Children in schools should read brilliant science writing. They should have access to the best scientific ideas through excellent science texts; it should hit them both ways.
But these texts are hard to write; just ask Dr Seuss:
Writing for children is murder. A chapter has to be boiled down to a paragraph. Every word has to count.
I have been looking for great children’s science writing, but it falls short. The ideas are there, but the the writers seem more interested in clarity than quality. I don’t see why they can’t have both.
Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I want to start writing today. I want science teachers and communicators to join me in a science writers’ circle: a group to work on texts together; to read each other’s work and to give each other feedback.
So do away with the colourful double-pages, the cartoons, the “hard stuff” in little boxes to skip if you want; it is apologetic, weak and insulting. Instead give them strong texts with strong ideas and give them the credit to stick with it.
Send me an email if you’re in. It’s not a circle yet!