Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: In History and Society A-Z 3 VOL Set

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9780028657141: Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: In History and Society A-Z 3 VOL Set

This 3-vol. set presents the social and cultural history of childhood from antiquity to the present. "Children and Childhood" examines this history through articles on education, parenting, child labor, economics, images of childhood, children's literature, play, toys and games, health, physiology, law, the criminal justice system and social welfare. Comparative articles include information about childhood in cultures throughout the world. Features 250 photographs representing the visual images of childhood.

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Intended to provide "the interested reader with a necessary introduction to the wide range of issues that define the field" of children's history, the volumes of this encyclopedia draw on the expertise of more than 300 scholars from around the world for 445 articles arranged in alphabetical order. Among the contributors are authors of several important books written about the history of children over the past two decades, including Paula Petrick, who wrote Small Worlds: Children and Adolescents in America, 1850-1950 (Univ. of Kansas, 1992), and Joseph E. Illick, author of American Childhoods (Univ. of Pennsylvania, 2002).

Articles vary in length from 500 to 5,000 words and cover topics in such broad areas as history, social sciences, literature, medicine, and law as they relate to the history of childhood and children. Bicycles and tricycles; Cassatt, Mary; Charter schools; Child pornography; Halloween; Infant rulers; Islam; Lindbergh kidnapping; Montessori, Maria; Multiple births; Orphanages; Shyness; Teen drinking; Temple, Shirley; and Theories of play are examples of entries that demonstrate the set's range. The encyclopedia has discussions of literature that has been an important ingredient in the lives of Western children, such as the Bible, ABC books, fairy tales, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, and comic books. Each entry ends with see also references and a bibliography. A wide variety of black-and-white illustrations, many of them significant representations of children in art, illustrate the text. Volume 3 contains an annotated collection of 50 primary sources identified as essential documents in the field, reproduced in whole or in part. A topical outline appears in volume 1, and volume 3 has an excellent comprehensive index.

Volumes in ABC-CLIO's the American Family series (Adolescence in America, Boyhood in America, Girlhood in America, Infancy in America [all 2001]) cover some of the same topics but are narrower in geographic scope. They are also more centered on the experience of children and youth rather than on childhood as an idea. The Gale Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence (1997) is more concerned with child development. For its worldwide historical scope, Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society is a recommended purchase for history collections as well as collections that focus on the study of children and children in families. It is also recommended in the broader sense as a great background tool for any public and academic library with patrons concerned with the study of topics relating to children. RBB
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review:

"And now here is the first encyclopedia of the history of childhood, consisting of 445 articles and 250 illustrations in three volumes written by more than 300 international scholars. The results are fascinating. "
--"Times Educational Supplement" (Febraury 2004)

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