ERIC Number: ED200991
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Social Implications in Children's Literature.
Tyndall, Kaye Spence
Such topics as death, divorce, old age, poverty, crime, racism, and handicaps are becoming the subjects of novels for young people and of picture books for children. If these books are to help children deal with social issues, conflicts, and concerns, they should foster realistic rather than stereotypical attitudes. Many books, for example, portray elderly people in negative terms that influence children's attitudes toward older people. Many books for children are permeated with sexism and stereotypical characters, including negative portrayals of women and misrepresentations of blacks and American Indians and their cultures. Divorce is also a current topic in children's literature, but the stereotype of the nuclear family often presented in the books is becoming less relevant in real life. On the positive side, children's literature dealing with the disabled can help children become accustomed to handicapped people, an important goal as mainstreaming of handicapped students increases. In addition, books concerning death can help children cope with terminal illness or death of relatives. The careful evaluation of books on each of these topics can eliminate those containing misrepresentations that may distort a child's view of society and people. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Council of the International Reading Association (13th, Charlotte, NC, March 4-6, 1981).