The “Literature” status of children’s literature.

Again, I’ve had the opportunity to write an article for Reading in the Borderlands – this time addressing the quality and prestige of children’s literature.

Reading in the Borderlands

This semester, students in READ 6310 Children’s and Adolescent Literature were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

by M.R. Graham

books-69469_640The “Literature” status of children’s literature has long been not merely the subject of debate, but often a point of feud. Many in the industry and surrounding the industry – book critics, authors, agents, and English professors across the country – seem to see children’s literature as something less: less complex, less beautiful, less intelligent. Less important. The argument seems to be that children’s literature must be inferior in some way because adults read it easily, as though quality were to be gauged not by depth or humanity, but by ability to confound. Others argue that children’s literature is “watered down” in its portrayal of the human experience, often glossing over the darker moments of death and loss – not merely an inaccurate criticism, but an unfair one…

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