Monday, March 4, 2013

Suffer the Little Children by Jodi Eichler-Levine

I am pleased to announce that Jodi Eichler-Levine's book, Suffer the Little Children: Uses of the Past in Jewish and African American Children's Literature.  Here is the blurb:
This compelling work examines classic and contemporary Jewish and African American children’s literature. Through close readings of selected titles published since 1945, Jodi Eichler-Levine analyzes what is at stake in portraying religious history for young people, particularly when the histories in question are traumatic ones. In the wake of the Holocaust and lynchings, of the Middle Passage and flight from Eastern Europe's pogroms, children’s literature provides diverse and complicated responses to the challenge of representing difficult collective pasts.
In reading the work of various prominent authors, including Maurice Sendak, Julius Lester, Jane Yolen, Sydney Taylor, and Virginia Hamilton, Eichler-Levine changes our understanding of North American religions. If children are the idealized recipients of the past, what does it mean to tell tales of suffering to children? Suffer the Little Children asks readers to alter their worldviews about children’s literature as an “innocent” enterprise, revisiting the genre in a darker and more unsettled light.
 This is a heavily revised version of her dissertation.  Congratulations, Jodi!  This is quite an achievement!

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