Taking a Critical Look at Children's Literature: Sara Schwebel
Education Week (blog)
With their ability to transport children's imaginations to a different place and time, engage complex social and political issues at a child's-eye level, and help children learn about and identify with historical events, historical fiction books have become a critical piece of the kiddie lit canon--even if you weren't a nerd, you probably remember reading or being read some of these books in school. And the things we learned from children's literature often shape our understanding of historical events well into adulthood. In her new book, Child-Sized History, Sara Schwebel, who holds a Ph.D. from Harvard in History of American Civilization and is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, discusses some of the pros and cons of how historical fiction is currently used in U.S. schools, and offers concrete suggestions for how teachers can use historical fiction to more critically engage kids in understanding both literature and history.
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