Children's Literature Discussion

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Children's Literature Discussion "The history that makes us wish fairy tales did happen, that life were like a children's book and we all lived happily ever after, is not an easy history to read or write. If we persist in thinking that children need hope and happy endings then the stories we give them about the Holocaust will be shaped by those expectations… For there are those who would tell us yet another fairy tale, one in which the mass murder of millions of people did not happen I know that it did, and I know that we need to find ways to tell children." (Kertzer, 1999, p.253) Children's literature continues to inspire both children and adults, and more recently while doing so, has prompted questions to emerge concerning the appropriateness of particular content. When adults begin to delve beyond the pastel coloured, cheery fairy-tales and nursery rhymes into something deeper the realism they discover becomes disquieting. Should children be permitted to read and immerse themselves in illustrations of soldiers, concentration camps and bombs? Should young people be dwelling upon and receptive to concepts of war and violence through literature? The manner, which authors explore and attempt to depict these sensitive and graphic issues such as acts of violence and war, comes into question when a microscope is placed over such contemporary and historical children's literature. However, the answers seem to be unattainable or non-existent until the stories are examined closely. Analysis into junior fiction classified as 'Realism literature' reveals an array of contradicting opinions and perspectives given by academics, critics and the like. A critical perspective will be gathered within this pape... ... middle of paper ... Port Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian Pty Ltd. 6. Heffernan, J. and Mclean, A. (2001). My Dog. Hunters Hill: Margaret Hamilton Books. 7. Innocenti, R & Gallaz, C. (1985). Rose Blanche. Mankato: Creative Education Inc. 8. Johannessen, L. R. (2003). Making history come alive with the nonfiction literature of the Vietnam War. The Clearing House, 76, March, 120-127. 9. Kertzer, A. (1999). "Do you Know What 'Auschwitz' Means?" Children's Literature and the Holocaust. The Lion and the Unicorn 23, February, 238-256. 10. Lehr, S. (1995). Battling Dragons: Issues and Controversy in Children's Literature. InTomlinson, C. Justifying Violence in Children's Literature (pp 39-50). Portsmouth: Heinemann. 11. Whitehead, W. (1991). Old Lies Revisited: Young Readers and the Literature of War and Violence. London: Pluto Press.
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