- 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 Frog and Toad Together 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
- Tom Sawyer, 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
- Jade 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 argues that the Logan family novels (1975–2001) present a compelling longitudinal study of African American experience in the early to mid-twentieth century. Mildred Taylor explores the meaning and process of attaining “true freedom” through economic and educational achievements and through respect for the traditions of the past, key themes in African American children's literature. Most of Taylor's work cannot rightly be called “autobiographical” since she writes about her ancestors rather than her own generation. The Logans' four avenues to pursuing freedom—land ownership, struggling for civil rights, pursuing an education, and learning oral family history—have been central in Taylor's own life. In general, Taylor has made a substantial contribution to the shaping of the genre of contemporary African American children's literature.
Michelle H. Martin , Associate Professor of English at Clemson University in South Carolina, published Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Children’s Picture Books, 1845–2002 in 2004 and coedited (with Claudia Nelson) Sexual Pedagogies: Sex Education in Britain, Australia, and America, 1879–2000 (2003). Martin is currently working on a book-length critical examination of the collaborative and individual works that Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes wrote for young people during their friendship and collaborative working relationship that lasted from the 1920s until the 1960s.
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