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What Do We Tell The Children? Critical Essays On Children’s Literature edited by Ciara Ní Bhroin And Patricia Kennon. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 (Book Review)

Webb, Jean (2013) What Do We Tell The Children? Critical Essays On Children’s Literature edited by Ciara Ní Bhroin And Patricia Kennon. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 (Book Review). Other. INIS Irish Children's Book Magazine.

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Abstract

Here is work of the highest level including contributions from leading international scholars. All of the essays are informative, scholarly and very readable for specialists, students or the general reader. The range is considerable, whilst maintaining an integrity to the intention of the collection which is to demonstrate and interrogate the ways in which authors variously construct childhood and power relationships and embed ideological and political views into literature for children. The scope of the essays includes Japanese-Canadian, Irish, English, and South Asian texts, which is a refreshing move away from either English or North American domination. The subjects covered include gender, sexuality and identity; holocaust fiction and veracity; ecocritical perspectives; race and national identity; historical interrogation of the presentation of national identity; the girl’s school story and literature mediated through contemporary media. Here is seemingly an overly diverse menu, but in actuality it is an intellectual feast. It seems unfair to highlight particular contributions however Kerry Mallan’s ‘(Un)doing Gender: Ways of Being in an Age of Uncertainty’ is an exemplar of how theory can be employed to reveal and elucidate the deeper meanings in texts. Ecocriticism is a rapidly developing perspective applied to literature for children: Jane Suzanne Carroll’s outstanding ‘Death and Landscape in The Dark is Rising and its Adaptations’ is by far the best essay I have read to date employing ecocritism to children’s literature, whilst Marnie Hay’s ‘What Did Advanced Nationalists Tell Irish Children in the Early Twentieth Century’ is a fascinating interrogation of the relationship between politics and literature for children. In short a must read collection and a must buy for the library.

Item Type: Report (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children's literature, childhood
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
Depositing User: Jean Webb
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2013 11:49
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2013 11:49
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2291

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