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American Literature

Constructing the Canon of Children's Literature: Beyond by Anne Lundin

By Anne Lundin

During this pioneering ancient research, Anne Lundin argues that colleges, libraries, expert corporations, and the media jointly create and impression the consistently altering canon of kid's literature. Lundin examines the conditions out of which the canon emerges, and its impact at the creation of kid's literature. the quantity encompasses a entire record of canonical titles for reference.

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49 Toward the end of the nineteenth century, these same economic forces conflicted with labor and political unrest. “Bread and roses,” the women textile workers cried. Democracy itself was perceived to be at risk, and the library a steadying social force, a life raft in stormy seas. Upholding tradition defined the library’s mission, with consequent emphasis in building collections. The philosophy of American libraries emerged from beliefs in nationalism, philanthropy, economic growth, and the ideology of infinite progress, the American Dream.

Scholars no longer worked independently, relying on their own resources, but with the university as a focal point. A by-product of specialization was a change in publishing with greater number of monographs and journals. By accepting research as one of its basic functions, the university enabled the emergence of a new class: the professional scholar with cultural authority to establish a body of literature and a canon of writers to be included. Not until a new spirit changed the character of American higher education could the library be transformed into an instrument of use in its custodianship of cultural capital.

In 1930, she began a column with a similar triage title in the Horn Book. Her commentary was always more than reviews. As a journalist and cultural critic, she debated issues confronting the children’s library world far and wide, introduced authors and artists, remembered favorite books, and launched the reputation of new names like Dr. Seuss. These eclectic musings and judgment calls on children’s books were collected in a multitude of volumes: Roads to Childhood (1920, reprinted as My Roads to Childhood, 1961); New Roads to Childhood (1923); Crossroads to Childhood (1926); and The Three Owls (1925, 1927, 1931).

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