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The Children's Literature Portal


Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the fifteenth century much literature has been aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature", because many classic children's books were published then. Read more...


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Nancy Drew is a fictional young amateur detective in various mystery series for children and teens. Created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm, the character first appeared in 1930. The books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Over the decades the character has evolved in response to changes in American culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959, largely to eliminate racist stereotypes; many scholars claim that in the process the heroine's original, outspoken character was toned down and made more docile, conventional, and demure. Illustrations of the character have also evolved over time, from portrayals of a fearless, active young woman to a fearful or passive one. Through all these changes, the character has proved continuously popular world-wide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over two dozen languages. Nancy Drew has featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world.

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A Pretty Little Pocket-Book
Credit: John Newbery

John Newbery helped popularize children's literature in Britain with the publication of books such as A Little Pretty Pocket-Book (1744).

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Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night :
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

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J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling is a British writer and author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold nearly 400 million copies. The 2007 Sunday Times Rich List estimated Rowling's fortune at £545 million, ranking her as the 136th richest person and the 13th richest woman in Britain. Forbes has named Rowling the second-richest female entertainer in the world, and ranked her as the 48th most powerful celebrity of 2007. Time named Rowling as a runner-up for their 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fandom. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and One Parent Families. Harry Potter is now a global brand worth an estimated $15 billion (£7 billion), and the last four Harry Potter books have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history. The series, totalling 4,195 pages, has been translated, in whole or in part, into 65 languages.

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Children's literature and Young adult literature

Children's literature: Book talkChildren's literature criticismChildren's literature periodicalsInternational Children's Digital LibraryNative Americans in children's literature

Children and Young Adult Literature topics

Young adult literature: Gay teen fictionLesbian teen fictionList of young adult authorsYoung Adult Library Services Association

Associations and awards: Children's Book Council of AustraliaCBCA book awardsGovernor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature and IllustrationIBBY CanadaAmerican Library AssociationAssociation for Library Service to ChildrenNewbery MedalCaldecott MedalGolden Kite AwardEzra Jack Keats Book AwardSCBWISibert MedalLaura Ingalls Wilder MedalBatchelder AwardCoretta Scott King AwardBelpre MedalCarnegie MedalKate Greenaway MedalNestlé Smarties Book PrizeGuardian AwardHans Christian Andersen AwardAstrid Lindgren Memorial AwardSociety of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Lists: List of children's classic booksList of children's literature authorsList of children's non-fiction writersList of fairy talesList of illustratorsList of publishers of children's books

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