A Critical Handbook of Children's Literature (8th Edition)

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9780205492183: A Critical Handbook of Children's Literature (8th Edition)

Designed to facilitate the use of children's books from all genres, this exceptional resource helps teachers, librarians, and media specialists select the best children’s literature for the classroom, library, or home.

Unlike an anthology of children's literature, which includes selected chapters or text summaries, the Eighth Edition of this highly regarded book teaches how to select quality children's literature. Using the critical standards for all literature, examples of children’s books provide the basis for an explanation of critical principles and special issues in judging books for children.

Taking readers through the definitions of literary terms such as plot, character, theme, setting, point of view, style, and tone, Lukens provides sound criteria for assessing the merit of children's books. The book also includes chapters on rhymes, poetry, biography, and informational books. A new and enlarged section addresses censorship and a new chapter addresses the benefits of reading, its significance for children, and its growth in popularity among adults.  

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From the Back Cover:

Now in its Eighth Edition, this highly regarded book helps teachers, librarians, and other media specialists select quality children’s literature. Unlike an anthology, which includes only selected chapters and text summaries, A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature uses examples of children’s books to explain critical principles and standards, as well as special issues in evaluating books for children.

 

Taking readers through the definitions of literary terms such as plot, character, theme, setting, point of view, style, and tone, Rebecca Lukens provides sound criteria for assessing the merit of children's books. Throughout the book, Lukens addresses a variety of issues in children’s literature.

 

Thoroughly updated with new examples of literature from all genres, A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature continues to be the best resource available for helping anyone who works with children select the best children’s literature for the classroom, library, or home.

About the Author:

Rebecca J. Lukens graduated with honors from Concordia College in Minnesota, earned an M.A. from Syracuse University, and next worked on the editorial staff of a children's encyclopedia in New York.  After a year on the faculty of St. Olaf College followed by her marriage, she taught at New York State College, Albany, and later at Ohio University, Chillicothe. After publication of a few children's stories, Miami University Department of English hired Lukens to teach Children's Literature–not "Kiddy Lit"–as well as technical and expository writing.

 

The first edition of A Critical Handbook of Children's Literature was published by Scott Foresman in 1976, and A Critical Handbook of Literature for Young Adults by Harper Collins in 1994.  Lukens also co-edited a literature anthology, Woman: An Affirmation, published by D. C. Heath in 1979.  Her latest publication, It's Been Great, is a memoir dedicated "to my children and theirs."

 

Lukens's retirement teaching has been with Miami University's Institute for Learning in Retirement; her favorite class she called "Laughter for Health and Sanity."

 

Jacquelin J. Smith is a career educator whose experience spans grades 2—8 through pre-service teaching. Children’s Literature has been a passion throughout her career, from literacy learning to connections across the curriculum. She has shared many cross-curricular teaching and learning strategies for science, social studies and math with children’s books at numerous professional conferences and in publications with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. A lifelong learner and Children’s Literature instructor at the University of Northern Iowa, her studies continually confirm both her appreciation for and belief in the power of critically examining children’s literature.

 

Cynthia Miller Coffel is the author of Thinking Themselves Free: Research on the Literacy of Teen Mothers. Her research in children's and young adult literature has appeared in journals such as The ALAN Review, Reader, and QSE. Her work won the Jeffrey E. Smith award for nonfiction from The Missouri Review in 2007, and her literary essays have twice been listed among the notable essays of the year in The Best American Essays series. Her PhD in literacy education is from the University of Iowa.

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