© 2009

Ethnic Literary Traditions in American Children’s Literature

  • Editors
  • Michelle Pagni Stewart
  • Yvonne Atkinson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Chapter 1 Do Dick and Jane Still Live Here? Reading Children’s Literature as Ethnic Literature

  3. American Indian Literature

  4. African American Literature

  5. Asian American Literature

  6. Latinalo Literature

About this book


Esteemed contributors expand the range of possibilities for reading, understanding, and teaching children's literature as ethnic literature rather than children's literature in this ambitious collection.


children''s literature identity Narrative national identity space Tradition

About the authors

MICHELLE PAGNI STEWARTis Associate Professor of English at Mt. San Jacinto College, USA.
YVONNE ATKINSON is Associate Professor of English at Mt. San Jacinto College, USA.

Bibliographic information


"In bringing together literary criticism, interviews and author reflections, Stewart and Atkinson s Ethnic Literary Traditions in American Children s Literature examines the focal literature from several different ethnic groups. The polyphonic nature of this volume emphasizes the complexity of the field of contemporary children s literature and invites readers to take part in some of the rich dialogues within African American, Latina/o, Asian American and Native American Children s Literatures. A much needed anthology within the field of Children s and Young Adult Literature, Ethnic Literary Traditions in American Children s Literature fills an important niche, offering accessible essays appropriate for scholars as well as undergraduate and graduate students alike." - Michelle Martin, author of Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Children s Picture Books, 1845-2002

"Ethnic Literature Traditions in American Children's Literature is an extraordinary path breaker. Its content is far-reaching and presents a convincing argument for explorations into the intellectual and poetic aspects of ethnic children's literature. This volume takes readers into deeper cultural territory than the children's book field has thus far succeeded in offering. There is now reason to hope for fewer stereotypes in children's books and an enlarged commitment to social justice among both artists and educators." - Donnarae MacCann, author of the prize-winning White Supremacy in Children's Literature

"Given the great changes in the demographics of America, it is more important than ever to pay attention to what constitutes ethnicity, especially how it is represented in children's literature. This is the main focus of the excellent collection of essays in Ethnic Literary Traditions in American Children's Literature, which explores the cultural nuances of ethnic literature and its potential impact on readers' views of diverse ethnic groups in America - African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans. There are many misconceptions about ethnic literature, which has always been expected to conform to western literary traditions and standards. Fortunately, the essays in this collection, which also includes a few interviews, demonstrate clearly that ethnic literature stems from diverse cultural experiences and demands careful and thoughtful reflection. In this respect, Ethnic Literary Traditions in American Children's Literature opens up new perspectives that will enrich the study of children's literature." - Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota