Critical Approaches To Children's And Young Adult Literature
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We have quite a number of critical studies of children's and young adult literature, most of which are not in the reference section (though some are). You will have the best luck finding books of interest if you narrow your search fields.
To narrow your search for works in the CUNY Catalog it helps to do an advanced, rather than a basic, search. In an advanced search you can enter Boolean terms to expand, exclude, or narrow your search. You can also define your search by format, if you're interested in e-books or films, or by location in the library, which is relevant if you want to limit your search to authoritative reference works, or to juvenile works.
Subject verses author searches
Remember that when searching for books BY an author you will enter the author's name (last name, first name) in the Author entry field in your search. If you are searching for works ABOUT an author you enter the author's name (last, first) under the Subject entry field in your search.
Locating Children's and YA Literature:
If you want to find books that ARE young adult fiction as opposed to critical works ABOUT young adult fiction, we have a whole collection of young adult and children's fiction and non-fiction books on the fourth floor of the library. You can walk up and peruse the section in person, but if you want to first locate particular books or books by subject in the CUNY Catalog you can do this by selecting “Juvenile” in the location field in an advanced search to limit by type of book.
- Children — Books and reading — United States.
- Children — Books and reading — Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Children's literature, American — History and criticism.
- Children's literature — History and criticism — Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Picture books for children — United States — Bio-bibliography.
- Young adult literature, American — History and criticism.
- Young adult literature — History and criticism
- Youth — Books and reading — United States.
- PN1008.2-1009.5 — Literature — Juvenile literature
- PR1111 — English literature — Collections of
- PS490 — American literature — Juvenile literature
Children's Literature from an Education Perspective:
Professor Suzanne Li has prepared an excellent research guide on children's literature from an education perspective, which you may find very useful.
Companions are ready reference resources designed to help readers understand complex concepts within the work; entries tend to be alphabetic by entry and indexed by subject. Depending on the specificity of the resource, one can look up an author, a character, a common theme, a work, and more, and read scholarly interpretations on the topic. They tend to give a broader scope than a book analyzing only one author, or theme, but are good for grounding information.
Here are some examples:
- Handbook of Research on Children's and Young Adult Literature (Reference Level 3 - PS121 .H22 2011)
- Leading scholarship on children's and young adult literature from multidisciplinary perspectives (English, Education, Library Science). Part two is most relevant to an English lit perspective.
- Crosscurrents of Children's Literature: An Anthology of Texts and Criticism (PR1111 .C52 C76 2007)
- Excellent extensive resource providing critical essays to major children's literature works throughout history. Organized by theme, the book also includes primary texts alongside analysis.
- The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature (Reference Level 3 PR990 .C36 2009)
- Critical thematic essays.
- The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (PN1008.5 C37 1999)
- A classic encyclopedia listing entries by author, work, theme, genre, event, etc.
- The Routledge Companion to Children's Literature (PN1009 .A1 R68 2010)
- Critical Essays by theme or issue.
Short List of Critical Works Covering Specific Terrain
There is an enormous amount of material analyzing children's and young adult literature. Here is a short list of contemporary titles. If you find a book that matches your topic, be sure to check the entire area of the stacks surrounding where a book sits because the books are shelved by subject area.
- Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children's Literature (PR990 .G83 2009 )
- An examination of children's agency in Golden Age children's literature.
- Children's Literature: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends (PN1009.A1 C51385 2009)
- Critical material on classic through contemporary children's and YA writing across ages and genres.
- Critical Approaches to Young Adult Literature Kathy Howard Latrobe (PN1009 .A1 L38 2009)
- A cross-disciplinary survey of eight critical approaches to children's and YA texts. Most relevant to literary criticism are sections on genre theory and critical theories.
- Censored Books II: Critical Viewpoints, 1985–2000 (PS65 .C46 C45 2002)
- Critical essays discuss a wide variety of young adult literature through a discussion of censored books. See the first volume for classic YA fiction.
- Embracing, Evaluating, and Examining African American Children's and Young Adult Literature (PS153 .N5 E45 2008)
- Critical essays examining African American children's lit by theme.
- Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature, Nancy Thalia Reynolds (PS173 .R33 R49 2009)
- Chapters discuss mixed-heritage young adult literature by theme; see index for works discussed.
- Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Children's Literature in America (PS490 .C56 2003)
- A scholarly appeal to treat children's literature seriously, this book also analyses the historical reception of children's lit over time.
Bibliographies compile citations of critical works discussing texts, which can be organized by topic, theme, work, or lines of text within works. Note that printed bibliographies only contain citations up until the book's publication; more recently published critical essays will be found in our electronic databases, which are frequently updated.
Here are a few examples:
- Fifteen Centuries of Children's Literature: An Annotated Chronology of British and American Works in Historical Context / Jane Bingham (Reference Level 3 - Z1037.A1 B582)
- Details significant and representative children's books in the English language from the 6th century to 1945, providing historical context.
- Twentieth Century Children's Writers (Z1037.D24 2000)
- Over 700 entries of children's book authors of the twentieth century, providing bios, lists of works, and critical essays of significant works.
We carry publications listing the top children's and young adult book awards for each year, and these can be found in the Z1037.A- section.
- Newberry Printz Companion (Z1037.A2 G56 2006)
- Includes plot summaries and themes of books that won the Newberry Award from the 1920s through 1995. After that date we carry individual volumes of awards lists by year, from 2006 through the current year. Call numbers are Z1037.A2 N46 (date).
- In the Words of the Winners: The Newbery and Caldecott Medals, 2001-2010 (Z1037 .A2 I52 2011)
- Transcribed acceptance speeches from the awards ceremonies, alongside the Horn Book reviews and a short biography of the writer.
- Horn Book Guides 1989-current year (Reference Level 3 - Z1037 .A1 A16)
- Horn Book Guides provide book reviews of the most significant children's and YA books each year. These are also available online through ProQuest.
- MLA International Bibliography:
- The most scholarly and comprehensive database for articles and books on the modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics and literary aspects of film. More than 66,000 citations are added annually.
- Covers over 500 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Full text is available for all articles as recently as about 5 years ago.
- Project Muse:
- Full-text access to over 200 journals from university presses and scholarly societies, focusing on the humanities and social sciences. A smaller database than JSTOR, but they index an excellent list of journals and their full-text content is more recent.
- Children's Literature Review, part of Literature Criticism Online
- Compiles excerpts of the most important literary criticism on an author or work. The essays are chosen to provide a useful overview of critical work on the literary works in question. Note that you can narrow your search by series, which are organized by century.
- Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
- The interface is clunky, but this database compiles bibliographic lists of works and critical reviews for contemporary children's and YA authors. Does not compile scholarly essays.
- Something About the Author
- The basic children's literature resource of biographical information, bibliographies of works, & critiques of authors and illustrators. Includes & continues the 199 hardcopy volumes. Also incorporates the 26 volumes of the Autobiography Series.
- ALAN review (0882-2840)
- from Winter 1994 to Fall 2007 in Freely Accessible Arts & Humanities Journals
- Bookbird (0006-7377)
- from 01/01/1998 to present in ProQuest Research Library (Legacy Platform)
- Children's literature (0092-8208)
- from 1972 to present in Project MUSE - Standard Collection
- Children's Literature Association quarterly (0885-0429)
- from 1979 to present in Project MUSE - Standard Collection
- Children's literature review (0362-4145)
- in Literature Criticism Online
- Horn book guide to children's and young adult books (1044-405X)
- from 04/01/2000 to present in ProQuest Research Library (Legacy Platform)
- Horn book magazine (0018-5078)
- from 07/01/1990 to present in Academic Search Complete
- Journal of children's literature (1521-7779)
- from 03/01/2002 to present in Education Full Text
- New review of children's literature and librarianship (1361-4541)
- from 12/01/2003 to 1 year ago in Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) with Full Text
- Lion and the unicorn (0147-2593)
- from 1977 to present in Project MUSE - Standard Collection
- Looking glass
- from 2004 to present in Directory of Open Access Journals PLEASE NOTE: The latest issues of this journal may not be available on-line through DOAJ
- Part of the American Library Association. Their website features booklists and awards.
- Children's Literature Association
- Awards, publications, and lists of scholarly resources.
- The Children's Literature Web Guide
- Lists of resources, most of which are book review guides, but includes some lists of scholarly journals and research guides.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.
- Stacks (Call # A-L Level 4; Call # P-Z Level 5) - LB2369 .G53 2000
- Desk Reference Level 3 - LB2369 .G53 2009
- Online MLA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue