News from out of the UK that you may have heard already, but it’s worth repeating. A long distinguished list of children’s authors including Philip Pullman, Jacqueline Wilson, Terry Pratchett and many more have founded the site No To Age Banding to protest publishers’ decisions to start labeling their children’s books with age ranges. There’s been loads of coverage, and I encourage you to check out No To Age Banding and read for yourself their reasons for rebelling against the idea. My favorite?
Everything about a book is already rich with clues about the sort of reader it hopes to find — jacket design, typography, cover copy, prose style, illustrations. These are genuine connections with potential readers, because they appeal to individual preference. An age-guidance figure is a false one, because it implies that all children of that age are the same.
I’m adding my name to the list of supporters. Please consider doing the same, or, along the same lines, drop by your local library or bookstore and thank a children’s librarian or bookseller for knowing their books, and helping to direct children to the right title, regardless of age.
P.S. One more link, with an author disagreeing about the protest in the comments.