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Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter


reviewed by Karen Roggenkamp — October 13, 2008

coverTitle: Children's Literature: A Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter
Author(s): Seth Lerer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226473007, Pages: 385, Year: 2008
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In recent years, American and British presses have served up an ever-expanding menu of books examining the history of children’s literature. One of the latest offerings arrives in Seth Lerer’s Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History, from Aesop to Harry Potter. For readers who seek a rich, cross-cultural and trans-national analysis that spans nearly three centuries of narrative, Lerer, professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University, provides an ambitious and nuanced meditation on reading, childhood, history, and books, arguing not for children’s literature as an isolated genre, but as an experience that spans generations and genres.   While many other histories of children’s literature offer what I might characterize as a more workmanlike survey of literary movements and of texts written for and marketed toward young readers, Lerer presents a reading that crosses cultures and periods, placing into conversation works that might not ordinarily be read side by side (The... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 13, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15408, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 5:31:51 AM

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About the Author
  • Karen Roggenkamp
    Texas A&M University, Commerce
    E-mail Author
    KAREN ROGGENKAMP, Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University, Commerce, specializes in early American literature and the history of children's literature. She has published her work in such places as The Lion and the Unicorn, American Literary Realism, and American Periodicals, and she is working on a book project about children's editions of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
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