Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1990-1994: Books of Recognized Merit

Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1990-1994: Books of Recognized Merit

Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1990-1994: Books of Recognized Merit

Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1990-1994: Books of Recognized Merit

Synopsis

Written for librarians, teachers, and researchers, this is the second five-year supplement to the authors' Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1960-1984 (Greenwood, 1986). Its 567 entries cover 189 award-winning children's books by 136 authors published from 1990 to 1994. Included are concise critical reviews of novels, biographical profiles of authors, and descriptions of memorable characters. An appendix lists books by the awards they have won, and an extensive index allows complete access to the wealth of material contained within this reference work.

Excerpt

The Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1990–1994: Books of Recognized Merit contains critical comments on those books that authorities have singled out for awards or have placed on citation lists during this period. It is the second of a projected series of five-year updates of our two volumes on American children's fiction from 1859 to 1984 and is intended, as are the earlier books, for the use of everyone who is concerned with children's literature in any way: librarians, teachers, literary scholars, researchers in comparative social history, parents, booksellers, publishers, editors—all those to whom literature for children is of vital interest professionally or personally.

This Dictionary, which follows Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1985–1989, contains 567 entries on such elements as titles, authors, characters, and settings based on 189 books by 136 twentieth-century authors. It is a companion to our two volumes of American fiction for children and to Dictionary of British Children's Fiction (two volumes) and Dictionary of Children's Fiction from Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and Selected African Countries.

Although we have dealt with the same awards and citation lists that we used in Dictionary, 1985–1989, this book contains almost a third more entries based on fifty-five more books. Most of these books appear on only one or two lists, a factor that seems to indicate that there is less critical agreement about their literary value—perhaps that few are really outstanding. The total number of authors is also greater, with fewer having more than one title represented, and the number of authors who make their first appearance in this book is sizable. This may mean that publishers are reaching out to new writers, a commendable development.

As university teachers of literature for children and young adults for more than twenty-five years and as people trained in the study of literature as literature, we are dedicated to the idea that books for children must be judged by the same criteria as those for adults, keeping in mind, of course, that children are the intended audience. The critical comments found in Dictionary of American Children's Fiction, 1990–1994 judge each book as imaginative literature, not . . .

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