Education secretary asks Britain's top authors to pick the best books for children
22:16 GMT, 1 December 2012
Inspire: Michael Gove is set to ask some of Britain's best-known authors for their favourite books to recommend for children to read as part of his ongoing review of the National Curriculum
Leading writers such as War Horse author Michael Morpurgo are to advise the Government on books children should read.
Education secretary Michael Gove is planning to ask well-known British authors to recommend their favourite novels as part of his efforts to boost children's literacy.
The initiative is being prepared alongside the Government's review of the national curriculum, and Mr Gove is expected to include Mr Morpurgo on his list of authors.
Mr Morpurgo told the Mail on Sunday his top-six books were the poetry anthology The Rattle Bag, edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Man Who Planted Trees by French writer Jean Giono, Meet My Folks by poet Ted Hughes, and The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.
Another author likely to be consulted is Susan Hill, who wrote the gothic novel The Woman In Black.
Mr Gove launched his review of Labour's national curriculum last year and is planning to return to basics by restoring key facts in subjects from history and geography to science and English.
But he also wants to trim the syllabus to allow teachers more freedom, and sources believe he will slash the list of recommended writers on the English curriculum for secondary schools.
Currently, pupils can choose from more than 100 authors, including contemporary writers, but the new English curriculum is expected to ensure 11 to 16-year-olds read more challenging pre-20th Century texts rather than easier, contemporary ones.
A Department for Eduaction spokesman said: 'We want all children to be inspired, through reading, to access our cultural and literary heritage. We plan to invite some of our best children's authors to suggest the books they believe will inspire young people to read more.'
Literary greats: Susan Hill and Michael Morpurgo are among the authors that are expected to be asked which books children should read as part of the Government's review of the National Curriculum