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Children’s lit vs. Adult lit.

June 4, 2012

Ah the old polemic… where would we be without it? Anyway, I can’t help noticing when people make distinctions between the two ‘types’ of literature – their reasons for distinguishing are always interesting. In the current issue of The School Library, BOB DOCHERTY, children’s literature specialist, states:

“I had read adult fiction and it bored me but I found in children’s fiction a conciseness and clarity that seems to elude adult writers. I thought then and I still think now that the best writers of fiction in the world are writing for children.” (Ref: ‘Revitalising – Just for Teachers; five easy questions’ The School Library, Issue 13, Summer 2011/2012, p.8)

I find the debate such a statement connects to really interesting. Within it are questions of writing style, beliefs about children and adults, values… you get the picture.

For more of this adult/children’s literature issue, refer also to earlier blogs, Gee’s characters, on learning about power through adolescent literature…,  YA literature and the themes of adolescence and identity, Institutions and power in YA lit, Teaching YAs their place in the power structure… (you’ll notice Roberta Seelinga Trites’ name appearing a fair bit here – I like her work)


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