In This Article Children’s and Young Adult Literature

  • Introduction
  • Organizations and Special Interest Groups
  • Journals
  • Book Reviews
  • General Overviews and Reference Works
  • Histories
  • Textbooks
  • Selecting Quality Literature
  • picturebooks, Illustration, and Graphic Narratives
  • Nonfiction and Informational Text
  • Censorship and Prizing
  • Classroom Libraries
  • Teaching Literary Appreciation

Education Children’s and Young Adult Literature
by
Thomas Crisp
  • LAST MODIFIED: 11 January 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0195

Introduction

The field of children’s and young adult literature bridges education, the humanities, and library and information sciences, and is diverse, multidisciplinary, and sometimes contradictory in focus and scope. This article is designed for pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as teacher educators and graduate students who are interested in developing a strong foundation of knowledge about children’s and young adult literature as a discipline. Scholars and researchers of children’s and young adult literature typically explore the connections between youth literature, cultural studies, and literary theory. Such work is grounded in the perspective that the books written for and shared with children and young adults are more than ideologically neutral texts that entertain and educate. To the contrary, youth literature is informed by cultural attitudes and beliefs about what young people should (and should not) know and about the types of people they should (and should not) be and become. Youth literature, then, does not provide readers with a neutral or impartial representation of how the world looks and operates. Instead, children’s and young adult books function as cultural artifacts, as objects that have the potential to shape and influence the ways in which readers view and understand themselves, the people they love, and the world in which they live. Children’s and young adult literature also provides the seeds for literary appreciation, as it sets expectations for story forms and literary language. The materials included in this article are sometimes international in scope, but the focus is on children’s and young adult literature research and scholarship in English. As opposed to focusing on the pedagogical uses of youth literature, this bibliography centers on understanding and analyzing children’s and young adult literature and the ways literature may influence its readers. Those interested in the curricular uses and classroom implementation of children’s and young adult literature will find extensive information available in other Oxford Bibliographies in Education (specific articles related to children’s and young adult literature are described under Teaching Literary Appreciation). This bibliography is not exhaustive, but instead aims to introduce readers to the leading organizations and special interest groups, journals, and texts about children’s and young adult literature. Special attention is also given to topics related to professional issues especially relevant to teachers, researchers, and scholars in education, such as picturebooks, nonfiction, censorship and prizing, the development of classroom libraries, and literary understanding.

Organizations and Special Interest Groups

There are a number of professional communities devoted to the study and uses of children’s and young adult literature. Some of these communities take the form of independent organizations, while others exist as special interest groups within larger national and international organizations. While each of these communities offers opportunities for professional development and networking, their areas of focus vary. Individuals interested in the academic study of children’s and young adult literature (exploring these books as forms of literature, as opposed to being an indication of readership) will benefit most from organizations like the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) and the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL). Those who are interested in the pedagogical uses of children’s and young adult literature will benefit from the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) Children’s Literature and Reading (CL/R) special interest group, as well as the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) and the Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA), two special interest groups affiliated with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Finally, organizations like the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) are devoted primarily to advocacy, access to materials, and library services for youth.

  • Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE.

    E-mail Citation »

    An affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) is devoted to young adult literature. ALAN sponsors regular workshops and conferences, several regular publications, and multiple grants and awards.

  • Association for Library Service to Children.

    E-mail Citation »

    As the world’s largest organization devoted to library services for children, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) sponsors an array of initiatives and professional development opportunities, as well as many of the leading awards for youth literature in the United States.

  • Children’s Literature Assembly.

    E-mail Citation »

    An affiliate of NCTE, the Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA) is dedicated to the role of literature in children’s lives and classrooms. CLA publishes both an academic journal and annual lists of notable books, and offers awards/grants and professional development opportunities.

  • Children’s Literature Association.

    E-mail Citation »

    The Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) encourages criticism, scholarship, and research on children’s and young adult literature. ChLA sponsors an annual conference, publishes two academic journals, and offers multiple awards and grants for children’s literature students, researchers, and creators.

  • Children’s Literature and Reading.

    E-mail Citation »

    Children’s Literature and Reading (CL/R) is a Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association (ILA). CL/R promotes the educational use of children’s books and publishes a professional journal and an annual list of Notable Books for a Global Society.

  • International Board on Books for Young People.

    E-mail Citation »

    With seventy-five national sections worldwide, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is an organization comprised of individuals involved with the creation, dissemination, and study of youth literature. IBBY publishes an academic journal and sponsors many initiatives and awards.

  • International Research Society for Children’s Literature.

    E-mail Citation »

    The International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) is an international scholarly organization with members in more than forty countries worldwide. IRSCL supports and promotes research on children’s literature through a biennial conference, academic journal, and funding opportunities.

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