Dame Jacqueline Wilson, the author of the popular Tracy Beaker books, made headlines this week after suggesting that today's children are being forced to grow up too quickly. Her comments were made as a new survey into modern parents' views of childhood indicated that as many as 55% feel that their offspring's childhood is over by the age of 11.

In response to this, the BBC website has posted an excellent short article which questions whether the idea of childhood being "not as it was" has always been with us. Entitled Was Childhood Ever Innocent?, the article looks at changing attitudes from Edwardian times up to the present day.

For further information on this topic, you can take a look at the Harry Hendrick book which the BBC article mentions, as there are copies available in Summer Row Library. Or if you want to explore the subject in real depth, then why not get hold of a copy of The Invention of Childhood? This series was aired on Radio 4 in 2006, and examines the lives of children in Britain over the course of the last millennium.


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