- Introduction:Some Words on Home Words
Shortly after the publication of Home Words: Discourses of Children's Literature in Canada in March 2008, I was asked, as a member of the editorial board of Canadian Children's Literature/Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse, to solicit a review of Mavis Reimer's collection of essays, which is part of the Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada series by Wilfrid Laurier University Press. As one of the editors who had not contributed to the volume, I was given total freedom to arrange for a review that would fit CCL/LCJ's revised mandate of placing a major critical text in relation to the larger field or to broader theoretical or critical contexts—a method [End Page 94] of reviewing primary and secondary materials that continues in the pages of Jeunesse. Convinced of the volume's applicability across a wider range of literary texts, I strayed slightly from our own conventions by inviting three colleagues to test out some of the ideas discussed in the pages of the volume in relation to other texts published in Canada and elsewhere. Instead of sending along a grouping of primary texts for them to review, I asked each of them to apply the ideas or methods in Home Words to their own research interests. In doing so, I chose reviewers who could showcase the volume's wide portability across a number of critical contexts: Margaret Steffler of Trent University researches depictions of girlhood in Canadian fiction for adults and for young people; Philip Nel of Kansas State University has published on popular culture for children and on the radical left; and Claire Le Brun, a frequent contributor to the pages of CCL/LCJ, has published widely on Québécois texts for young people, including texts in translation. Together, these three scholars extend the dialogue and discussion found in the volume itself in unique ways, showing that the discussion of home does not end with Home Words, but rather, is just beginning. [End Page 95]
Benjamin Lefebvre will spend the 2009-10 academic year as a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the University of Worcester (UK). His edition of L. M. Montgomery's rediscovered final novel, The Blythes Are Quoted, will be published in October 2009 by Penguin Canada.