Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Alienation, Abandonment, Homelessness - Must Be a Children's Book!

Those are the prevalent themes in children's literature these days.

From a piece in the Guardian...

Modern books are more likely to feature children who are abandoned, alienated and have no home to return to, than characters who voluntarily set off on adventures, according to Professor Kathy Short, president of the International Board of Books for Young People.

"For these children, childhood is not the happy, carefree time it is 'supposed' to be," said Short. "Children don't leave home on a lark. They are thrust out. These children are not wild things. They are too busy taking care of their troubled parents to have time to follow a rabbit down a hole; too frightened of abuse to trust the Tinman, and too fearful to set out on an adventure for fear that their unreliable parent might not be there when they return.

"These children have been caught in the crossfire of the gender, race, class and culture clashes between adults," she added. "Like all people in the postmodern world, children are confronted with multiple competing truths and a lack of absolutes."

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