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Michael Russell: Children have to enjoy reading when young

31st December 2010

A member of the Scottish government has highlighted the importance of children learning to enjoy reading from an early age.

Education secretary Michael Russell said that it is 'crucial' to the development of children for them to start reading for pleasure when they are young.

'The Hill of the Red Fox by Allan Campbell MacLean is a book I have never forgotten,' he commented.

'As a child it entertained, thrilled and even frightened me and I know it awoke in me a love of reading that has never stopped.'

Mr Russell also claimed that reading as a child can create memories that will remain with them for the rest of their lives and said he gives books as gifts to children whenever he has the opportunity.

The education secretary's comments come after the Scottish government noted that Oor Wullie Book: 2011 is the bestselling children's title of the year in the country, followed by Stephanie Meyer's The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

Earlier this month, figures obtained from the Department for Education by the BBC's Today programme revealed that nine per cent of English boys leave primary school below the expected reading standard.
 

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