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The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

M. O. Grenby, Andrea Immel, Brian Alderson, Katie Trumpener, Richard Flynn, John Stephens, Deborah Stevenson, Lissa Paul, Judy Simons, U. C. Knoepfelmacher, Lynne Vallone, Kimberley Reynolds, Mavis Reimer, Julia Briggs, David Rudd, Roderick McGillis
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  • Date Published: December 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521687829

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About the Authors
  • Some of the most innovative and spell-binding literature has been written for young people, but only recently has academic study embraced its range and complexity. This Companion offers a state-of-the-subject survey of English-language children's literature from the seventeenth century to the present. With discussions ranging from eighteenth-century moral tales to modern fantasies by J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman, the Companion illuminates acknowledged classics and many more neglected works. Its unique structure means that equal consideration can be given to both texts and contexts. Some chapters analyse key themes and major genres, including humour, poetry, school stories, and picture books. Others explore the sociological dimensions of children's literature and the impact of publishing practices. Written by leading scholars from around the world, this Companion will be essential reading for all students and scholars of children's literature, offering original readings and new research that reflects the latest developments in the field.

    • Wide coverage of children's literature in the English-speaking world since the seventeenth century
    • Explores the important themes of the genre as well as how to study children's books
    • Includes illustrations, chronology and guide to further reading
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… concise, stimulating comments on other school stories from the late 20th century, such as Diana Wynne Jones's Witch Week, help cast the conventions and conventionality of the Harry Potter books into relief and draw attention to the numerous alternative school stories out there.'

    'The Cambridge Companion, lucid, entertaining, and with hardly a word wasted, locates itself in an accessible, mainstream position, and generally does an outstanding job of playing critical and historical catch-up on its more established literary fellow disciplines … beautiful to behold - books to cheer the bookperson's heart, and the inclusion in the series of a volume on Children's Literature, especially one as good as this, should be the cause of unalloyed delight.' Modern Language Review

    ' … excellent, straightforward collection that covers the fundamentals. It is also a collection that inspires readers to delve deeper … provides a perfect sampling of scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students, but this collection should also appeal to established scholars and experts in the field.' Muse

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521687829
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface M. O. Grenby and Andrea Immel
    Chronology Eric J. Johnson
    Part I. Contexts and Genres:
    1. The origins of children's literature M. O. Grenby
    2. Children's books and the constructions of childhood Andrea Immel
    3. The making of children's books Brian Alderson
    4. Picture book worlds and ways of seeing Katie Trumpener
    5. The fear of poetry Richard Flynn
    6. Retelling stories across time and cultures John Stephens
    7. Classics and canons Deborah Stevenson
    Part II. Audiences:
    8. Learning to be literate Lissa Paul
    9. Gender roles in children's fiction Judy Simons
    10. Children's texts and the grown-up reader U. C. Knoepfelmacher
    11. Ideas of difference in children's literature Lynne Vallone
    Part III. Forms and Themes:
    12. Changing families in children's fiction Kimberley Reynolds
    13. Traditions of the school story Mavis Reimer
    14. Fantasy's alternative geography for children Andrea Immel, U. C. Knoepfelmacher and Julia Briggs
    15. Animal and object stories David Rudd
    16. Humour and the body in children's literature Roderick McGillis
    Guide to further reading

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Children's Literature
    • Children's and Young Adult Literature
    • Foundations in Literature for Children
    • Intro to Children's Literature
    • Theoretical Approaches to Children's Literature
  • Editors

    M. O. Grenby, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    M. O. Grenby is Reader in Children's Literature at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

    Andrea Immel, Princeton University, New Jersey
    Andrea Immel is Curator of the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University, New Jersey.


    M. O. Grenby, Andrea Immel, Brian Alderson, Katie Trumpener, Richard Flynn, John Stephens, Deborah Stevenson, Lissa Paul, Judy Simons, U. C. Knoepfelmacher, Lynne Vallone, Kimberley Reynolds, Mavis Reimer, Julia Briggs, David Rudd, Roderick McGillis

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