Harry Potter’s Library

Nine years ago, I started teaching a course I called “Harry Potter’s Library: J.K. Rowling, Texts and Contexts.”  This coming fall, I’ll be teaching it for the seventh time (eighth, if you count the semester I taught two sections).  The course has been so popular that Kansas State University uses it in its promotional materials….

Radical Children’s Literature Now!

Many folks who attended Julia Mickenberg’s and my “Radical Children’s Literature Now!” lecture today at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Roanoke asked: “I didn’t get a handout.  Could I have one?”  Since we only made 200 copies, here is that handout.  (The entire lecture will be on the Children’s Literature Association’s website in the…

Summertime: The Box Set

Happy First Day of Summer!  Here’s a “Summertime” box set.  I will now take your questions. Q: Are there good “summer” songs omitted from these four mixes? A: Yes, of course there are.  I came up with an additional 133 songs that I did not use. Q: Will you assemble more mixes including those songs?…

Paper Call: MLA, January 3-6, 2013, Boston

Each year the Children’s Literature Assocation is guaranteed one session at the MLA and can submit proposals for up to two more.* If you would like to propose a session topic, by June 17th please send the ChLA/MLA Liaison (Philip Nel: philnel@ksu.edu): (1) a short description of your proposal idea, and, if relevant, (2) the…

Why Meghan Can’t Read

In an op-ed piece that the Wall Street Journal published as an article, Meghan Cox Gurdon criticizes contemporary young adult fiction for its darkness. As she writes, “it is … possible—indeed, likely—that books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people…