Children's Literature the Genre Essay

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Children's Literature

The genre of children's literature is not new, in fact, historical records tell us that in the Greek and Roman educational tradition, children were grounded in language and grammar (and one would hope imagination) by reciting poetry and drama. Aesop's Fables have been part of the Western European children's library for at least three hundred years. "And thinkers from Quintilian to John Locke, from St. Augustine to Dr. Seuss, speculated on the ways in which we learn about our langue and our lives from [children"] literature" (Lerer, 2008, 1).

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There is some scholarly debate, though, on what actually constitutes "Children's Literature." A broad concept holds that the genre includes books intentionally written for children, "excluding works such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, and nonfiction works that are not intended to be read from front to back, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference material" (Anderson, 2006, 2). The genre could also include books written by children, chosen for children, or chosen by children (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Snow White, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland). Famous speculative fiction author Orson Scott Card comments, "one can make a good case for the idea that children are often the guardians of the truly great literature of the world, for in their love of story and unconcern for stylistic fads and literary tricks, children unerringly gravitate toward truth and power" (Card, 2001). In addition, though, literacy has changed -- with varying opinions on the efficacy of such -- but many books thought of as adult books when first published are now widely read in primary and secondary schools (e.g. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). Certainly, the genre is rich with creativity, ideas, and in the contemporary world of multi-culturalism and globalism, ripe for addressing contemporary issues in a variety of innovative ways, albeit typically defined by adults rather than the intended audience.

TOPIC: Essay on Children's Literature the Genre of Children's Literature Assignment

For the purposes of this essay, though, we will confine ourselves to five major types of children's literature: Realistic, Fantasy, Traditional, Poetry, and Non-Fiction. We will begin with a broad definition of the genre, and then list the appropriate bibliography for that genre organized by grade level. The list is not meant to be comprehensive, but will provide a broad overview and perspective of the individual types of material one might utilize in a classroom.

Realistic Fiction -- Realistic fiction, within children's literature as well as adult, attempts to use situations that are contemporary and part of everyday life and culture to form stories and plot. Instead of an overly romanticized or stylized framework, realistic fiction opts for depictions of typical activities and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Children's Literature the Genre" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Children's Literature the Genre.  (2010, April 12).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Children's Literature the Genre."  12 April 2010.  Web.  17 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Children's Literature the Genre."  April 12, 2010.  Accessed October 17, 2021.