Tough choices

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The Independent Online

Naming your favourite book is not easy at any age. So is it any wonder that one child in five, in a survey of seven to 14-year-olds, found it impossible to answer? Rather than worrying that they didn't immediately nominate The Brothers Karamazov, and before we start castigating falling standards of literacy, let's remember that children are more likely to be found reading than they were 10 years ago - largely thanks to a small bespectacled wizard. Isn't it more likely that those one in five simply couldn't make up their mind which of the Harry Potter books they liked best? That's surely something we can all sympathise with.

Naming your favourite book is not easy at any age. So is it any wonder that one child in five, in a survey of seven to 14-year-olds, found it impossible to answer? Rather than worrying that they didn't immediately nominate The Brothers Karamazov, and before we start castigating falling standards of literacy, let's remember that children are more likely to be found reading than they were 10 years ago - largely thanks to a small bespectacled wizard. Isn't it more likely that those one in five simply couldn't make up their mind which of the Harry Potter books they liked best? That's surely something we can all sympathise with.

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