Valuing Children's Literature

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Valuing Children's Literature

  1. 1. ELE 616 Readings and Research in Children‟s Literature Spring 2012Valuing Children’s Literature
  2. 2. 2January29, 2012 is the value of children’s literature? What • John Cech: Inspiring Children With Words [Scroll down to see the article] –“Children‟s books represent our first encounters with literature, in which we hear words used beautifully and tune ourselves to the rhythms of our language. One can‟t overstate the value of childrens literature. Millions of people who will never read Tolstoy or Shakespeare will read Charlotte‟s Web - and never forget the experience. Einstein kept a volume of Grimm‟s Fairy Tales on his night table throughout his life because he said they sparked his imagination.”
  3. 3. 3What is the function of literature?• Nina Bawden: From the inaugural Dorothy Briley Lecture, delivered at the third IBBY Regional Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, on October 8, 1999
  4. 4. 4January 29,2012 Why do children read? • Many reasons: – reading can provide a safe environment for experimenting with moral and psychological risk. – reading may provide a safe haven in a world of real-life risk. • Either way, the reader needs to feel a sense of control over his or her reading matter • Margaret Mackey, “Risk, Safety, and Control in Young Peoples Reading Experiences.” School Libraries Worldwide 9 no1 50-63 Ja 2003
  5. 5. 5January Controlling29, 2012 reading • Margaret Mackey: –“. . . too many adults want children to read, and read with enthusiasm, without conceding to them any vestige of the sense of real control that is one of the social and psychological triumphs of reading. Children, who are trying to “win at growing up” as Beverly Cleary‟s (1984, p. 182) Ramona so succinctly expresses the challenge, are being given a false passport that lets them only into a fenced-off field.” • “Risk, Safety, and Control in Young Peoples Reading Experiences.”
  6. 6. 6January29,A Canadian’s 2012 view• Russell Smith, a young Canadian novelist: – “. . . what turns off young readers? A moral approach to literature. A lack of clever wickedness. And an outdated belief in an outdated version of Canada. . . . Books that are good for you. Canadian cultural nationalism is the literary equivalent of Sunday school, and Quoted in Mackey, “Risk, Safety, and young people won‟t sit through Control in Young it.” Peoples Reading Experiences.”
  7. 7. 7January Valuing Childrens29,Another 2012 Canadian Literature viewpoint
  8. 8. 8What does literature teach?• Pauline Davey Zeece:
  9. 9. 9Does educational value “cancel out” thepersonal value of a book?• Comment on Amazon.com: – “. . . instead of intimidating a young audience away, Harry Potter is showing children as young as 8 that reading is one of the most wonderful pastimes available to them. Its working! Please, as educators, parents, and librarians, encourage that. I read those „classics‟ in Middle School, Johnny Tremain and The Moon is Down almost lost me as a reader forever. They were dry and horrible and full of educational value.” • Spotlight Reviews: Literature Guide: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Grades 4-8)
  10. 10. The End

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