Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia
Each year in mid-July, Hollins University hosts the Francelia Butler Conference, a student-run conference that provides students the opportunity to submit their critical or creative work for judging by both their peers and professionals in the field of Children's Literature.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hot Topic: Darkness in Children's Lit.

It seems that one of the hot topics surrounding Children's Literature and YA Literature is whether or not some material is unsuitable for certain ages because of their display of "darkness".  This year, as the FBC theme reflects on some of these questions, so too does an exhibition at Cornell University Wardrobes & Rabbit Holes: A Dark History of Children's Literature. Whether this "darkness" materializes as death, violence, or as any other variant off the list of so-called taboo topics, the issue remains complicated on several levels (for one instance, who decides what's taboo, especially if we think in terms of cultural diversity,  let alone personal opinions and beliefs) and the opinions run far across the spectrum.  Just take a look at some of these articles and blog posts to see the range of voices weighing in on this topic.  Where do you fall on the spectrum?  Voice your thoughts below, or perhaps for those of you attending Hollins MA/MFA ChLit program this summer, let them simmer and inspire you for critical and creative submissions! 

"Darkness Too Visible"   and in response to the Wall Street Article, one Literary Agent gives her thoughts "On Darkness in YA Lit"

"No More Adventures in Wonderland"  and in response to the both the Wall Street article and the NY Times article, writer and New York Public Library's Youth Materials Collections Specialist weighs in her post "Darkness Redux: Has the Children's Novel Lost Its Way?"

Other thoughtful opinions on the topic: 

And in the spirit of conquering fears and addressing taboo topics, this post reaches into the "darkness" to offer some advice and reviews of books for young readers that may help parents and teachers in Key themes in children's books: Conquering fears.

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