Children’s books written by celebrities ‘do nothing for literacy’, says top novelist Anthony Horowitz – claiming ‘everybody in the industry sighs’ about them
Anthony Horowitz has claimed best-selling children’s books written by some celebrities do nothing to raise their level of literacy.
The novelist, who writes the popular young adult Alex Rider franchise, said some books may be entertaining, but the writing quality is not ‘literary’.
Asked about the commercial success of titles by the likes of comedians David Walliams and David Baddiel, he told Radio Times: ‘I take the view that any book a child reads is a good thing, but it does rankle me that the shelves and bestseller lists are now so jam-packed with books that don’t lift the level of literacy, but simply entertain.
‘There is a certain kind of kid’s book that everybody in the industry sighs about, but that is the way it is. I’m not against any author.
‘There are authors whose writing quality is not what I’d call literary, but if their books are selling millions and giving people pleasure, who am I to criticise?’
Author Anthony Horoqitz, 57, said: ‘I take the view that any book a child reads is a good thing, but it does rankle me that the shelves and bestseller lists are now so jam-packed with books that don’t lift the level of literacy
Baddiel and Walliams (pictured), who have sold more than 50million books worldwide, are among a growing number of celebrities who have published children’s books (pictured in 2021)
Baddiel and Walliams, who have sold more than 50million books worldwide, are among a growing number of celebrities who have enjoyed commercial success as authors.
Horowitz, 67, who has more than 50 titles to his name for both adults and children, recently finished writing the 14th novel in his Alex Rider series.
The author, who has two adult sons, told the Oxford Literary Festival: ‘I just wonder if I have any right now [to write for children] – if I even understand what young people are thinking and feeling.
‘I don’t have young children in the house any more so it’s very difficult to know their language and to know their thoughts.’
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