The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature

Posted: August 20, 2008 in book trailer, children's and young adult literature, my writing, other things

Here’s a book trailer for my new book, The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature, out soon from Johns Hopkins University Press.

The book presents close readings of six stories in order to try to develop  a clear definition of children’s literature as a distinct literary form. I begin by considering the plots, themes, and structures of six works: “The Purple Jar,” Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Doolittle, Henry Huggins, The Snowy Day, and Plain City—all written for young people of varying ages in different times and places—to identify shared characteristics. I point out markers in each work that allow the adult reader to understand it as a children’s story, in order to shed light on ingrained adult assumptions and reveal the ways in which adult knowledge and experience remain hidden in apparently simple and innocent texts. I then engage a wide range of views of children’s literature from authors, literary critics, cultural theorists, and specialists in education and information sciences, in order to develop a theory of children’s literature, exploring its commonalities and shared themes.

You can find out more about the book on the John Hopkins website, and order it from the Amazon websites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and elsewhere.

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