I ripped open the latest Amazon box yesterday, eagerly anticipating a book for kids on how to create their own museum.
Boy, was I disappointed.
Finger-wagging in tone, it was written in microtext, and had it been any drier, it would have shrivelled. There's no way my son will read it, and I'm not sure I will either.
Why are so many American kids' books boring? A huge part of the problem is the Appropriateness Police who include some vocal parents, teachers (rarely), publishers, and, more often than you might think, random adults who don't actually know any kids.
The fault also lies with authors who are determined to instruct, whether about facts or values, and instead come across as pious and pompous. No wonder kids have to be bribed with pizza parties and pig-kissing principals to get them to read...
Recently, I stumbled on this wonderful article by Martha Brockenbrough, who says it all better than I do, and who quotes the wise and wonderful Rick Riordan, whose hilarious Percy Jackson series will captivate your kids while hooking them on Greek mythology.
It is always good to be reminded that I'm not alone in my loud complaints about the soullessness of so many kids' books.