- About the Contributors
- Chapter Abstracts
- The Fundamentals of Children’s Literature Criticism: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
- Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet: Poets, Children, and Readers in an Age of Prose
- Arnold Lobel’s <i>Frog and Toad Together</i> as a Primer for Critical Literacy
- Blending Genres and Crossing Audiences: Harry Potter and the Future of Literary Fiction
- Wanda’s Wonderland: Wanda Gág and Her Millions of Cats
- A Cross-Written Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes’s The Dream Keeper
- Dumbo, Disney, and Difference: Walt Disney Productions and Film as Children’s Literature
- Redrawing the Comic-Strip Child: Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts as Cross-Writing
- The Cat in the Hippie: Dr. Seuss, Nonsense, the Carnivalesque, and the Sixties Rebel
- Wild Things and Wolf Dreams: Maurice Sendak, Picture-Book Psychologist
- Reimagining the Monkey King in Comics: Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese
- Froggy’s Little Brother: Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Writing for Children and the Politics of Poverty
- History in Fiction: Contextualization as Interpretation in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped
- <i>Tom Sawyer</i>, Audience, and American Indians
- Living with the Kings: Class, Taste, and Family Formation in Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
- A Daughter of the House: Discourses of Adoption in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables
- Where in America Are You, God?: Judy Blume, Margaret Simon, and American National Identity
- Let Freedom Ring: Land, Liberty, Literacy, and Lore in Mildred Taylor’s Logan Family Novels
- “What Are Young People to Think?”: The Subject of Immigration and the Immigrant Subject in Francisco Jiménez’s The Circuit
- “My Book and Heart Shall Never Part”: Reading, Printing, and Circulation in the New England Primer
- Castaways: The Swiss Family Robinson, Child Bookmakers, and the Possibilities of Literary Flotsam
- Tom Brown and the Schoolboy Crush: Boyhood Desire, Hero Worship, and the Boys’ School Story
- Peter Pan as Children’s Theatre: The Issue of Audience
- <i>Jade</i> and the Tomboy Tradition
- Happily Ever After: Free to Be … You and Me, Second-Wave Feminism, and 1970s American Children’s Culture
- Paradise Refigured: Innocence and Experience in His Dark Materials
Abstract and Keywords
This article engages questions of canonicity, asking why Sally Watson's popular 1969 novel, Jade, never achieved critical recognition. It also suggests that Watson's tomboy characters, especially Jade, crossed a line in terms of their gender-bending performances, which, by the late 1960s, produced anxiety in adult critics, thus keeping Jade out of the canon. The article then proposes that reading Jade against its more canonical, more socially approved predecessors provides insight into the parameters of the tomboy tradition and what those parameters imply about twentieth-century understandings of femininity. It is suggested that Jade is a radical novel that appeared at a moment radical in some ways and conservative in others; to be palatable to those working within establishment venues such as public libraries and mainstream review outlets, it had to be presented—not altogether successfully—as a traditional romantic swashbuckler whose progressivism had more to do with race than with gender.
Claudia Nelson is Professor of English and Affiliated Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Texas A&M University. In addition to coediting three anthologies of critical articles, she is the author of four books, Family Ties in Victorian England (2007), Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption in America, 1850–1929 (2003), Invisible Men: Fatherhood in Victorian Periodicals, 1850–1910 (1995), and Boys Will Be Girls: The Feminine Ethic and British Children’s Fiction, 1857–1917 (1991).
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