5, middle set) and 8 out of the 14 of them were reading one of either the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate or Tom Gates books.

Ugh, I cannot stand them. They do nothing to improve children's vocabulary, sentence structure or imagination and some of them (Captain Underpants for example) actually model spelling and grammar which is totally incorrect.

I wish our library would ban them. There's nothing wrong with the odd one as a bit of fun/relaxation but these type of books are a plague. They're everywhere and appear to be all some children would read if given the choice.

I'm thinking of putting a new rule on my classes that, for every one of these books they read (as their school reading book) they have to read one other 'proper' book.

AIBU and hopelessly out of touch?!

creativevoid Thu 02-Jul-15 15:48:24

I think instilling in children the idea that reading is a pleasure and a joy by letting them read what they like is the way to go.

FernGullysWoollyPully Thu 02-Jul-15 15:52:55

I think instilling in children the idea that reading is a pleasure and a joy by letting them read what they like is the way to go


My son and daughter are devouring books of all kinds. Even these 'cartoon' type books and, to be honest, I'm just happy that they are enjoying reading so much.

manicinsomniac Thu 02-Jul-15 15:53:15

but what if 'what they like' is always this kind of rubbish? Reading is a really important way of improving children's writing and these books just aren't going to do that.

manicinsomniac Thu 02-Jul-15 15:54:22

Children who like these kinds of books in addition to a wide range of others aren't the problem FernGullys

LindyHemming Thu 02-Jul-15 15:57:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Allbymyselfagain Thu 02-Jul-15 15:59:17

In secondary our english teacher asked us to read one book a week, could be anything except those "point" horror, romance etc books that were popular.

We all thought she was really mean at the time, they were books so why didn't they count? I read one a few months ago. They were terribly written....

I agree that reading should be a fun activity but could you not set a rule like that? One good book a week/fortnight and then as many crap books at you like. As long as we had written a few paragraphs about the book we had read she was then happy to let us read whatever. It really helped me diversify my reading material at the time and as I could read the crap books only after i had done my book report i actually read more.

googoodolly Thu 02-Jul-15 16:06:12

I think it's far more important to get kids to read than it is to get them to read "proper" books. I'm an avid reader and love the classics but sometimes I just love sitting down and reading trash.

The main way to instill a love of reading is to not restrict books (unless they're not appropriate for their age). If I was told as a child I couldn't read Enid Blyton or whatever else my parents decided was trash, I probably wouldn't have the love of reading I have today.

BrittaTheNeedlesslyDefiant Thu 02-Jul-15 16:06:31

My DC love those things too...I try to encourage better fare (both are more than able readers) but don't want to be pushy or make reading really good books seem a chore. I get your frustration though, there are so many wonderful books they could be reading while these take up their time instead. I think they're sort of like literary junk food - it's instant gratification without much benefit - and like junk food, they are fine to enjoy as part of a balanced diet!

My lovely and clever but stubborn DD resisted all my attempts to get her to read Harry Potter (I know it's not War and Peace, but is IMO a fantastic childhood series for opening up minds and imaginations). She only gave it a try when her beloved Nanny (my mum) agreed with me that she would love it. She did love it grin I'm going to get my mum to put a word in for Philip Pullman next. Both DCs have enjoyed Terry Pratchett's Tiffany books when read to them at bedtime, but left to themselves would pick up a Wimpy Kid books for the gazillionth time.

I have to remind myself that I read a LOT of trashy books too at their age (it was all Sweet Valley High and the like from the age of about 9 to 12 for me) but I did move on!

FernGullysWoollyPully Thu 02-Jul-15 16:09:10

Instilling a sense of enjoyment from what they are reading is really important and if that means that they read this type of book to begin with with, enjoy it and then learn to move on and enjoy more rich text then so be it.

Reading is something I deeply enjoy but dh on the other hand was never encouraged to read. His parents don't own any books. His parents think they just collect dust. This saddens me so much because they didn't encourage him to read what he would enjoy.

Children need a reason to get involved in something, it needs to appeal and sometimes I think they find lots of text intimidating. My son has always read but recently it's really taken off and I think Diary of a Wimpy Kid really helped grab him. He's now ploughing through Dark Mouth.

saoirse31 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:12:18

yabu I think. If only on basis that reading this type of book is better than reading nothing.

FraggleHair Thu 02-Jul-15 16:17:57

I was a bookworm child who was hugely irritated by well meaning adults who would try to veer me from Enid Blyton, Babysitters Club, Trebizon etc. and on to Path of Proper Books.

I grew up, moved on, and developed an appetite for books with more depth. But I did it in my own time.

Idontseeanydragons Thu 02-Jul-15 16:20:05

When my son was in year 5 his teacher (KS 2 head) introduced Captain Underpants as a way of encouraging her class to read more. If we hadn't had the same style at home he wouldn't have voluntarily picked up a book at all. YABU, no one style of book engages every child.

meglet Thu 02-Jul-15 16:24:05

yabu. in my day we used to read comics, beano and whizzer & chips. They don't exist any more so these books have filled a gap in the market.

8yo ds reads either the comic style books or reference books. He likes lemony snickett and HP but doesn't always have the energy for them at the end of the day.

helenahandbag Thu 02-Jul-15 16:30:29

Some kids just aren't into reading. I always had my nose in a book and raced through the Harry Potter, Narnia, etc while my brother did his reading for school and that's it. Now that we're adults, DB still hates reading while I'm in a book group and my kindle app is constantly full to bursting.

If these "crap" books get kids reading at all then they get my vote.

cashewnutty Thu 02-Jul-15 16:34:39

Blimey, you are WAY out of touch. My 17yo DD is doing the International Baccalaureate and one of her set texts for English is Persepolis which is a comic strip type book. Have a look at it here

It is so not rubbish.

UsedtobeFeckless Thu 02-Jul-15 18:14:26

Both mine loved Mr Gumm and Horrid Henry - anything that gets 'em reading for fun gets my vote ( But I love graphic novels and what not so I'm obviously thick as mince ... hmm )

UsedtobeFeckless Thu 02-Jul-15 18:16:37

It's not exactly a new phenominon either ... Did you never come across the Molesworth books or "1066 and all that" way back when?

UsedtobeFeckless Thu 02-Jul-15 18:17:40

... As any fule no ... grin

Idontseeanydragons Thu 02-Jul-15 18:20:27

Cashew that book looks really good. If it didn't look a bit old for DD1 yet (9) the reviews alone would have sold a copy to me! grin

NobodyLivesHere Thu 02-Jul-15 18:21:08

Shakespeare regularly made up words. Roald Dahl too. Reading is meant to be a pleasuren. They can develop a love of literature, but if they never start reading anything then that's Harder. Yabu

ifgrandmahadawilly Thu 02-Jul-15 18:24:41

You want a library to ban books and you are asking if you are bu?

Yes, yes, yabu.


MissSingerbrains Thu 02-Jul-15 18:26:28


These books are not crap! I really enjoy reading Wimpy Kid books with my DC and I have an MA in English literature so meh grin

AnUtterIdiot Thu 02-Jul-15 18:28:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 02-Jul-15 18:32:59

Anything that engages kids and makes books a joy is fine by me and a good thing. Reading should be for pleasure, it's not like we wade through War and Peace every night, those books are the equivalent of Cosmo, Marie Clare etc.

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