The study of children’s literature and culture has been experiencing a renaissance, with vital new work proliferating across many areas of interest. Mapping this vibrant scholarship, Keywords for Children’s Literature presents 49 original essays on the essential terms and concepts of the field. From Aesthetics to Young Adult, an impressive, multidisciplinary cast of scholars explores the vocabulary central to the study of children's literature.
Following the growth of his or her word, each author traces its branching uses and meanings, often into unfamiliar disciplinary territories: Award-winning novelist Philip Pullman writes about Intentionality, Education expert Margaret Meek Spencer addresses Reading, literary scholar Peter Hunt historicizes Children’s Literature, Psychologist Hugh Crago examines Story, librarian and founder of the influential Child_Lit litserv Michael Joseph investigates Liminality. The scope, clarity, and interdisciplinary play between concepts make this collection essential reading for all scholars in the field. In the spirit of Raymond Williams’ seminal Keywords, this book is a snapshot of a vocabulary of children’s literature that is changing, expanding, and ever unfinished.
“Keywords for Children's Literature demonstrates how sophisticated the critical approaches to the burgeoning field of children's literature have become. Not only do the essays on keywords, written by some of the most capable professors in the field, elaborate important concepts in the history of children's literature, but they cover significant cultural debates and discussions. This superb volume of scholarship demonstrates—definitively—that adult literature cannot be understood without grasping its roots in children's literature.”
—Jack Zipes, University of Minnesota
“By distilling the complex uses of its core terms, the contributors to Keywords for Children's Literature have produced an indispensable handbook for scholars in this dynamic field.”
—Donald E. Pease, author of Theodor SEUSS Geisel
"Overall, this volume succeeds quite well in focusing attention on how we discuss children's literature. The 49 essays are models of thoughtful inquiry into words we frequently use, often without considering how they have been transformed over time."
—Myra Zarnowski, Teachers College Record
"This book presents 49 thoughtful essays based on various concepts pertaining to children's literature, including genres, literary theories, and the history of children's literature...This volume will be very useful, especially for colleges and universities with children's literature programs. Highly recommended."
—J. Stevens, Choice
"Even the most sophisticated scholars will enjoy seeing how their colleagues achieve the feat of crafting such delicious distillations within the given space constraints. This book is a monumental achievement."
—Claudia Mills, Children's Literature Association
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