• Sci Fi is crowned Wales’ favourite genre of book, closely followed by Romance and Detective novel
  • About a third of those surveyed named Harry Potter and Robin Hood as two of the country’s favourite fictional characters they’d like to see featured in a mash-up novel
  • Wales is a country of book fans with nearly half (42%) reading every day for pleasure – and 34% at least once a week

Science fiction has been named Wales’ favourite genre of book according to new research from tuition provider, Explore Learning which has a centre in Cardiff.

In a survey to mark the final week to enter the National Young Writers’ Awards, a third of people in Wales (32%) said it was their favourite type of novel, closely followed by Romance and the Detective novel.

When asked who would be their dream fictional character to feature in a literary mash-up – where two genres combine – a third (31%) named Harry Potter and Robin Hood as the characters they’d like to see star together.  This was closely followed by popular pirate, Jack Sparrow with sci fi heroine, Ellen Ripley and Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow with Alice in Wonderland.

The theme of this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards, the annual competition organised by Explore Learning, is ‘mash-up’ where children are challenged to write a 500 word story where two genres collide.  Judged by best-selling author of the Ruby Redfort and Charlie & Lola series of books, Lauren Child, kids from all over the UK are competing for an amazing trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 worth of books for their school.  The deadline for entries is Tuesday 7th June.

Wales’ favourite literary mash-ups were named as follows:

  1. Harry Potter and Robin Hood
  2. Jack Sparrow and Ellen Ripley
  3. Jon Snow and Alice in Wonderland
  4. Indiana Jones and Snow White
  5. Forrest Gump and Frankenstein
  6. Dr Who and Cinderella
  7. Katniss Everdeen and Bridget Jones
  8. Han Solo and The White Witch (Narnia)
  9. Wolverine and Winnie the Pooh
  10. Tracey Beaker and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

And when it comes to Wales’ favourite genres:

  1. Science Fiction
  2. Romance
  3. Detective/Crime
  4. Thriller
  5. Fantasy
  6. Biography
  7. Horror
  8. Comedy
  9. Drama
  10. Classic

The research found that nearly half of people in Wales (42%) read every day for pleasure, while 34% read once a week for fun while 7% say they never read at all.

When it comes to the reading habits of children in Wales, 80% of children aged between 4 and 14 have asked for a book as a present.  Despite the ever-increasing rise in popularity of technology, books are still the country’s favourite form of reading material with the majority (83%) of children choosing to read from them – double those who read from an iPad or Kindle (31%).

The grand old tradition of reading bedtime stories is still alive and well with a third (34%) of parents of children aged four to 11 reading with their child every night.  A third (34%) also said they did once a week and just 7% said they never did at all.

Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning which compiled the research says: “It’s wonderful to see that parents and children alike still love reading.  No matter how busy our lives are, it’s essential to take the time to get lost in a good book and let your imagination fly!

“It’s also very interesting to see that Wales’ favourite genre is sci fi!  The fact that people would most like to read a mash-up of the literary heroes of Harry Potter and Robin Hood shows they have a very vivid imagination and we hope this will spur on lots of entries into our fantastic writing competition – the National Young Writers’ Awards which closes on the 7th June.”

Explore Learning has an tuition centre on Excalibur Drive in Cardiff providing English and maths tuition to children aged five to 14. Each session is tailored to an individual child’s needs and Explore Learning tutors work with children in a low ratio (1:6 maximum) to create a fun and vibrant atmosphere that has positive results.

Each year they run the National Young Writers’ Awards. Children can enter online at explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters or by visiting your local Explore Learning centre.

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