I was looking along the shelf of my library for a book I’d found on the catalogue and I came across The VOYA Reader (Ed. Dorothy M. Broderick, 1990, Scarecrow Press). I looked at the date it was published and when I saw 1990 (back when I was 13) I considered putting it back. Luckily I flicked through the TOC and the “Permission to Read Boring Book Form” caught my eye. Everyone needs access to a good sleep aid.
During the course of my research, 13 year old Carl (not his real name) told me not only was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson boring, but it was the “worst book ever,” unlike a universal favourite Holes by Louis Sachar. I read both these books after becoming a children’s librarian and rediscovering how much better kids books are than those boring adult books. I have to say I agree with Carl. I really tried to like Terabithia, seeing as it’s the same age as I am, but it just wouldn’t happen. And if you disagree with Carl and I, let’s agree to differ :) I’ve just been reading Justine Larbalestier’s eloquent views on liking and disliking books.
Here is a PDF of the Permission to Read Boring Book Form. Reproduced from The VOYA Reader (Ed. Dorothy M. Broderick ©1990 Scarecrow Press p.115). Used with permission of Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) and Scarecrow Press. This material is copyrighted and not reproducible without permission.