If one looks at the works which are presented to children during their formative years while at school it becomes apparent that these titles are chosen because of their literary value rather than any possible enjoyment of the novel. There is no argument that the work which is seen as set work are great specimens of literature – Macbeth by William Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Lord of the Flies by (I forget).
As stated above, they are great works of literature but hardly works which will inspire anyone to have a life of reading in their future. Rather they encourage children to get through them as quickly as possible, find footnotes and other short cuts so that they have as little interaction with them as possible.
Wouldn’t it be far better for the syllabus to choose novels and works of fiction and non-fiction that are written closer to the current day and style and also something that the children of today would enjoy more?
Instead of Lord of the Flies let the children read something like The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins or Deviant by Robison Wells. Both deal with the same subject matter of a dystopian world and might strike more of a chord with the current world. If the students are interested in reading more, then the teachers will be able to suggest they go find one of the older novels in which the themes were first introduced.
If a culture of reading can be brought back into the world instead of one where people sit mindlessly in front of television screens and only watch the images projected there it would certainly be better than the current society where it is considered to be uncool to be a reader.