An Introduction to Literary Criticism
by Tom Durwood
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 27 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 7 Dec 2020
We are surrounded by narratives, in fiction and in our everyday lives. In this colorful collection of ideas, the author argues that understanding the components of our favorite children's stories can lead to a lifetime of critical thinking.
Beginning with the elements of the universal coming-of-age narrative, "Kid Lit" shows young readers and general readers alike how to recognize story structure, class, gender, symbolism, trauma and Orientalism in children's narratives.
Of value to all teachers, students, librarians, readers, literature lovers, and moviegoers.
"Tom Durwood expertly breaks down and explains literary theory in an easy-to-understand way. This book makes sense of reading critically and guides students to producing their own explanations of literature.
-- Christine E. Carlson, English Instructor, Cabrini University"
Average rating from 10 members
Kid Lit is an absolutely valuable scholarly resource. Durwood’s work is useful for both student and teacher, and is ripe for dialogue and engagement around journeys through text.
Love this book! I wish this had been around when I was in college; I think it would pair well with any theater, film or lit class (classic, adult, childrens, etc...). It really explains well what makes a great story in easy terms. So concise. Doesn't talk down to students, but leads them to actual critical thinking of what they are watching or reading. Kudos Tom Durwood- well done!
A nice introduction into going deeper into a piece of literature than just the text using children's literature as the main examples. Short, which both makes it a breezy overview but also makes it somewhat superficial at points. Focuses a lot on the Campbellian hero's journey, which makes sense given the coming of age narratives of a lot of children's literature. It also has a major focus on Orientalism and the literature of empire, which is very interesting. I liked how the book was split into traditional textbook-like passages, interviews with scholars studying children's lit, and lesson plan/assignment guides.
Thank you to NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was really interesting and I'm glad I got to read it.
What a brilliant addition to any teacher of English's bookshelf! It is rare in my experience, to address literary criticism, with pupils younger than those studying at A level and beyond. This book offers the opportunity to present (in a more basic format) the idea of criticism and identifying patterns in themes to much younger children. The author essentially is offering a chance to get pupils to think for themselves, and 'analyze why things happen.' I have never thought to apply criticism to junior fiction, but this book has made me rethink my approach. Section One 'The Critical Toolbox' offers a good introduction that could be used with any reading analysis at any age. The second section shows this in action, but in higher level and is possibly more informative for the teachers than pupils. The final section will help you to put into action what you have learnt. I love that much of the writing used for analysis comes from recent popular culture (movie and books) which makes the ideas accessible and tangible. Recommended for anyone teaching children that wants to encourage deeper thinking.
Although aimed at secondary school pupils, Kid Lit has opened my eyes to some of the literature I've read, so that its viewed from a different perspective. Very well written, critically of course- Kid Lit also shares detailed lesson plans and ideas for the examination of the literature children read.
Interesting book! I think it might be more for the teacher and parent than the kid. Teaching kids to have critical thinking and communication skills from a young age using literature = YES!
No matter where we turn, narratives are at every corner. The author brilliantly places the various components of classic stories in a realm accessible by youth. From the typical coming-of-age stories to the magical tales that captivate young minds, Kid Lit provides the foundation necessary to read between the lines of any fictional narrative and extract the message. This was my favorite nonfiction book of the year by far. Kid Lit forced me to step back and look at literature as more than just an art form used to escape daily life. I would recommend Kid Lit to anyone, especially ELA teachers and parents.