Portal:Children's literature

The Children's Literature Portal


Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature can be traced to stories such as fairy tales that have only been identified as children’s literature in the eighteenth century, and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the fifteenth century much literature has been aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. Children's literature has been shaped by religious sources, like Puritan traditions, or by more philosophical and scientific standpoints with the influences of Charles Darwin and John Locke. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature" because many classic children's books were published then. Read more...


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Nancy Drew is a fictional young amateur detective in various mystery series for children and teens. Created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm, the character first appeared in 1930. The books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Over the decades the character has evolved in response to changes in American culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959, largely to eliminate racist stereotypes; many scholars claim that in the process the heroine's original, outspoken character was toned down and made more docile, conventional, and demure. Illustrations of the character have also evolved over time, from portrayals of a fearless, active young woman to a fearful or passive one. Through all these changes, the character has proved continuously popular world-wide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over two dozen languages. Nancy Drew has featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world.

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Little Black Sambo
Cr: Helen Bannerman

Little Black Sambo (1899), illustrated by Helen Bannerman, uses racial stereotypes to depict the Indian hero.

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It was the lock of the door which had been closed ten years and she put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key and found it fitted the keyhole. She put the key in and turned it. It took two hands to do it, but it did turn.

And then she took a long breath....She was standing inside the secret garden.''

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PJ Haarsma is a Canadian born science fiction author best known for his creation of the Rings of Orbis universe, which encompasses The Softwire series of books. Haarsma created a free, online role-playing game, also called the Rings of Orbis, set in the same universe. Both the book-series and the game target young, often reluctant readers in an attempt to encourage them by rewarding them for reading. Haarsma also developed a school presentation program in which he discusses The Softwire books, astronomy, and other science fiction and science fact topics. He is also one of the co-founders of The Kids Need to Read Foundation, a United States Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity that purchases books to donate to underfunded schools and libraries.

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Anna Laetitia Barbauld

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Children's literature and Young adult literature

Children's literature: Book talkChildren's literature criticismChildren's literature periodicalsInternational Children's Digital LibraryNative Americans in children's literature

Children and Young Adult Literature topics

Young adult literature: Gay teen fictionLesbian teen fictionList of young adult authorsYoung Adult Library Services Association

Associations and awards: Children's Book Council of AustraliaCBCA book awardsGovernor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature and IllustrationIBBY CanadaAmerican Library AssociationAssociation for Library Service to ChildrenNewbery MedalCaldecott MedalGolden Kite AwardEzra Jack Keats Book AwardSCBWISibert MedalLaura Ingalls Wilder MedalBatchelder AwardCoretta Scott King AwardBelpre MedalCarnegie MedalKate Greenaway MedalNestlé Smarties Book PrizeGuardian AwardHans Christian Andersen AwardAstrid Lindgren Memorial AwardSociety of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Lists: List of children's classic booksList of children's literature authorsList of children's non-fiction writersList of fairy talesList of illustratorsList of publishers of children's books

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