Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Halt decline in children's non-fiction, authors say

1st October 2012

Publishers and libraries must reverse a worrying decline of non-fiction for children or risk depriving them of crucial reading material, a group of writers has warned.

The 26-strong group, led by children's non-fiction writer Jenny Vaughan, argue the internet and a dearth of libraries has led to a slide in the volume and quality of non-fiction titles.

In a letter to the Guardian, the authors lament that 'once, there were hundreds of such books available, covering every topic imaginable – but, almost overnight, it seems, the market for them has almost vanished. Not, we think, because children don't want to know about the real world'.

According to figures from Nielsen BookScan, sales of children's non-fiction fell to GBP 41.1 million by August this year, a nine per cent drop on five years ago.

The authors cite 'the dearth, or even death' of school and public libraries and the belief that the internet 'provides all the information anyone needs' as driving the decline in children's non-fiction.

Booksellers have been 'dazzled by fiction' and have 'all but given up on the genre', they claim, driven by strictures of the national curriculum.

They are urging innovative publishers to start taking risks again: 'It means breaking free from the mould (straitjacket) of the curriculum and producing new non-fiction in forms and on subjects that will delight and inspire and getting young people interested in the world around them,' the authors say.

'We got to the end of our collective tethers,' Vaughan told the Guardian.

'We thought that something had to be done – that we've got to start making a noise about this before children's non-fiction is obsolete.'

Latest Blog
Explore T S Eliot Prize-winner Jacob Polley's collection, Jackself
17/01/2017

Watch a video and read a poem from Jacob Polley's T S Eliot Prize-winning collection, Jackself.

Radiohead, Tom Waits and Joy Division: Under The Influence with Joseph Knox
17/01/2017

Exclusively for Foyles JJoseph Knox talks about the music that influenced his debut, Sirens.

#FoylesFave: Furiously Happy
16/01/2017

Charlotte, from our Bristol shop, tells us why she recommends Furiously Happy!

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd