Children's literature and culture of the First World War / edited by Lissa Paul, Rosemary Ross Johnston, and Emma Short. New York: Routledge, 2016
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Because all wars in the twenty-first century are potentially global wars, the centenary of the first global war is the occasion for reflection. This volume offers an unprecedented account of the lives, stories, letters, games, schools, institutions (such as the Boy Scouts and YMCA), and toys of children in Europe, North America, and the Global South during the First World War and surrounding years. By engaging with developments in Children's Literature, War Studies, and Education, and mining newly available archival resources (including letters written by children), the contributors to this volume demonstrate how perceptions of childhood changed in the period.
Children who had been constructed as Romantic innocents playing safely in secure gardens were transformed into socially responsible children actively committing themselves to the war effort. In order to foreground cross-cultural connections across what had been perceived as 'enemy' lines, perspectives on German, American, British, Australian, and Canadian children's literature and culture are situated so that they work in conversation with each other. The multidisciplinary, multinational range of contributors to this volume make it distinctive and a particularly valuable contribution to emerging studies on the impact of war on the lives of children.