Required Reading: Which book from your school days
do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now
that you’d like to see in today’s curriculum for kids?
|Salt Grammar School library|
My school wasn’t very bookish. In fact, I probably only lost myself in reading out of sheer rebellion. It’s strange really, because we had an awesome library – it was a circular, one-roomed tower above a pond. Nobody used it though, and I mean nobody. I think I may have borrowed a book from there once and that was only because the crazy, pink-haired librarian wouldn’t let me edge away.
Anyway, not so much for the reading, even in class. I remember Jane Eyre was on the GCSE syllabus and our teacher just photocopied three pages because that was all we needed for the exam. We never even touched the damn book. It’s a shame, because I love that now.
My friend Caroline and I got so bored one day that we took the characters from Jane’s school and warped them into Kinky Sex Nun and Hardcore Bondage Priest. Then we wrote a story about them and accidentally handed it in to OFSTED. Yeah, we were a strange couple of 14 year olds…
When they couldn’t avoid making us read an entire piece, it was usually either a play or something short. I really liked An Inspector Calls but I still hate Of Mice and Men to this day. I’d much rather have read something longer (and better, ideally).
I’d like actual books to be read in school. None of that photocopying crap – schools just wouldn’t be told which bits were relevant, so they’d have to teach the entire thing. I’d use the classics as much as possible – The Scarlet Pimpernel or Pride and Prejudice maybe. They’re both fairly accessible for children.