Don't Tell the Grown-Ups: The Subversive Power of Children's Literature

Overview

In sixteen spirited essays, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alison Lurie, who is also one of our wittiest and most astute cultural commentators, explores the world of children's literature—from Lewis Carroll to Dr. Seuss, Mark Twain to Beatrix Potter—and shows that the best-loved children's books tend to challenge rather than uphold respectable adult values.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $2.50   
  • New (7) from $13.49   
  • Used (15) from $2.50   
Sending request ...

Overview

In sixteen spirited essays, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alison Lurie, who is also one of our wittiest and most astute cultural commentators, explores the world of children's literature—from Lewis Carroll to Dr. Seuss, Mark Twain to Beatrix Potter—and shows that the best-loved children's books tend to challenge rather than uphold respectable adult values.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These essays cite the popularity of certain authors, including Edith Nesbit and Kate Greenaway, as proof that children prefer books that feature disobedient characters and challenge conventional adult points of view. ``As important for the critical standards she sets as for those she lauds in children's books, this book by Lurie eyes with exemplary independence a genre too often sentimentalized,'' said PW. (June)
The New York Times
Ms. Lurie writes with relish about the wicked, often subterranean honesty of folk tales....She takes the model of classic fairy tales and, good literary scholar that she is, quite convincingly applies it to such books as F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, to Jane Austen, John Updike, and Jean Stafford....The best sections of Don't Tell the Grown-Ups are the chapters about the pantheon of authors of the great Victorian and Edwardian children's books....Ms. Lurie's's examples are always illuminating.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316246255
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 8/26/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 436,633
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Lurie
Whether she is deconstructing the mores of modern romance, the clothes we wear, or the books we read as children, Alison Lurie can be depended upon to bring out the finer points of perception that often escape us. In both fiction and nonfiction, her witty, urbane prose enlivens whatever subject she chooses.

Biography

Alison Lurie is the author of many highly praised novels, including The War Between the Tates, The Truth About Lorin Jones (Prix Femina Etranger), and Foreign Affairs (Pulitzer Prize for fiction). She teaches writing, folklore, and literature at Cornell University.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Ithaca, New York; London, England; Key West, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 3, 1926
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      A.B., Radcliffe College, 1947

Read an Excerpt

From Don't Tell the Grown-Ups by Alison Lurie: Should books for children be morally improving?

Consider, for example, a classic work beloved by generations of young readers, Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer:

Tom lies, steals, swears, smokes tobacco, plays hooky, and wins a Sunday school prize by fraud. He sneaks out of his house at night and runs away for days, driving his aunt Polly almost to despair. He ends up with a small fortune in gold, the admiration of the whole town, and the love of Becky Thatcher -- while his goody-goody brother Sid is last seen being literally kicked and cuffed out the door.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2000

    Must read

    This book challenges stereotypes about children's literature while providing helpful information to students, teachers, and parents.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)