The essays in this collection discuss multicultural issues in children's and adolescent literature, focusing particularly on African and African American cultures. They challenge our understanding of what, in an age of globalization, multicultural texts really are. Cumulatively, these essays illustrate multicultural literature's power to educate young readers about the numerous and varied perspectives on their own cultures and roles in society, as well as those of other cultures. The scholarship presented here makes it clear that not only should multicultural literature be integrated within the school curriculum, but that it can be examined to reveal subtle cultural nuances that show how cultures, customs, and people may be at once similar and different.
About the Author
Vivian Yenika-Agbaw, Associate Professor of Literacy/Children's Literature at The Pennsylvania State University - University Park, has published articles in Children's Literature Association Quarterly, The New Advocate, Language Arts, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, International Review of Education, and Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature, among others. Her most recent book is Representing Africa in Children's Literature: Old and New Ways of Seeing. In addition, she is an assistant editor of Sankofa: Journal of African Children's and Young Adult Literature, and she is currently serving on the editorial boards of Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL) and Language Arts. Mary Napoli is Associate Professor of Reading and Children's Literature at The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in children's and adolescent literature, language arts, and children's literature and writing. Prior to working at the university level, Dr. Napoli taught kindergarten and first grade in the Pocono Mountain School District. Her research interests include the integration of multicultural literature across the curriculum and girls' responses to popular cultural texts. She currently serves on the Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts Committee and the National Council of Teachers of English Excellence in Poetry for Children Committee.