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Going beyond ‘why don’t boys read?'

14 April 2008

'What surprised me is that nobody states what is blindingly obvious - that literature/literacy still represents the biggest demarcation in 21st century society. That dreary old question - why don't boys read? - is an enormous red herring. Come to one of my book signings and, I'm afraid to say, you could easily imagine yourself to be in one of those southern states of America before Martin Luther King. Where are the black kids? Boys and girls from ethnic minorities are so rare that when one turns up, I almost want to sweep them into my arms.

Malorie Blackman and Benjamin Zephaniah may entice a more ethnically mixed audience, but the answer can't be black writers for black kids and white for white. We cannot be cosy about the debate any more.'

Anthony Horowitz, author of Snakehead and many other bestsellers, in the Bookseller