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Portal:Children's literature

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Introduction

A mother reads to her children, depicted by Jessie Willcox Smith in a cover illustration of a volume of fairy tales written in the mid to late 19th century.

Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the fifteenth century much literature has been aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature", because many classic children's books were published then.

Selected article

Title page, illustrated 1893 edition of The Coral Island
The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1858) is a novel written by Scottish author R. M. Ballantyne. One of the first works of juvenile fiction to feature exclusively juvenile heroes, the story relates the adventures of three boys marooned on a South Pacific island, the only survivors of a shipwreck. A typical Robinsonade – a genre of fiction inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe – and one of the most popular of its type, the book first went on sale in late 1857 and has never been out of print. Among the novel's major themes are the civilising effect of Christianity, 19th-century British imperialism in the South Pacific, and the importance of hierarchy and leadership. It was the inspiration for William Golding's dystopian novel Lord of the Flies (1954), which inverted the morality of The Coral Island; in Ballantyne's story the children encounter evil, but in Lord of the Flies evil is within them. The novel was considered a classic for primary school children of the early 20th century in Britain, and in the United States it was a staple of suggested reading lists for high-school students. Modern critics consider The Coral Island to feature a dated imperialist view of the world, but although it is less popular today than it once was, it was adapted into a four-part children's television drama broadcast by ITV in 2000.

Selected biography

Christopher Smart
Christopher Smart (11 April 1722 – 21 May 1771) was an English poet. He was a major contributor to two popular magazines and a friend to influential cultural icons like Samuel Johnson and Henry Fielding. Smart, a high church Anglican, was widely known throughout London. Smart was infamous for his role as "Mrs. Mary Midnight" and widespread accounts of his father-in-law, John Newbery, locking him away in a mental asylum for many years over Smart's supposed religious "mania". Even after Smart's eventual release, a negative reputation continued to pursue him as he was known for incurring more debt than he could pay off; this ultimately led to his confinement in debtor's prison until his death. Smart's two most widely-known works are A Song to David and Jubilate Agno, both at least partly written during his confinement in asylum. However, Jubilate Agno was not to be published until 1939 and A Song to David received mixed reviews until the 19th century. To his contemporaries, Smart was known mainly for his many contributions in the journals The Midwife and The Student, along with his famous Seaton Prize poems and his mock epic The Hilliad. Although he is primarily recognized as a religious poet, his poetry includes various other themes, such as his theories on nature and his promotion of English nationalism. Some of his most famous religious poetry is Hymns for the Amusement of Children, one of the first books of hymns expressly written for a juvenile audience.

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Mary Pickford as Little Lord Fauntleroy

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The master of the week being short-sighted, and the parepostors of the week small, and not well up to their work, the lower school boys employ the ten minutes which elapse before their names are called, in pelting one another vigorously with acorns, which fly about in all directions. The small praepostors dash in every now and then, and generally chastise some quiet, timid boy, who is equally afraid of acorns and canes, while the principal performers get dexterously out of the way; and so calling-over rolls on somehow, much like the big world, punishments lighting on wrong shoulders, and matters going generally in a queer, cross-grained way, but the end coming somehow, which is after all the great point.
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L. Frank Baum

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Children's literature and Young adult literature

Children's literature: Book talkChildren's literature criticismChildren's literature periodicalsInternational Children's Digital LibraryNative Americans in children's literature

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Young adult literature: Gay teen fictionLesbian teen fictionList of young adult authorsYoung Adult Library Services Association

Associations and awards: Children's Book Council of AustraliaCBCA book awardsGovernor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature and IllustrationIBBY CanadaAmerican Library AssociationAssociation for Library Service to ChildrenNewbery MedalCaldecott MedalGolden Kite AwardEzra Jack Keats Book AwardSCBWISibert MedalLaura Ingalls Wilder MedalBatchelder AwardCoretta Scott King AwardBelpre MedalCarnegie MedalKate Greenaway MedalNestlé Smarties Book PrizeGuardian AwardHans Christian Andersen AwardAstrid Lindgren Memorial AwardSociety of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Lists: List of children's classic booksList of children's literature authorsList of children's non-fiction writersList of fairy talesList of illustratorsList of publishers of children's books

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