Alt Kid Lit
What Children's Literature Might Be
A timely group of essays that wrestles with what children’s literature is and who it is made for
Contributions by Kris Alexander, Amanda K. Allen, Brianna Anderson, Catherine Burwell, Katharine Capshaw, Negin Dahya, Gabriel Duckels, Paige Gray, Gabrielle Atwood Halko, Natasha Hurley, Kenneth B. Kidd, Erica Law-Montes, Derritt Mason, Brandon Murakami, Tehmina Pirzada, Cristina Rhodes, Cristina Rivera, Jakob Rosendal, TreaAndrea M. Russworm, Vivek Shraya, Victoria Ford Smith, Joshua Whitehead, and Shuyin Yu
How do we think about children’s and young adult literature? Children’s literature is often defined through audience, so what happens when children are drawn to and claim genres not built expressly “for” them? To what extent do canonical formations tend to overwrite or obscure less visible efforts to create and promote material for the young? These are the driving questions of Alt Kid Lit: What Children's Literature Might Be.
Contributors to the volume offer theoretical meditations on the category of children’s and young adult literature as well as case studies of materials that complicate our understanding of such. Chapters attend to a diverse array of subjects including the “non-places” of children’s literature; child mediums; Black theater for children; children’s interpretive drawings; fanfiction; Latinx, Indigenous, and silkpunk speculative fiction; environmental zines; shōnen anime; Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal; South Asian television; and “emergency children’s literature.” The book also features interviews with two experimental writers about genre and alt-publishing and a roundtable conversation on video games and children’s digital engagements. Building on diverse approaches including queer theory and postcolonial studies, Alt Kid Lit shines light on materials, methodologies, and epistemologies that are sometimes underacknowledged in the field of children’s and young adult literature studies.