Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Construction of Gender in Children's Literature

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Overview

Children select role models from their friends, movies, television, and books. As teachers, librarians, and parents, we can provide alternative roles that present well-rounded male and female characters who have choices and options. How we can do this through the many genres in children's literature is the subject of this fine collection of essays.

Beauty, Brains, and Brawn offers diverse perspectives on what it means to be a male or female child in children's literature, presenting stimulating views from the field's best-known authors, illustrators, and educators. The award-winning authors and illustrators talk about their motivation for creating the boys and girls in their books and they examine the child as audience. Essays from educators explore larger issues related to current research on gender and the classroom, multiethnic experiences and gender, and gender portrayals in contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and picture books.

Topics include parental roles in books for children, the kinds of books available for very young children and the gender issues housed within them, diversity and gender, the politics of gender and gender stereotypes in children's literature, finding authentic female and male voices in historical fiction, and the clash of conservative and liberal values in children's literature. Popular images in the media are also considered.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The questions raised by this title are vital, and they will provoke much-needed discussion.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Booknews
Fourteen contributions explore ways that teachers, librarians, and parents can use children's literature to provide well-rounded male and female role models for children. Contributions from authors and illustrators such as Jerry Pinkney, Katherine Paterson, Mem Fox, Gary Paulsen, and Patricia and Fredrick McKissack describe their motivations for creating the characters in their books. Essays from educators discuss current research on gender and the classroom, multiethnic experiences and gender, and gender portrayals in contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and picture books. The volume is not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325002842
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 1/9/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 7 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

A professor of reading and children's literature at Skidmore College, Susan Lehr earned her Ph.D. in reading and children's literature at The Ohio State University in 1985. Her reader-response research with young children has been described extensively in her two books, Battling Dragons: Issues and Controversy in Children's Literature (Heinemann, 1995) and The Child's Developing Sense of Theme.
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Table of Contents

The Hidden Curriculum, S. Lehr Author Profile: Virginia Hamilton Author Profile: Katherine Paterson

The Unquenchable Source, T. A. Barron Author Profile: Gary Paulsen

Deconstructing Harry, D. Thompson

Popular Series Books and the Middle-Class Children Inhabiting Them, J. Armstrong

Picture Books for Preschool Children, B. Chatton Author Profile: Mem Fox Illustrator Profile: Jerry Pinkney Author Profile: Andrea Pinkney

Are Authors Rewriting Folklore in Today's Image?, M. Chang Illustrator Profile: Paul O. Zelinsky

Truth as Patchwork, J. Hickman Author Profile: Karen Cushman Author Profile in Two Voices: Patricia and Fredrick McKissack

Separating the Men from the Boys, D. Woolsey

Representations of Native American Women and Girls in Children's Historical Fiction, D. Reese

Why Gender Stereotypes Still Persist in Contemporary Children's Literature, B. Louie Author Profile: Alice Mead Author Profile: Pat Mora

Parent Characters in Children's Novels, S. Vardell

Parallels, Polarities, and Intersections, A. Trousdale

Why Do Educators Need a Political Agenda on Gender?, K. Short

The Anomalous Female and the Ubiquitous Male, S. Lehr

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