i would start by encouraging him to read the newspaper and then discussing particular commentators views. any factual explanation of the Uk constitution, for example, is likely to be very dry and boring. why is your ds interested? what has sparked this? assuming it's not the legal/constitutional stuff then there's a book by matthew parris called something like Great Parliamentary Scandals which is quite a good read and has quite a lot of background as well as the details of the individual cases.
He wants to understand the different political parties, history, theories, devpt, policies etc. I have Radio 4 going every morning and shout at it a lot and he asks about all the different stuff. I said I'd try and find a nice clear concise beginner's guide rather than my extremely partisan exposition!
I have found a couple on Amazon: This May Help You Understand the World is one, but not one that specifically covers British politics.
Good on your DS. Probably not the first thing to read, but he might find Anthony Sampson's book 'Who Runs This Place?' an interesting read to understand the role of the civil service, how that interacts with government, where the judiciary comes in etc. Although it was printed a few years back (most recent edition probably from the late 90s?) I think it would still be relevant.
Its the sort of thing that would probably be available from the library, too, so no loss if he didn't like it
Good thread. I watch the news with my DS (12) (and he reads the papers) and give him my opinion on things, but I can't always explain things in the best way so would like to find him something to read that explains it all in a child friendly way. Wish they covered this more in schools.
Hi Hully - I am quite evangelical when it comes to the subject of teenagers (and younger) learning politics and philosphy, they should be taught more at school as they are expected to be able to vote at 18 - how can they if they don't understand what they are voting for!!??
So kudos to your ds for being interested. Anyway I imagine if wants to win arguements he may find a basic understanding of the history of philosphy useful - Plato to Nato if you like. There is a really good set of books called "Introducing.." with different themes - I have Introducing Postmodernism but there is an Introducing Philosophy and Ethics etc. For an accessible introduction to post '45 Britain then this looks very good The very bloody History of Britain. Happy book hunting!
Has he done Orwell, 1984 etc at school? If so might like Homage to Catalonia. There's also a new YA book by Lydia Syson about the Spanish civil war called A World Between Us which looks good. I'm afraid all my suggestions are entirely partisan. Marx for Beginners (Marx in cartoons) is excellent too...(!)