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'Children's writing is the Zeitgeist'

29 November 2004

'Eleven is when you need to catch the reading bug. I thought that if I could give my son a 'road to Damascus' experience he might become a reader, so when I sat down and wrote this story that was what was at the back of my mind.... I had a great time writing this, it was like being a child again. I have never read a Harry Potter all the way through, so I don't know what a 'typical' children's books is like today - I grew up on Ransome, Kipling and Buckeridge, as well as comics....

Children's writing is the Zeitgeist. People here can be quite cynical and accuse adult writers of 'jumping on the bandwagon' but so what if they are? When I was a child, the choice of titles was really limited. It's important that children like reading and the more choice there is for them, the better.'

Philip Kerr, author of The Children of the Lamp and several adult novels, in the Bookseller