Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Throne of Fire - Rick Riordan vs Alex Rider's Scorpio Rising

Number one son (actually, the only son) snapped a certain preview copy out of my hands this week. He's had a reading burst thanks first to the latest Alex Rider - Antony Horowitz's Scorpio Rising - and now Rick Riordan's second Kane Chronicle, The Throne of Fire.

Not that either of us can tell you what that book is like, of course. It's under embargo until the end of next week and flaming sphinxes couldn't drag the details from me.

I mention it because partly because we've been in a grump with Son No 1 lately about his reading. He seems to flit from book to book without really finishing many of them. I moaned at him the other day about not reading Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But then I had a go at it myself and fell asleep around page 87 and I started to wonder if perhaps he had a reasonable point.

Books really do have to grab kids these days... even more so than adults. We grown ups can tell ourselves that we are going to read X, Y or Z because it's good for us. Kids won't necessarily take that attitude. In fact it's pretty rare. Instead books have to compete head on with all the stuff kids do: ipods, TV, DVD, games, music, sport, schoolwork, the other gender, clothes, brushing their teeth, remembering where they live...

But Rick Riordan and Anthony Horowitz seem to have figured out the secret. Son reckoned the latest Alex Rider was stonkingly good. As to Kane, well obviously he's not saying yet. But he's hardly lifted his head from the page...

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