Graeme Whiting, the headmaster and founder of the Acorn School, an independent private school in Gloucestershire, U.K., wrote a convoluted blog post recently in which he denounced "sensational" fantasy novels like the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings books.
"I want children to read literature that is conducive to their age and leave those mystical and frightening texts for when they can discern reality, and when they have first learned to love beauty. "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings," "Game of Thrones," "The Hunger Games" and Terry Pratchett, to mention only a few of the modern world's 'must-haves,' contain deeply insensitive and addictive material which I am certain encourages difficult behavior in children; yet they can be bought without a special license, and can damage the sensitive subconscious brains of young children, many of whom may be added to the current statistics of mentally ill young children."
The original blog post:
http://www.theacornschool.com/news/the- ... the-child/
Statement in response to the many articles that have been published concerning the blog post ‘The Imagination of the Child’.
I am not making a judgement of literature that has dark or difficult elements; I am claiming that exposure to such themes should be age appropriate. I am not attempting to pitch modern bestsellers against old classics nor am I discouraging children from reading; I am concerned with the exposure of young children’s minds, to things that are scary and dark. A child’s view of the world is much smaller than that of an adult, and I believe that emotionally charged impressions have a lasting effect in their subconscious minds.
I am aware that I included some sweeping statements in my blog and I apologise for my lack of eloquence there. I am well aware that mental health is a huge and multi-dimensional subject and I am not claiming that there is a direct link between literature with dark themes and mental illness. I am merely pointing out that young brains are especially sensitive and therefore vulnerable to strong personal experiences that may create or amplify a sense of insecurity.
My mission has always been to protect the sensitive minds of young children from negative experiences that can create deep, lasting imprints in their subconscious minds.