Horrible Deary Takes Aim at Schools


Horrible Histories author Terry Deary made enemies around the world last year when he called libraries “no longer relevant” and said he wished they were outlawed since they cost him so much money.

Back then he said, “Books aren’t public property, and writers aren’t Enid Blyton, middle-class women indulging in a pleasant little hobby. They’ve got to make a living. Authors, booksellers and publishers need to eat. We don’t expect to go to a food library to be fed.”

(Many library-loving homeschoolers I know responded by pledging never to buy another of his books.)

Now he’s gone after schools, calling them “pits of misery and ignorance” and using even harsher words for the school inspectors:

“Ofsted inspectors are the most ignorant people you could ever meet. They are just failed teachers. Their job is to go in and pick faults with people. Any idiot can do that. I know inspectors personally and they are numpties.”

Deary alleges that kids today are very literate, saying:

“Children have never been more literate. They are always on Facebook and are texting. One 15-year-old girl told me she had reached the limit of her texts for the month — she had sent 10,000. She is doing the most important human activity of all, communicating with someone else, and it is condemned.”

Read the whole story at The Evening Standard.

What do you think? Did you stop buying the Horrible Histories books after Deary called the end of libraries?  Do you agree that kids today are more literature?  Do you think requiring reading kills the joy of books?  Do you use Horrible Histories books in your homeschool?  Did I ask enough questions there?  😉

And my latest yappings elsewhere….

And is it something like 40 degrees where you live, too?  Yikes!  What kind of weather is this for August?  Brrrrrrr!!!



4 thoughts on “Horrible Deary Takes Aim at Schools

  1. Wow, just wow. I know that as a homeschooler I utilize the library for many things, not just books. But, I also know that the library pays for those books, so the author is getting some money from those sales. Texting is not being literate, plz 🙂

    Required reading is not all bad, but I also let my kids choose books to read that aren’t what I would have picked. Could they be as literate without books? Sure, there are computers and Kindles and Nooks and free books on the Internet, but nothing beats a book in your hand.

    President Lincoln once said, “The things I want to know are in books, my best friend is a man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.” I hear that!


  2. I don’t know how I would feed my kids’ addiction to books if it weren’t for the library. Seriously, I cannot afford to keep up with their love of reading.

    Sometimes I think people like to take an extreme position just to get some publicity. I think you’d be hard pressed to agree with this line of thinking.


    • I agree, and it’s hard not to see it as terribly elitist and just plain ignorant. The world needs more reading, for children and adults, and libraries are one of the most awesome public services I know of. It’s also just misguided because the foolish man seems to actually believe that most of those library readers would pay all that money to own his books if they couldn’t read them in the library, instead of realizing that most just wouldn’t read his books.


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