African and African American Children's and Adolescent Literature in the Classroom A Critical Guide

by Vivian Yenika-Agbaw

Part of the Black Studies and Critical Thinking Series

African and African American Children's and Adolescent Literature in the Classroom A Critical Guide Synopsis

The essays in this collection discuss multicultural issues in children's and adolescent literature, focusing particularly on African and African American cultures. They challenge our understanding of what, in an age of globalization, multicultural texts really are. Cumulatively, these essays illustrate multicultural literature's power to educate young readers about the numerous and varied perspectives on their own cultures and roles in society, as well as those of other cultures. The scholarship presented here makes it clear that not only should multicultural literature be integrated within the school curriculum, but that it can be examined to reveal subtle cultural nuances that show how cultures, customs, and people may be at once similar and different.

African and African American Children's and Adolescent Literature in the Classroom A Critical Guide Press Reviews

Culture is frequently reduced to a list of generalizations that do not fit anyone's actual life within that cultural group. This book challenges these simplistic approaches to culture by exploring the complex and interconnected themes between and within African and African American cultures. This resistance of generalizations and focus on exploring the diversity of experiences and connections within a culture provides a generative example of the type of scholarship we need to move forward in the field of children's and adolescent literature. Instead of the `one chapter per ethnicity' model that has been most prevalent, we need in-depth inquiry that uncovers the complex ways of living and thinking within each culture as represented in literature. The authors of this book remind us that asking whether or not a book is authentic to a particular culture is only a first step. We also need to examine the issue of representation and whether the books available to children and adolescents reflect the actual diversity of experiences within that culture. (Kathy G. Short, Director, Worlds of Words; Professor, Language, Reading & Culture, The University of Arizona; Past President, United States Board of Books for Young People, USBBY) Culture is frequently reduced to a list of generalizations that do not fit anyone's actual life within that cultural group. This book challenges these simplistic approaches to culture by exploring the complex and interconnected themes between and within African and African American cultures. This resistance of generalizations and focus on exploring the diversity of experiences and connections within a culture provides a generative example of the type of scholarship we need to move forward in the field of children's and adolescent literature. Instead of the `one chapter per ethnicity' model that has been most prevalent, we need in-depth inquiry that uncovers the complex ways of living and thinking within each culture as represented in literature. The authors of this book remind us that asking whether or not a book is authentic to a particular culture is only a first step. We also need to examine the issue of representation and whether the books available to children and adolescents reflect the actual diversity of experiences within that culture. (Kathy G. Short, Director, Worlds of Words; Professor, Language, Reading & Culture, The University of Arizona; Past President, United States Board of Books for Young People, USBBY)

Book Information

ISBN: 9781433111969
Publication date: 23rd September 2011
Author: Vivian Yenika-Agbaw
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 296 pages
Categories: ChildrenÍs & teenage literature studies, Society & culture: general, Multicultural education, Teaching skills & techniques,

About Vivian Yenika-Agbaw

Vivian Yenika-Agbaw, Associate Professor of Literacy/Children's Literature at The Pennsylvania State University - University Park, has published articles in Children's Literature Association Quarterly, The New Advocate, Language Arts, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, International Review of Education, and Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature, among others. Her most recent book is Representing Africa in Children's Literature: Old and New Ways of Seeing. In addition, she is an assistant editor of Sankofa: Journal of African Children's and Young Adult Literature, and she is currently serving on the editorial boards of Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL) ...

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