Spell wears off as children ditch books

THE end of the Harry Potter saga has seen children ditching books in favour of their PCs, according to a new survey.

JK Rowling's series on the pint-sized wizard took the plaudits for the surge in children's improved literacy, but as his magic starts to wear off, children are becoming less enthusiastic about reading.

Results show the next generation of young readers are not as enthralled in the books as children who were brought up on Harry Potter and as a result Scottish children have recently lost confidence in their reading ability.

However, children north of the Border are still scoring well above their English counterparts.

The survey also determined the most important reason for improved literacy among children was how often they read alone.

And Scottish youngsters are more likely than pupils internationally to be given the opportunities to read on their own.

Judith Gillespie, development manager for the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said: "There was a huge surge in reading for enjoyment when the first survey was done. JK Rowling was generally hailed as having reintroduced reading for children as a fun activity. That generation of Potter must-haves has grown up."

The PIRLS survey studies reading and literacy in 40 countries.

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