Bali Rai recently blogged about the impact that reading (or lack of it) related to the Riots that sprung up around the country during the summer break.
He said “Many of the young people who rioted are examples of teens that are not reached by the mainstream. They don’t pick up books, they don’t perform well at school and they don’t use their local libraries.”
He went onto say that the problem was that “too many people move into adulthood without a love of reading. Often this happens because the teenagers in question don’t find the books that actually reflect their lives or the lives of those around them”.
This is one of the barriers in getting students to read – finding the right book for them.
He said that as an inner-city kid he struggled to find books that related to him or his life and that this was a strong motivational factor in him becoming an author – and one who writes about people who aren’t normally represented by ‘mainstream literature’.
He states that diversity in fiction is so very important, and recommends a list of gritty realistic books set in modern day UK about ordinary, everyday teens – which he’s read and enjoyed: all of which are available to borrow from the MRC. Just click on the link to see if it is available or reserve a copy.
- Junk by Melvin Burgess
- Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
- Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks
- Warehouse by Keith Gray
- The Edge by Alan Gibbons
- Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman
- Gangsta Rap by Benjamin Zephaniah
Rai, Bali. (2011). Riots, Reading and Libraries. Available: http://www.myvoice.org.uk/news/having-already-blogged-elsewhere-about.html. Riots, Reading and Libraries. Last accessed 14th September 2011.