Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: The Case for a Historical Materialist Criticism of Children’s Literature

Angela E. Hubler

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pp. ix-2

When my son Jack was about three years old, I read Patricia McKissack’s Ma Dear’s Aprons to him. This picture book focuses on two African American characters living in the 1900s, David Earle and his widowed mother who supports her family as a domestic worker, wearing a different, clean apron each day. On Monday, she...

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Class/ic Aggression in Children's Literature

Mervyn Nicholson

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pp. 3-30

In her little-noticed essay “The Child and Its Enemies,” Emma Goldman examined the position of children in capitalist society. “Must not one suppose that parents should be united to children by the most tender and delicate chords?” she asks (135). Isn’t it obvious that parents love their...

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Shopping Like it's 1899: Gilded Age Nostalgia and Commodity Fetishism in Alloy’s Gossip Girl

Anastasia Ulanowicz

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pp. 31-56

In an essay featured in the Huffington Post on December 21, 2010, Melissa Terzis annotates a Christmas wish list her brother had found on a New York City train bound to Connecticut. This list, apparently composed by a twenty-something-year-old woman and addressed to her presumably...

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Precious Medals: The Newbery Medal, the YRCA, and the Gold Standard of Children's Book Awards

Carl F. Miller

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pp. 57-74

In January 2004, Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux was awarded the Newbery Medal, the oldest and most prestigious prize in children’s literature. The selection of The Tale of Despereaux as the finest children’s book of 2004 was not surprising; DiCamillo’s book garnered almost universal...

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"We Are All One": Money, Magic, and Mysticism in Mary Poppins

Sharon Smulders

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pp. 75-93

About the origins of the fairy tale, P. L. Travers said: “[T]he tracks lead eastwards. The sun of wisdom, like the sun of light, has its rising there” (“Fairy-Tale as Teacher” 205). Mary Poppins, too, has its origins in the East. Visiting Ireland in 1925, Travers first met Æ (George William Russell), editor of the Irish Statesman, who later exercised a profound...

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Solidarity of Times Past: Historicizing the Labor Movement in American Children’s Novels

Cynthia Anne McLeod

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pp. 94-115

In the mid-nineteenth century, a young New England textile worker fears that supporting her coworkers’ petition for shorter work days will cause her to lose her job. Garment workers in New York City, many of them teenage girls, walk away from their sewing machines in protest...

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“The Disorders of Its Own Identity": Poverty as Aesthetic Symbol in Eve Bunting’s Picture Books

Daniel D. Hade and Heidi M. Brush

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pp. 116-132

“Children’s literature is an artistically mediated form of communication— a conversation—that a society has with its young. It is shaped by the concerns of the many stakeholders that are part of the ‘world that creates the text’ (Bakhtin, Dialogic Imagination 253)”...

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The Young Socialist: A Magazine of Justice and Love (1901–1926)

Jane Rosen

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pp. 133-150

Socialists have always looked for alternative ways of educating children to counter the repressive training of the state education system; specifically, they sought teaching methods that were relevant to the children of the working class and that reflected the aims and ideals of a...

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Girls' Literature by German Writers in Exile (1933–1945)

Jana Mikota

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pp. 151-168

When the Nazi regime came to power in Germany in 1933, numerous authors left Germany and devoted significant time and effort to opposing fascism and militarism in exile. Their writing for children, young people, and adults contributed to an antifascist, ...

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Different Tales and Different Lives: Children’s Literature as Political Activism in Andhra Pradesh

Naomi Wood

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pp. 169-190

In 1989, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Rights of the Child.1 The convention defines childhood as a distinct status requiring moral and physical protection. According to the convention, children have a right not only to life, a name, and a nationality, but also to...

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A Multicultural History of Children's Films

Ian Wojcik-Andrews

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pp. 191-212

In his book Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, Mingshui Cai comments on the difficulties involved in producing a “category of books” (xiii) called multicultural children’s literature. His comments are relevant to this essay, especially as at least one or more of the...

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Bloodthirsty Little Brats; or, The Child's Desire for Biblical Violence

Roland Boer

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pp. 213-227

Why are children drawn to the gory and bloodthirsty stories of the Bible? Given a choice in a decent children’s Bible, why do they ask for the story of Absalom catching his hair, Jael pegging Sisera’s head to the ground, Ehud losing his sword in Eglon’s gut, Korah...

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Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Lois Lowry's and Suzanne Collins's Dystopian Fiction

Angela E. Hubler

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pp. 228-244

The vast majority of dystopian and utopian fiction for young adults is shaped by the Cold War horror of a collective. Generations of children, in the United States at least, have read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, in which the Murry children learn the value of individualism...

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Ursula Le Guin's Powers as Radical Fantasy

Justyna Deszcz-Tryhu bczak

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pp. 245-264

The term “Radical Fantasy” first appears in Fredric Jameson’s contribution to a 2002 issue of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, edited by China Miéville and Mark Bould under the title “Symposium: Marxism and Fantasy,” in which the rejection...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 265-268

Index

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pp. 269-276