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Behold the Child: American Children and Their Books, 1621-1922

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In Behold the Child, Gillian Avery offers an engaging account of children's literature in America from colonial times to the early twentieth century. Exploring a variety of social, cultural, and practical forces, Avery shows how the literature of the old world influenced that of the new and describes the emergence of uniquely American styles and themes in children's books. In Behold the Child, Gillian Avery offers an engaging account of children's literature in America from colonial times to the early twentieth century. Exploring a variety of social, cultural, and practical forces, Avery shows how the literature of the old world influenced that of the new and describes the emergence of uniquely American styles and themes in children's books. Her topics include the early days of colonial publishing, the defenders and detractors of Mother Goose, the influence of Sunday schools and tract societies, the "chaste eroticism" of romantic fiction for young readers, and changing notions of American heroes and heroines.


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In Behold the Child, Gillian Avery offers an engaging account of children's literature in America from colonial times to the early twentieth century. Exploring a variety of social, cultural, and practical forces, Avery shows how the literature of the old world influenced that of the new and describes the emergence of uniquely American styles and themes in children's books. In Behold the Child, Gillian Avery offers an engaging account of children's literature in America from colonial times to the early twentieth century. Exploring a variety of social, cultural, and practical forces, Avery shows how the literature of the old world influenced that of the new and describes the emergence of uniquely American styles and themes in children's books. Her topics include the early days of colonial publishing, the defenders and detractors of Mother Goose, the influence of Sunday schools and tract societies, the "chaste eroticism" of romantic fiction for young readers, and changing notions of American heroes and heroines.

33 review for Behold the Child: American Children and Their Books, 1621-1922

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    This was a really informative and helpful read in studying and pinpointing the origins of children's literature in America. Avery does a great job noting the differences between English and American perceptions of children and what each nation believed their literature should encourage in children (whether whimsy, industriousness, religious values, imagination, etc.). It is clear that Avery tirelessly researched in order to write this book, as well as discovered some great finds in archives and This was a really informative and helpful read in studying and pinpointing the origins of children's literature in America. Avery does a great job noting the differences between English and American perceptions of children and what each nation believed their literature should encourage in children (whether whimsy, industriousness, religious values, imagination, etc.). It is clear that Avery tirelessly researched in order to write this book, as well as discovered some great finds in archives and libraries. I have lots of notes for potential springing off points and a much longer children's literature to-read list thanks to this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Suzan Alteri

    This is a very good academic tome on the early history of American children's literature. Not for the faint of heart, and they are better books if you are interested in this topic and not doing research. Still, an excellent read. This is a very good academic tome on the early history of American children's literature. Not for the faint of heart, and they are better books if you are interested in this topic and not doing research. Still, an excellent read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lee

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  5. 4 out of 5

    Waller

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary Alice

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ness

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Schwartzberg

  9. 5 out of 5

    - ̗̀ saku ̖́-

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

  12. 5 out of 5

    Niesha

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

  14. 4 out of 5

    Izi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dahlen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Igraine

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert DuPuy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Just Me

  21. 5 out of 5

    altough2008

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anne Hawn Smith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tayma

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Mackey

  28. 4 out of 5

    Missy Spencer

  29. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  31. 4 out of 5

    Gidget

  32. 5 out of 5

    Mark Flory

  33. 4 out of 5

    Bet

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