Not-at-all-shocking bad news: A survey by The Atlantic found that the amount of time teenagers spent reading on the weekend has dropped 60% since in just four years. from a whopping 15 minutes to a measly 5. Eeesh.
Manipulative-but-pretty-cool news: The work of the late, great storyteller Roald Dahl is going to be serialized and published on millions of cereal boxes across the UK. In addition the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, bleary-eyed children will get to crunch away at their Sugar Bites (or whatever) and read pieces of Danny, the Champion of the World (the pheasants!), The Twits, The BFG and The Witches! Oh, how I wish I ate cereal…and lived in the UK… and was 11.
What’s true for commercial products applies to literature and positive messaging too; you have to reach kids where they are actually primed to listen (i.e. in stupor at the breakfast table). What will they think of next? The ceiling of the dentist office? Blades of grass on the T-ball diamond?
I recognize that advertising is advertising, and that the bottom line of a program like this is make more kids buy more books….but I want kids to buy more books. I’m just happy another generation will have the opportunity to be delighted by oompa-loompas, whizzpoppers and Formula 86 Delayed-Action Mouse Maker. Even if it comes on the back of a Trix box.
Related Post: Young Adult books = palate cleanser. Case in point: The Hunger Games.
Related Post: Reach them where it matters, like the new Madden game, which includes a beefed up message about the dangers of concussions and head trauma.