21 Oct 2011
A children’s author told of his shock today after his books were banned by an independent school – despite him being invited to speak there.
Robert Muchamore is the creator of Cherub, a series of 18 books about a secret organisation that employs children as spies. He agreed to visit Highgate School this month after being approached by one of its librarians.
Muchamore, 38, from Crouch End said: “We were all set to do it then much to my surprise I got an email saying I couldn’t do the visit, as my books had been removed from the junior library and that it wouldn’t be suitable for me to speak to them. It said that they had spoken to the senior heads and that it was unsuitable for me to speak to the older kids as well.
“My books are a little bit racy, there’s some mild swearing and sexual references, but I think it’s important to make books exciting for kids, especially boys.” His tales have sold four million copies and his Cherub website gets 35,000 hits a day.
Adam Pettitt, headmaster of 446-year-old Highgate School, said the stories were still in the senior school but were not suitable for seven to 11-year-olds.
He added: “It’s usual to allow pupils to buy an author’s works on such visits and we came to the conclusion some content was inappropriate for the age range. Ideally we would have made these checks before extending the invitation. We are sorry Mr Muchamore has been inconvenienced. His books are still very much available and much enjoyed by pupils in the senior school.”