NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1040334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1521-7779
Rereading Columbus: Critical Multicultural Analysis of Multiple Historical Storylines
Bothelho, Maria Jose; Young, Sara Lewis-Bernstein; Nappi, Tara
Journal of Children's Literature, v40 n1 p41-51 Spr 2014
One prevalent practice of multicultural education is enlisting multiple perspectives for teaching. Oftentimes, these perspectives enter classrooms via digital texts, simulations/scenarios, primary documents, and debates. Children's and young adult literature play a critical role in these comparisons. However, these multiple perspectives are typically considered side by side and left in the middle of the room. These juxtapositions of texts offer many opportunities for analyzing how power is exercised within and between cultural communities and at particular historical moments. The story of Christopher Columbus is one that is represented from many different points of view. This article analyzes three three Columbus texts ["A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus," written by David Adler (1991), "Encounter," written by Jane Yolen (1992), and "A Coyote Columbus Story," a retelling of the Christopher Columbus story, written by Thomas King (2007)] using the theoretical framework of critical multicultural analysis (Botelho & Rudman, 2009) to demonstrate these analytical practices and complicate the use of multiple texts. The article begins by exploring what to read and focusing on the shifting nature of the category of multicultural children's literature because two of the texts are classified as multicultural literature. Next, the article discusses how to read, focusing on critical multicultural analysis and offering some guiding questions to consider within and between texts. Drawing on historical and multicultural accounts of Columbus and previous analyses of literature about him, the article layers these secondary sources with the primary sources, the three Columbus texts, read within each text, and juxtaposes the three texts against one another. The article concludes by considering pedagogical and sociopolitical implications of this critical multicultural work.
Children's Literature Assembly. 940 Vandalia Road, Morgantown, WV 26501. Tel: 304-291-2393; Fax: 304-291-2393; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A