Read at your own Risk: Interculturality in Children’s and Young Adult Literature in Germany
Andra Riemhofer. Interkulturelle Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in Deutschland : Lesen auf eigene Gefahr. Tectum Verlag, Marburg, 2014.
The study is aiming to develop a guide for the evaluation of Children’s and Young Adult (YA) Literature dealing with the topic of interculturality that both private readers and institutional users can benefit from. Based on research and findings in the field of Intercultural Literary Didactics, the characteristics of intercultural literature for a younger target group are illustrated and highlighted by examples. The study is an attempt to investigate the relationship between the general requirement for valuable Intercultural Children’s and YA Literature and the actual choice of books in the German market. A sample of approximately 120 books was taken from the current offer of Children’s and YA Books that have been published by German, Swiss and Austrian publishing houses during the last 25 years. Titles out of print during the period of research (May 2013-April 2014) were not systematically included but randomly referred to. About a quarter of the perused texts are evaluated thoroughly, sorted by topics. The remaining items of the sample find some consideration in the conclusion of the study. The chosen sample includes well-established school literature as well as books for leisure reading. The results of this study suggest four pragmatic criteria for the purpose of evaluating the relevant contemporary market offerings: Setting (in the sense of ‘space’), author’s profile, character constellation, and publisher’s profile.
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