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  • Papers from the Children's Literature New England Summer Institute

Children's Literature New England, which was founded in 1987 "to promote awareness of the significance of literature in the lives of children," sponsors Summer Institutes on topics of interest to teachers, librarians, critics, and authors. The topic for 1988, presented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was "The Heroic Ideal in Children's Books: Legacy and Promise." Of the following articles, Louisa Smith's "Hindsight on the Heroic" is a report on the Institute itself, while the other three are papers actually given there. Madeleine L'Engle and Diana Wynne Jones were asked to discuss their own work in relation to the theme of "The Heroic Ideal." Gregory Maguire led a seminar based on a list of five books to be read in advance by the participants—After the First Death by Robert Cormier, The Fragile Flag by Jane Langton, The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien, and The Golem by Isaac Bashevis Singer—and on a quotation from Emily Dickinson:

The Heroism we reciteWould be a normal thingDid not ourselves the Cubits warpFor fear to be a King— [End Page 96]



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