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Letters to Oma

A Young German Girl's Account of Her First Year in Texas, 1847

Marj Gurasich

When fifteen-year-old Christina Eudora Von Scholl learns that her family will leave their German homeland to seek freedom in Texas, her greatest sorrow is leaving behind her beloved grandmother. And so, in a series of letters, she takes “Oma” on this great adventure with her family . . . and takes us as readers.
Sometimes the letters are dark with discouragement, for the Von Scholls find, as did many German-Texas families, that the Society for the Protection of German Emigrants, known as the Adelsverein, was unable to fulfill its promises of land, housing, horses, and farm implements. But they are Germans, determined and willing to work hard.
More often these letters—and the text woven in between them—are bright with adventure, for Tina finds Texas an exciting, if puzzling, place. There are new customs to learn, new foods to eat, even while the family preserves its traditional German ways. Tina’s adventures include a run-in with a mountain lion, an exciting trip across Texas with her father to Sisterdale, and a frightening encounter with Lipan Indians. Her lessons in being an American are helped by Jeff, a young man who becomes part of the family when he undertakes to teach them to farm in Texas. Tina, in return, teaches Jeff to read and learns a lesson in love that is without nationality.
Letters to Oma is a charming, informative novel that sweeps the reader back to a very particular time and place. And Tina Von Scholl is irresistible as correspondent and as heroine.

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The Lion and the Unicorn

Vol. 1 (1977) through current issue

The Lion and the Unicorn, an international theme- and genre-centered journal, is committed to a serious, ongoing discussion of literature for children. The journal's coverage includes the state of the publishing industry, regional authors, comparative studies of significant books and genres, new developments in theory, the art of illustration, the mass media, and popular culture. It is especially noted for its interviews with authors, editors, and other important contributors to the field, as well as its outstanding book review section.

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Little Red Readings

Historical Materialist Perspectives on Children’s Literature

Angela E. Hubler

A significant body of scholarship examines the production of children's literature by women and minorities, as well as the representation of gender, race, and sexuality. But few scholars have previously analyzed class in children's literature. This definitive collection remedies that by defining and exemplifying historical materialist approaches to children's literature. The introduction of Little Red Readings lucidly discusses characteristics of historical materialism, the methodological approach to the study of literature and culture first outlined by Karl Marx, defining key concepts and analyzing factors that have marginalized this tradition, particularly in the United States.

The thirteen essays here analyze a wide range of texts--from children's bibles to Mary Poppins to The Hunger Games--using concepts in historical materialism from class struggle to the commodity. Essayists apply the work of Marxist theorists such as Ernst Bloch and Fredric Jameson to children's literature and film. Others examine the work of leftist writers in India, Germany, England, and the United States.

The authors argue that historical materialist methodology is critical to the study of children's literature, as children often suffer most from inequality. Some of the critics in this collection reveal the ways that literature for children often functions to naturalize capitalist economic and social relations. Other critics champion literature that reveals to readers the construction of social reality and point to texts that enable an understanding of the role ordinary people might play in creating a more just future. The collection adds substantially to our understanding of the political and class character of children's literature worldwide, and contributes to the development of a radical history of children's literature.

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Looking For Non-publics

Edited by Daniel Jacobi

In this book, nine researchers from France, Québec and Mexico tackle these questions through both qualitative and quantitative contributions dealing with various cultural sectors in which the question of non-publics remains unanswered. In fact, the non-public is not so much a group of non-participants but individuals blatantly incapable of appreciating a culture that is unfamiliar, even foreign. For over a century, the popular education movement, in its initial project to bring public and culture closer together, has emphasized this cultural gap, which even today, justifies the necessity for cultural mediation policies. The near-militant voluntarism of the active players in cultural mediation engenders certain expectations: after a large investment in cultural creation is it not justifiable to aspire to reach the largest possible audience?

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Looking Glasses and Neverlands

Lacan, Desire, and Subjectivity in Children's Literatue

A “Choice” Outstanding Academic Title
This groundbreaking study introduces and explores Lacan’s complex theories of subjectivity and desire through close readings of canonical children’s books such as Charlotte’s Web, Stellaluna, Holes, Tangerine, and The Chocolate War, providing an introduction to an increasingly influential body of difficult work while making the claim that children’s textual encounters are as significant as their existential ones in constituting their subjectivities and giving shape to their desires.

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Love in a Global Village

A Celebration of Intercultural Families in the Midwest

In praise of diversity, Jessie Grearson and Lauren Smith offer Love in a Global Village: A Celebration of Intercultural Families in the Midwest, an account of the triumphs of fifteen intercultural families and the perseverance of their relationships in midwestern America. The couples recount their courtships, their adventures and difficulties, and their individual choices to create families and build lives together despite differences of race, language, religion, and culture.

Welcomed into homes in towns like Kalona, Iowa, and Springfield, Missouri, Grearson and Smith introduce readers to unexpected fusions of culture in middle America. By focusing on small communities where intercultural relationships are exceptions rather than the norm, Smith and Grearson offer affirmation that multicultural households can endure and flourish almost anywhere.

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Making Americans

Children's Literature from 1930 to 1960

Gary D. Schmidt

American children need books that draw on their own history and circumstances, not just the classic European fairy tales. They need books that enlist them in the great democratic experiment that is the United States. These were the beliefs of many of the authors, illustrators, editors, librarians, and teachers who expanded and transformed children’s book publishing between the 1930s and the 1960s.

Although some later critics have argued that the books published in this era offered a vision of a safe, secure, simple world without injustice or unhappy endings, Gary D. Schmidt shows that the progressive political agenda shared by many Americans who wrote, illustrated, published, and taught children’s books had a powerful effect. Authors like James Daugherty, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lenski, Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire, Virginia Lee Burton, Robert McCloskey, and many others addressed directly and indirectly the major social issues of a turbulent time: racism, immigration and assimilation, sexism, poverty, the Great Depression, World War II, the atomic bomb, and the threat of a global cold war.

The central concern that many children’s book authors and illustrators wrestled with was the meaning of America and democracy itself, especially the tension between individual freedoms and community ties. That process produced a flood of books focused on the American experience and intent on defining it in terms of progress toward inclusivity and social justice. Again and again, children’s books addressed racial discrimination and segregation, gender roles, class differences, the fate of Native Americans, immigration and assimilation, war, and the role of the United States in the world. Fiction and nonfiction for children urged them to see these issues as theirs to understand, and in some ways, theirs to resolve. Making Americans is a study of a time when the authors and illustrators of children’s books consciously set their eyes on national and international sights, with the hope of bringing the next generation into a sense of full citizenship.

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Mieux former pour agir dans une société en mouvement

Actes de colloque en format numérique

Edited by Sylvie Beaudoin

Ces actes de la sixième biennale de l’Association pour la recherche sur l’intervention en sports (ARIS), tenue à l’Université de Sherbrooke en mai 2010, témoignent du dynamisme de la recherche sur l’intervention dans les activités physiques, que ce soit en matière d’entraînement sportif, d’éducation à la santé ou d’enseignement de l’éducation physique.

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Moral Enterprise

Literature and Education in Antebellum America

Moral Enterprise: Literature and Education in Antebellum America, by Derek Pacheco, investigates an important moment in the history of professional authorship. Pacheco uses New England “literary reformers” Horace Mann, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elizabeth Peabody, and Margaret Fuller to argue that writers came to see in educational reform, and the publication venues emerging in connection with it, a means to encourage popular authorship while validating literary work as a profession. Although today’s schools are staffed by systematically trained and institutionally sanctioned teachers, in the unregulated, decentralized world of antebellum America, literary men and women sought the financial stability of teaching while claiming it as moral grounds for the pursuit of greater literary fame. Examining the ethically redemptive and potentially lucrative definition of antebellum author as educator, this book traces the way these literary reformers aimed not merely at social reform through literature but also at the reform of literature itself by employing a wide array of practices—authoring, editing, publishing, and distributing printed texts—brought together under the aegis of modern, democratic education. Moral Enterprise identifies such endeavors by their dual valence as bold, reformist undertakings and economic ventures, exploring literary texts as educational commodities that might act as entry points into, and ways to tame, what Mann characterized as the “Alexandrian library” of American print culture.

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Mother Goose Refigured

A Critical Translation of Charles Perrault's Fairy Tales

Christine A. Jones

Charles Perrault published Histoires ou Contes du temps passé ("Stories or Tales of the Past") in France in 1697 during what scholars call the first "vogue" of tales produced by learned French writers. The genre that we now know so well was new and an uncommon kind of literature in the epic world of Louis XIV's court. This inaugural collection of French fairy tales features characters like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Puss in Boots that over the course of the eighteenth century became icons of social history in France and abroad. Translating the original Histoires ou Contes means grappling not only with the strangeness of seventeenth-century French but also with the ubiquity and familiarity of plots and heroines in their famous English personae. From its very first translation in 1729, Histoires ou Contes has depended heavily on its English translations for the genesis of character names and enduring recognition. This dependability makes new, innovative translation challenging. For example, can Perrault's invented name "Cendrillon" be retranslated into anything other than "Cinderella"? And what would happen to our understanding of the tale if it were? Is it possible to sidestep the Anglophone tradition and view the seventeenth-century French anew? Why not leave Cinderella alone, as she is deeply ingrained in cultural lore and beloved the way she is? Such questions inspired the translations of these tales in Mother Goose Refigured, which aim to generate new critical interest in heroines and heroes that seem frozen in time. The book offers introductory essays on the history of interpretation and translation, before retranslating each of the Histoires ou Contes with the aim to prove that if Perrault's is a classical frame of reference, these tales nonetheless exhibit strikingly modern strategies. Designed for scholars, their classrooms, and other adult readers of fairy tales, Mother Goose Refigured promises to inspire new academic interpretations of the Mother Goose tales, particularly among readers who do not have access to the original French and have relied for their critical inquiries on traditional renderings of the tales.

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