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The Guardian

 
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The Robin



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 19


Location: Ashford, Middlesex

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: The Guardian  Reply with quote

'A book lover's guide to building a brilliant children's library' in the Family section of the Saturday Guardian newspaper.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeand...hildren-and-teenagers-lucy-mangan

Has anyone been reading this? She is on week 2 and getting controversial-she's picked Blyton this week! Discuss. Last week was The Phantom Tollbooth.

I have to say I agree with her mixed feelings on the subject of Blyton. WHat do others think?
I will be very interested to see who she comes up with next.
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Phyllis (Admin)
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Posts: 81


Location: NW London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: The Guardian Reply with quote

The Robin wrote:
'A book lover's guide to building a brilliant children's library' in the Family section of the Saturday Guardian newspaper.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeand...hildren-and-teenagers-lucy-mangan

Has anyone been reading this? She is on week 2 and getting controversial-she's picked Blyton this week! Discuss. Last week was The Phantom Tollbooth.

I have to say I agree with her mixed feelings on the subject of Blyton. WHat do others think?
I will be very interested to see who she comes up with next.


I read the first 2 instalments with interest, especially the first one about the Phantom Tollbooth as it's one of my favourites. I think Lucy Mangan's measured take on Blyton's books was welcome as the liberal media has a tendency to froth at the mouth over Blyton. I consider her books to be an early rite of passage in a child's reading experience. Children read Blyton and then move on. She's no literary powerhouse to use a cliche (sorry) but she's still proving to be a popular author for the 7-10 age group. Having picked up her books again at Roehampton (and hated every minute and every page this time around) I felt that she wrote like a 10-year-old which is probably a great part of the appeal. I think the offensive attitudes in the novels need to be placed in their social and historical contexts. We shouldn't excuse them, but explain them.
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The Robin



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 19


Location: Ashford, Middlesex

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree. I went through that phase pre-teen and couldn't stop reading Blyton. Was a school and adventure story fan rather than fantasy and fairies. I even read them in translation in German when we moved to Germany, when I was 10, as I knew the stories and the language was easy. Really helped me pick up German!
Tried to re-read them as an adult and thought they were unreadable! Would defend any child's right to read them but would think very carefully about which ones I would stock in the school library. I will be quite happy for my daughter to read our old family copies (my mum's) when she is ready as we can discuss the racism and put it in context but feel that I have a duty as a school library coordinator  to be careful about what is openly available without knowing who is discussing books with the child at home.
I would even read them in my multi cultural classroom with the children if we then discussed them and counter-balanced them with other books.

On the other hand, I was really shocked about the anti Gypsy sentiments in her books when I read them for my Roehampton MA dissertation. The historical context is an interesting one as there were plenty of other authors, such a Malcom Saville, using Gypsy characters far less offensivly at the same time.

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