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  • Transitions
  • Katharine Capshaw Smith

As the journal representing the membership of the Children’s Literature Association, the Quarterly is a beautifully collaborative enterprise. From members who submit essays, to readers and consultants, to guest editors and symposium contributors, the Quarterly invites a wide range of participation from its readership. One of the distinguishing features of the journal is its editorial structure. Instead of locating the editorship at a single institution with a permanent editor, the leadership of the journal shifts every five years. This structure permits every ChLA member the opportunity to propose a new leadership team for the journal. I am very pleased to announce that Claudia Nelson of Texas A&M University will commence her term as editor of the Quarterly with Volume 40. Claudia begins the transition with a year as acquisitions editor, a post that will enable her to become familiar with the evaluation process and to build the content of issues under her editorship. Please send new submissions to her at Claudia is joined by a stellar pair of associate editors, Anne Morey of Texas A&M University and Sara Day of Southern Arkansas University, who will support her in all stages of the production process. I want to express the organization’s profound gratitude to Claudia for volunteering to head the journal. A brilliant and penetrating scholar, exceptional former ChLA president, and gentle and generous colleague, she will bring her unparalleled insight and experience to the editorship. We are very fortunate to have Claudia, Anne, and Sara preparing to take the helm of the journal. We are also quite lucky that Mark I. West of University of North Carolina at Charlotte has volunteered to continue as book review editor with Claudia and the new team. As those of us who have worked with Mark can attest, this past ChLA president brings a tremendous body of knowledge and invaluable good humor to editorial collaboration. The journal will be in superb hands.

This issue brings us four exciting essays and four provocative manifestos. The issue begins with Rachel Conrad’s “‘And stay, a minute more, alone”: Time and Subjectivities in [End Page 377] Gwendolyn Brooks’s Bronzeville Boys and Girls.” Conrad considers the multiplicity of perspectives in this understudied volume of lyric poetry, concluding that “In [Brooks’s] poems, temporality functions as a portal onto individual subjectivity, whereby the poet constructs the child as constituting herself or himself in time.” Lise Jaillant’s essay examines three children’s versions of “A Fine Old Tale of Adventure,” Beowulf: A. J. Church’s Heroes of Chivalry and Romance (1898), Thomas Cartwright’s Brave Beowulf (1908), and H. E. Marshall’s Stories of Beowulf Told to the Children (1908). This fascinating essay examines the “medievalizing packaging” of books to Victorian and Edwardian children, an approach that persists in representing a British past to the young. Arthur P. Young’s “Banish the Books: Horatio Alger, Jr., the Censors, the Libraries, and the Readers, 1870–1910” will speak particularly to ChLA members who work in library science. Young examines forty-seven book library catalogs from nineteen states in order to present evidence that “arguments and proposed sanctions” against Alger’s fiction “did not result in . . . pervasive reductions in Alger library holdings.” We are pleased to include an essay from the field of library science that intersects nicely with the journal’s investment in audiences and book history. Finally, Erica Hateley’s lively essay, “Sink or Swim?: Revising Ophelia in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction,” examines Lisa Fiedler’s Dating Hamlet (2002), Lisa Klein’s Ophelia: A Novel (2006), and Michelle Ray’s Falling for Hamlet (2011). Hateley argues that in these books, “a complex of gender, sexuality, and agency emerges that intervenes not only into narratives of female adolescence as first and foremost being at risk, but also into narratives of canonical literary patriarchy, even as they potentially extend the reach of both.” These four essays pose provocative questions about authorship, book history, and reader engagement.

Under the current editorial team during the past four years, the Quarterly has included in each volume some representation of cutting-edge work being presented at conferences. In this issue, we offer a...


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pp. 377-378
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