Children's Literature A Reader's History from Aesop to

Children's Literature A Reader's History from Aesop to

Children's Literature A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter ❰PDF❯ ✩ Children's Literature A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter Author Seth Lerer – Ever since children have learned to read there has been children’s literature Children’s Literature charts the makings of the Western literary imagination from Aesop’s fables to Mother Goose fro Ever since children have learned A Reader's ePUB ✓ to read there has been children’s literature Children’s Literature charts the makings of the Western literary imagination from Aesop’s fables to Mother Goose from Alice's Adventures in Children's Literature Kindle - Wonderland to Peter Pan from Where the Wild Things Are to Harry PotterThe only single volume work to capture the rich and diverse history of children’s literature in its full panorama this extraordinary Literature A Reader's eBook ↠ book reveals why J R R Tolkien Dr Seuss Laura Ingalls Wilder Beatrix Potter and many others despite their divergent styles and subject matter have all resonated with generations of readers Children’s Literature Literature A Reader's History from MOBI :Ú is an exhilarating uest across centuries continents and genres to discover how and why we first fall in love with the written word.

10 thoughts on “Children's Literature A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter

  1. Kimberly Dawn Kimberly Dawn says:

    This book is a truly great accomplishment by Seth Lerer University of California Professor of Literature Scholarly yet completely readable relatable and enjoyable For serious book lovers a total delight

  2. Waller Waller says:

    I chose this book for my Social History of Children's Literature class based on the first few chapters which did a great job of exposing some of the pre 17th century roots of children's reading Even there his rather idiosyncratic approach to children's books they are all about reading and writing duh which reflects his background as a philologistAs we got further into the book though it was clear that he hadhas a profound ignorance of large swaths of children's literature and of children's literature criticism another guy coming in from outside to show the world how important kids' books are without realizing that there are those of us who spend our whole careers doing thatBy the time we get to the 20th century the superficiality of his analysis of some of the texts is astounding and his discomfort with children's books shows in the proportion of the text that is devoted to discussing writing for adults rather than for childrenRead the early chapters and skip the rest

  3. Melody Schwarting Melody Schwarting says:

    “At the very least I hope that readers will find templates for their own work ways of reading books I have not discussed ways of bringing texts into the ambit of the child’s imagination ways of understanding how a parent and a college professor adjudicates between the love of learning and learning how to love” 12Lerer's examination of children’s literature is a philologist’s and medievalist’s history of what children have read over the centuries He begins in ancient Greece and Rome stops over in the medieval era looks over the shoulders of the Puritans and settles down in the 19th and 20th centuries for the remainder of the book The first four chapters offer up strong scholarship that is rarely considered and you can tell that Lerer began as a medievalist His work on the Puritans was especially enlightening and it later spread into his analysis of Little Women which I appreciated However I didn’t really connect with many of the pre 1800s works since the only ones I knew from that long era were Augustine’s Confessions and Aesop’s fables Yet it was really interesting to learn about views of male childhood in Greece and Rome and roles of children’s literature over timeIn Chapter 9 “Ill Tempered and ueer Sense and Nonsense from Victorian and Modern” Lerer writes about the works of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear He chooses to focus on the cultural context of their books rather than looking to their lives for sources of their nonsense a theme he continues in later chapters This makes his arguments much convincing much than “x represented y in this story because insert vaguely Freudian reason here” It frees the texts to interact with the real world and less as interpretive schemes for the psychology of the authors Sometimes nonsense is just nonsense as any child will tell youChapter 10 “Straw into Gold Fairy Tale Philology” was one of my favorite chapters Throughout the book especially in centuries after modern English began Lerer freuently consults the Oxford English Dictionary He carefully considers word usage and tracking language change over time through children’s literature Evidently The Wind in the Willows marks the shift between Victorian English and Edwardian English with bridges between the vernacular happening in single sentences He really “gets” Tolkien in this sense which is simply delightful and connects the aesthetics of Middle earth with Grimm’s fairy tales convincingly Again he turns to Tolkien's cultural context and the stories he was drawn to and the sources he explored rather than trying to play connect the dots with Tolkien's life and work Though we all know who Beren and Luthien are supposed to beGiven J K Rowling’s recent fall from grace due to her inability to live up to the standard of tolerance she set in the Harry Potter books I found it exceedingly interesting how Lerer interacted with her books This book was published in 2008 just a year after the publication of Deathly Hallows A consideration of children’s literature is hardly complete without Harry Potter now and Lerer simply inserts Potter where convenient rather than placing it in his chapter on recent children’s literature For example he weaves Dumbledore with James A H Murray editor of the Oxford English Dictionary in a glorious section of Chapter 10 They bear so many resemblances it's impossible to unsee A few pages later book vs movie Hermione stars at the beginning of the chapter on girlhood In all of this Lerer hardly ever mentions Rowling’s name instead referring to them as “the Harry Potter” stories books or series I found this interesting given how much he referred to other authors by their names instead of their books I first read the series as an adult and the world seemed familiar despite my novice Though Lerer doesn’t parse the series out in much detail he points to the traditions and sources Rowling drew from These I was familiar with if not the books themselves when I first read them Similar to Lewis’s “magpie aesthetic” used in creating the Chronicles of Narnia the Harry Potter series strikes me as less creativenovel than synthesizing Rowling drew on the long tradition of the English school story the classic orphanchosen one setup and familiar beastscreatures from broadly EuropeanBritish folklore Two centuries’ worth of girls’ literature went into Hermione who like so many women bears the burdens of the trio be they intellectual moral or relational freeing Ron to be the goof and Harry to be the hero While she is than the caddy for the group she does not uite lose the trappings of being the mom friend I think this is why the books caught on like they did They used familiar cultural touchpoints and made them fantastic againLerer has an acknowledged Western American focus Children’s literature is so wholly broad that he leaves certain important areas untouched illustration; comic books; series fiction with its many sub genres; and anime manga and graphic novels to name a few Any comprehensive study of children’s literature would be a multi volume multi author production published over a decade or Thus I find it hard to hold any lacunae against Lerer Each chapter is a deep dive into a particular subject and I don’t always see those subjects covered in other studies This is just one book among many on this vast important and whimsical topicI do wish the blurb author had actually read the manuscript or at a list of subjects to be compiled in the index It mentions Laura Ingalls Wilder who gets one 1 mention in a brief sentence about the rural to urban shift in recent children’s literature There is plenty of research out there on Wilder so my beef is not with the lack of inclusion but instead with the fact that her name is used to sell the book when she gets so little page time Lerer discusses female authors like Louisa May Alcott L M Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett at length all of whom have larger readerships than Wilder Little House on the Prairie has just over 250000 reviews on Goodreads while Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden have well over 500000 each Little Women clocks in at over 1000000 With Lerer’s focus on Edwardian children’s literature it would have been helpful to mention an Edwardian author like Montgomery or Burnett to hint at this focusAll in all this was a lovely scholarly work on children’s literature giving me lots of food for thought about interpretation change and stability in childhood reading over the years It is uite “heavy” and didn’t contain as many pictures as it should but I found a wealth of resources in the endnotes and look forward to continuing my exploration of children’s literature

  4. Nancy Nancy says:

    A very readable book that I used in my History of Children's Literature grad class I enjoyed the historical aspect and how societal changes has affected how books are written and read today

  5. Sarah Hannah Sarah Hannah says:

    So this book probably would have been much better from the start if it hadn't called itself a history of children's literature Really it's a history of pedagogy and child development using literature as somewhat of a thread At times he some interesting things to say and I did appreciate the general information about eras and themes and all that but it was so jumbly and missing so much stuff that it was ultimately a lot of nothing Too bad Onto another book

  6. Angela Hill Angela Hill says:

    I really enjoyed and found helpful Dr Lerer's analysis of ancient literature While I found myself disagreeing with some of his assertions as he discussed modern literature I do have to admit this book made me rethink some of my own opinions about children's literature

  7. stillme stillme says:

    Read it for the history Aesop 19th century if you enjoy historical background and stop thereI got excited about from the introduction and first couple of chapters As a historian and children's librarian I found the background on older and ancient works uite interesting But once he got to the modern 20th and 21st century I disagreed with just about everything he wrote It seems that he doesn't like or enjoy anything written after 1950 Besides not every modern book has to be literature or ironic or pushing an author's agenda These are books for children what about pure fun? Additionally I feel that illustrations are a significant part of children's literature today and he gave it a cursory and weak overview tacked on in the final chapter

  8. Jason Wilson Jason Wilson says:

    The basic thesis of this book is that the history of children’s writing is a history of reading ; of the ways didactic and otherwise that books shape our childhoods This works to an extent and fascinating ground is covered Use of Aesop in Ancient Greece medieval teaching Puritan literacy that fed secular euivalents Victorian and Edwardian trends and finally some nods to modern developments His train of thought on how modern books continue to owe to the past and the way texts reflect us is interesting and valuable but too much of importance is missing The author is right that there isn’t room for everything but important trends are missed The teenage detective genre from Nancy Drew who gets a uick passing mention to Enid Blyton May have had its day a bit Alex Rider arguably owes to Bond than Drewbut it’s influence was huge ; many women in positions of power today cite Drew as an empowering influence The tracing of the boarding school novel goes no further than the turn of the last century but through the lines of Billy Bunter Jennings and again Enid Blyton and Elinor Brent Dyer the genre survived to flourish as the comprehensive school novel in the new age of social realism in children’s writing Bernard Ashley etc before re emerging in the fantastical context of Harry Potter And on the subject of children’s realism it was a huge turn that paved the way for tv series such as Grange Hill and Degrassi whose achievements in dealing with young peoples issues was immense but the only mention here is given to Judy Blume and her then fresh treatment of adolescence and emergent sexuality The ever iconic Roald Dahl to whom it has always seemed to me that Harry Potter with its neglected childhood into which magic breaks has always owed this intellectual debt is thankfully mentioned via Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fix; odd however for a book so focussed on the philology and pedagogy of children’s writing to omit Dahl’s most bookish heroine Matilda feels odd There is also no mention of the childhood gothic; the gothic has always under the cloak of fantasy dealt with real emotional issues that real world fiction was slower to allow coverage of ; in point horror and romance Kay the beginning of the YA genre as it now is; again The sole mention goes to Blume Still interesting all the same though again I could name authors without whom no treatment of myth in children’s books Is complete Via audible

  9. Samantha Samantha says:

    Insightful and informative review of the reader's history of children's literature from the Greek and Roman eras to Victorian and Edwardian and concluding with the beginning of the twenty first century I appreciate that this was written from a philologist perspective as it allowed me to see familiar children's classics in a new light when it comes to the use of language I also appreciate his blunt and honest analysis of what the late 20th early 21st century of children's literature looks like Considering this was published in 2008 I'm uite curious what an additional chapter would look like that covers the last 10 years of children's literature studies Lastly I loved that the book's Epilogue highlighted the important aspect of the history of the book book as both artifact and content and how well it pairs with children's literature Indeed these books were once treasures and gilded like ones What does this tell us of children's literacy books and reading then and now? What does the future of children's literature and books look like?

  10. passeriform passeriform says:

    I recently assigned this book as the main secondaryhistorical text in an undergraduate children's literature course It's illuminating and useful particularly because of its huge historical and to a limited extent geographical scope and certainly worth reading if you want to learn about children's literature in a broader context as changing over time just like childhood has done The book raises excellent uestions and attends to an impressive range of ideas and textsIt has its problems though Most upsetting to me are Lerer's often weak close readings and textual analysis which model speculation and wishful thinking as much as actual analysis sacrificing the particularities of a text to the needs of his argument and his habit of using child to mean roughly white well to do boy

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