• Junior Freak

    04 December 2019

    The Junior Cycle in Ireland is the programme of subjects that students at secondary level study for the first three years, at the end of which they are awarded Junior Certs. This is the list of recommended English novels for First Year students, and I spy with my little eye a certain freaky number nestled in among them...



    Actually, I think Cirque Du Freak has been a recommended novel for quite a few years not. It's weird seeing one of my books on an official school syllabus, because when I was growing up, these sorts of novels were frowned upon by the authorities -- if you wanted to read them during school time, you had to do so in secret, while pretending to read something else. I can remember having at least one "unsuitable" book confiscated by a teacher who caught me reading it during a reading period in class -- I think it was a James Herbert book, possibly The Rats. I think it belonged to a friend as well, who was none too happy with the situation!


    On the one hand, I think it's great that children are being introduced to modern books that will hopefully entertain as well as educate them. I love that the likes of Cirque Du Freak and Skullduggery Pleasant have been deemed the educational equal of more serious-minded books.


    On the other hand, it felt deliciously naughty to be reading "unsuitable" books back in the day, and running the risk of having them taken from you if a po-faced teacher peeped over your shoulder and growled, "What is THAT you are reading, young man?!?" :-)




    One thing that no teacher can take away from you is the December issue of the Shanville Monthly, which contains all the latest Darren Shan news and updates, as well as info about my latest Darren Dash book for adults, which should be going on sale any day now... https://www.darrenshan.com/news/shanville-monthly/

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