Written For Children / Edition 6

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This revised and updated edition provides children's and young adult librarians, teachers, literature classes, and library school classes with an authoritative history and analysis of the best British and American children's literature through 1994, with a new 2003 postscript including such recent phenomenons as J.K.Rowling and Philip Pullman. Written for Children traces the development of children's literature from its origins through the beginnings of the multimedia revolution. In effortless and entertaining style, Townsend, a world-renowned authority in the field, examines the changing attitudes toward children and their literature and analyzes the various strands that make up this important field. While examining many well-known American classics, Townsend also looks at British works that American audiences may have overlooked. With illustrations and bibliography.

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Editorial Reviews

Emergency Librarian
[Townsend's]... critical voice is unpretentious and down-to-earth, insightful and often witty. The result is a user-friendly and straightforward guide to significant authors, illustrators and titles from medieval England to the present day.
School Library Media Quarterly
...examines the changing attitudes of children toward literature and also discusses the classics. The history of children's literature is traced from its origins to the multimedia era.
Teacher Librarian
[Townsend's]... critical voice is unpretentious and down-to-earth, insightful and often witty. The result is a user-friendly and straightforward guide to significant authors, illustrators and titles from medieval England to the present day.
Emergency Librarian
[Townsend's]... critical voice is unpretentious and down-to-earth, insightful and often witty. The result is a user-friendly and straightforward guide to significant authors, illustrators and titles from medieval England to the present day..
VOYA - Chris Crowe
I had hoped that Townsend's book might clarify how or where to draw the line between children's literature and YA literature. It doesn't, but it does provide an impressive and comprehensive overview of literature for children and YAs. Townsend divides his text into four parts: pre-1840; 1840 to 1915; 1915 to 1945; and 1945 to the present, presenting a worthwhile and interesting history of the evolution of literature for young readers. YA specialists, however, will be interested in the most recent literature in the last section. Two chapters cover a wide-ranging review of British and American historical fiction, most of which seems to be in the YA range. Townsend then devotes one chapter to science fiction and three to contemporary fantasy, British and American. "Realism, British-style" and "Realism, American-style" are understandable the "most YA" chapters in the book. They review the work of many prominent writers, including British Philippa Pearce, William Mayne, Nina Bawden, Bernard Ashley, and Janni Howker; and Americans Virginia Hamilton, Mildred D. Taylor, Paula Fox, Vera and Bill Cleaver, and Cynthia Voigt. "How Young is an Adult" begins, "The teenage novel is an American specialty" and goes on to discuss John Donovan, M. E. Kerr, Paul Zindel, Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, and other established YA writers with brief mention of newcomers Chris Lynch and Joan Bauer. Attention to British YA writers is slight; Townsend claims that Aidan Chambers' novels for teenagers are "the nearest British approach to American-style teenage fiction." YA specialists looking to expand their collections will find the closing chapter "Around the World" an excellent guide to a broad range of YA work from English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, India, the West Indies, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Ireland. On the whole, this volume is certain to be a useful historical and critical resource for anyone working in the YA field. Index. Illus. Biblio. Source Notes.
Offers a history and analysis of children's literature, examining its development and the various strands that comprise it. Contains four chronological sections, discussing aspects such as domestic dramas, fantasy between the wars, modern fantasy, realism, and picture books, with synopses of representative works. Includes b&w illustrations from books. This sixth edition includes British and American children's books through 1994. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810831179
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Rowe Townsend has published more than twenty books for children and young people and has lectured extensively on children's literature in the United States, Britain, Australia, and Japan.

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