Friday, July 30, 2010

Naomi Lesley on Historical Fiction

Naomi Lesley (SDSU alum from the graduate program in Children's Literature) writes about historical fiction for middle and teen readers:

Beginning in late elementary school and on through middle and high school, I pored over any book that could take me out of my own time period and into another. Nineteenth century America, medieval Britain, World War II Europe were all fair game. I would happily zip back and forth between centuries and continents, just so long as I could go somewhere (or somewhen) else. At the time, I would not have known the difference between a well researched historical fiction novel and a bad one, and I’m sure I absorbed plenty of historical inaccuracies, none of which dampened my enjoyment—or my interest in learning about non-fictionalized history...

More at Parents' Choice:

On children's poetry by the former poet laureate

Richard Flynn has brought to attention this essay by Robert Pinsky about children's poetry. In Slate:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Job: Ireland

St. Patrick's College in Dublin is advertising one or two positions in Literature. A specialty in Children's Literature would be welcome. See

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Graphic Biographies

Audacity: New Graphic Biographies
By Jerry Griswold
The authors of “The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived” make the case that imaginary characters (King Arthur, Cinderella, Nancy Drew, and others) are more likely to shape our lives than real life folks. I don’t need to be persuaded; the biographies available during my childhood– lives of historical figures, celebrity athletes, and Catholic saints–were uniformly dull. These four new biographies, however, are different: not only because they are interesting, but in their graphic presentation and shared message. Amelia Earhart, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, and Pablo Neruda were audacious. They didn’t hang back but went on to strive for much more.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Issue Aussie Children's Lit Journal

Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature Papers was originally published by Magpies Magazine as a publication for a professional and general readership interested in children’s literature. Since its inauguration in 1990, it has evolved into the premier Australian journal in children’s literature with a worldwide circulation. In 2009, Papers appeared as a free, open access online journal. Papers is fully-refereed and all submissions undergo a blind reviewing process by members of the journal’s international reviewing board. Papers publishes scholarly writing on all aspects of children's fiction – canonical, modern and contemporary. While the editors welcome articles on Australian material, we do not limit Papers to articles only on Australian works. Articles might include theoretical perspectives, comparative analysis, discussions of texts of historical interest, and bibliographical essays which also provide a scholarly overview of the works listed. Papers publishes two issues each year, which include six or seven essays and occasional review essays of recent books on children’s literature. Themed issues are announced through a Call for Papers and may be edited by invited guest editors. Papers is published by Deakin University and Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research (ACLAR). Welcome to the inaugural online, open access issue of Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature.
Clare Bradford and Kerry Mallan, Editors

Monday, July 19, 2010

73 New Reviews of Children's & Y.A. Books

With a special section on Graphic Novels and Arthurian Legends, SDSU's National Book Review Service has posted 73 summer reviews of new children's and adolescent books on the website of SDSU's Children's Literature Program. Killer rabbits, unspeakable crimes, and Abraham Lincoln are only a few of the topics addressed by authors and publishers in these new offerings for young readers.
Thanks to web designer Emily Moore, editor Alida Allison, and eight other reviewers (Kristina Blake, Ethan Bishop, NaToya Faughnder, Kira Hall, Fran Merlie, Marianne Paluso, Sean Printz, and Marie Soriano), parents & teachers & other readers can now find evaluations of volumes in these categories:
*picture books
*beginning fiction
*middle readers
*and young adult.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Canadian Journal: New Issue Available

The Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures is pleased to announce that the 2010 Summer Issue of Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures is now available! Issue 2.1 features the following:

"Texts" by Mavis Reimer
“Picture Book as Personal Journey: A Kristevan Reading of Peter Sís’s Tibet: Through the Red Box” by Aparna Gollapudi
“Going Beyond Our Directive: Wall-E and the Limits of Social Commentary” by Ann F. Howey
“Panorama du corpus chansonnier en contexte scolaire et de l’éducation à la jeunesse au Québec: quelques jalons pédagogiques et idéologiques” by Jean-Nicolas De Surmont
“From Christian Conversion to Children's Crusade: The Left Behind Series for Kids and the Changing Nature of Evangelical Juvenile Fiction” by Michelle Ann Abate
“Flagging the nation: la traduction de la littérature pour la jeunesse chez La Galera (1975–2004)" by María Sierra Córdoba Serrano
"Key Issues in Global Studies" by Diana Brydon
"Five Children's Texts and a Critique of Canadian Identity" by Heather Snell
"La transmission orale et le retour aux sources" by Rachel Van Deventer
"Looking for Savvy Girls in the Post-Girl-Power Era" by Natalie Coulter
"Looking for Canada: Places and Cultural Spaces in Recent Fiction for Adolescents" by Theresa Rogers with Laura Dunford, Mollie Freilich, Megan Lankford, Marilyn Rivers-Bowerman, Vasiliki Tassiopoulos, Karen Taylor, Kay Weisman, and Beth Wilcox
"Simply Read: An Innovative Press" by Carole Scott
Françoise Lepage: In Memoriam

The Editorial and Review Essays are open access at

Housed in the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (CRYTC) and produced under the sponsorship of the Associate Vice-President (Research) and the Dean of Arts at the University of Winnipeg, with funding from the Social Sciences and HumanitiesResearch Council of Canada (SSHRC), Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures is an interdisciplinary, refereed academic journal whose mandate is to publish research on and to provide a forum for discussion about cultural productions for, by, and about young people.
More information on how to submit papers and how to subscribe can be found on our website:
Best regards,
Larissa Wodtke, MA
Administrator, Jeunesse - CCL/LCJResearch Coordinator, CRYTCCentre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures (CRYTC)University of Winnipeg515 Portage AvenueWinnipeg, MB R3B 2E9Canada
Phone: 204-786-9351Fax: 204-774-4134
Email:; or

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Recommended Young Adult Reading

Best Contemporary Young Adult Novels. By Jerry Griswold. When I was in junior high and high school, all we had for young adult novels by contemporary writers (it seemed to me) was “Catcher in the Rye” and “To Kill a Mockingbird. ...Read More. Play More. Learn More.... -

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Phillip Serrato on Chicano/a Children's Lit

SDSU faculty member Phillip Serrato has an essay in the recent issue of the journal Children's Literature:

"Promise and Peril: The Gendered Implications of Pat Mora's Pablo's Tree and Ana Castillo's My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove"
Children's Literature - Volume 38, 2010, pp. 133-152

This essay explores the gendered implications of Pat Mora's picture book, Pablo's Tree (1994), and Ana Castillo's illustrated chant, My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove (2000). By drawing attention to the critical accomplishments as well as the critical shortcomings of the two works, the essay illustrates not only the fact that the deconstruction of patriarchal gender configurations in and through children's literature is a work in progress, but that the work that is in progress is driven by a vibrancy that continues to yield intriguing innovations.

Access to this article requires a subscription. Some may make use of their university library to access the journal. Others may have an individual subscription as a benefit for belonging to a professional organization.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Job: Massachusetts

Fitchburg State College

Human Resources Department, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Assistant Professor/Secondary Education/English/One year Temp [12822] Please visit our online jobsite for a full detailed job description and to apply at

General Statement of Duties: Full-time one year temporary position in English secondary education. Ability to teach courses in theory and methods, children’s literature, young adult literature and first-year writing. Supervise and monitor student teachers. Desired subfields include literacy acquisition, writing/reading theory, and linguistics. Ph.D. or Ed.D. required.

Please submit cover letter, CV, three professional references and statement of teaching philosophy

Full-time, 9 month One Year Temporary Benefited Position Salary Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience and the MSCA Bargaining Agreement

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mary Galbraith's USD Summer Lectures

Just wanted to let you know I'll be giving three lectures for the Senior Summer School that will be held at the University of San Diego this month. See website:

Here's the summary I sent for their catalog:

Mary Galbraith has been teaching literature and composition at San Diego State University since 1996. She has a special interest in the childhood experiences of well-known authors and picture-book artists.

Mark Twain in Black and White (July 15, 9am): Samuel Langhorne Clemens (alias Mark Twain) was born prematurely into the racially coded culture of Missouri in 1835. His complicated early life with white and black caregivers is at the heart of several of his books, most notably Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson. I will talk about Twain�s personal memories of black and white parent figures as they are expressed in his fiction.

What Drives Writers to Write (July 29. 9am): Extraordinary states of consciousness induced by epilepsy, trauma, bipolar disorder, and childbirth have been linked to creative perception and a drive to write. This lecture will explore this link in an anecdotal way, offering examples of authors whose great works of literature may have been engendered by atypical neurological conditions. Examples of authors: Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov), and Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse).

The Back Story of Classic Picture Books (July 29, 10:30am): Several classic picture books that were first published between the two World Wars have amazing back stories involving their authors� family history and wartime experiences. I will be talking about Millions of Cats (Wanda Gag), Madeline (Ludwig Bemelmans), And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (Dr. Seuss), and Curious George (H. A. Rey).

Yours, Mary