Nick Hornby has come up with an ingenious plan to get more boys reading: telling them not to read books.
The bestselling Fever Pitch author and former teacher revealed he experimented with this reverse psychology on his own son with miraculous results.
He told his son that a book was “highly inappropriate” and “one of the most banned books in America” which resulted in him reading it avidly.
"I have boys, and boys are particularly resistant to reading books. I had some success recently with Sherman Alexie’s great young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian,” Hornby told The Telegraph.
“I told my son it was highly inappropriate for him, and one of the most banned books in America. That got his attention, and he raced through it."
The novelist and co-founder of Ministry of Stories is due to take part in a panel discussion about inspiring children to read and write.
He said: “I used to be a teacher, and I know how difficult it is to strike a balance between focused conversation and an atmosphere which prevents creativity and thought."
Children's best reads 2015
Children's best reads 2015
1/11 The Most Wonderful Thingin the World
Vivian French & Angela Barrett: The Most Wonderful Thing in the World (Walker 7+) - A Venetian Princess can only be won by the best - least expected - gift. Exquisitely heart-felt.
2/11 Mountford School For Ghosts
Toby Ibbotson: Mountford School For Ghosts (Macmillan 8+) - A supremely funny, gripping caper.
3/11 Jessica’s Ghost
Andrew Norriss: Jessica’s Ghost (David Fickling 11+) - Why can a lonely boy see and talk to a ghost? A spooky comedy turns into a heartening account of teenage depression especially for boys.
4/11 The Little Gardener
Emily Hughes: The Little Gardener (Flying Eye Books 6+) - A tiny gardener delights in the garden that is his home but it is dying, until a human child helps. Gentle and moving.
5/11 Five Children on the Western Front
Kate Saunders: Five Children on the Western Front (Faber, 9+) - E Nesbit's children fight in the First World War. Can they save each other and the Psammead? Outstanding 2015 Costa children's winner asks deep questions about courage and tyranny.
6/11 Ten Little Dinosaurs
Ten Little Dinosaurs: Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty
7/11 Deep Water
Lu Hersey: Deep Water (Usborne 12+) - Danni's mother disappears, her Dad takes her to Cornwall and she is battling old evil with new magic. Mslexia prize-winner; excellent.
Ali Sparkes: Car-Jacked (OUP 8+) - A genius boy with asthma is accidentally kidnapped by a bank-robber. Who will win the chase? Full of clever twists and genuine humanity.
9/11 Buffalo Soldier
Tanya Landman: Buffalo Soldier (Walker 12+) - Former slave Charlie steals a dead man's clothes to win freedom. Gripping, vivid, superb, the 2015 winner of the Carnegie Medal.
10/11 Finding Audrey
Sophie Kinsella: Finding Audrey (Doubleday 12+) - Bullied girl gets agoraphobia, but finds hope in sharply sensitive story from the queen of romantic comedy.
Anthony McGowan: Pike (Barrington Stoke 8-14+) - Written in direct, dramatic language, a boy and his disabled brother brave deep waters and brutal gangsters in search of gold.
Studies continue to reveal that boys of early reading age lag behind their female counterparts for literacy, with a 2014 study of five-year-olds showing that 75 per cent of girls met the expected standard in writing compared with 52 per cent of boys.Reuse content