Dr Mark Norman, Senior Curator of Molluscs at Museum Victoria, likes escaping too.
He says that non-fiction helps kids escape into the real world.
Which is a Good Thing to say, because lots of people say that non-fiction isn't really reading. Which is nonsense, but provides me with an exellent segue to provide you with a snippet from my talk from the Emerging Writers Festival last weekend:
David Fickling, UK childrens publisher extraordinaire, started out publishing Goosebumps. And although he has moved on to bigger and better things, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. Goosebumps, The Babysitter's Club, The Guiness Book of Records... David calls these books readermakers. They’re easy books, accessible books. They’re like the white bread equivalent of books – light, insubstantial, and without much dietary fibre.
But if you’re a young person, and you’re a bit scared of this whole Reading thing because you don’t really get it, and everyone keeps telling you how important it is, a Readermaker can be a great thing. Because you pick it up. It’s easy to get into. Pages turn. Before you know it, you’ve finished. You read a whole book. A whole entire book. And it was fun. So you read another one. This reading thing is easy! And because you’re breezing along, you’re a reading gun, you think about picking up something a bit longer. Something a bit harder. And your love of reading has begun. You've escaped.