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The Family in English Children's Literature (Children's Literature and Culture) Hardcover – April 3, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0415988858 ISBN-10: 0415988853

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (April 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415988853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415988858
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,444,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ann Alston lectures at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK,  with a focus in Welsh Children’s Literature and nineteenth-century constructions of the child. She received her Ph.D in Children’s Literature at Cardiff University, Wales, in 2005.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joy Manne on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Family in English Children's Literature by Ann Alston

This is a most curious and unsatisfactory book. Its thesis is that wicked children's authors perpetuate the ideal of family in order to control children and socialise them. The author never, ever, even once, considers that children choose what they read. Any teacher could tell her that it is difficult, if not impossible, to get children to read what they don't like. Any child could tell her, if she asked a real live one. Children are real. They exist and are articulate. They write Amazon reviews.

Children are real. They are alive. They have individual characters. This book treats them as if they were robots to be programmed by (the author's concept of) children's writers to uphold conventional social values - Do these really exist today? - and the nuclear family.

Children's writers are real. Each has their own life experiences on which they draw. Children's writers today are subversive. They write to empower children, to offer them resources in a difficult world, not to control them or to support a conventional society - whatever that is today.

As an example of the superficiality of this book, the author has no understanding of stories about a journey, a very frequent theme in all literature, not only children's. These stories take children out of their family, put them through trials and adventures, and then bring them home. The author criticises these books because they bring children home. In her understanding, this part of the children's author's plot to socialise them. She has no insight into the metaphor involved.
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