American children need books that draw on their own history and circumstances, not just the classic European fairy tales. They need books that enlist them in the great democratic experiment that is the United States. These were the beliefs of many of the authors, illustrators, editors, librarians, and teachers who expanded and transformed children’s book publishing between the 1930s and the 1960s.
Although some later critics have argued that the books published in this era offered a vision of a safe, secure, simple world without injustice or unhappy endings, Gary D. Schmidt shows that the progressive political agenda shared by many Americans who wrote, illustrated, published, and taught children’s books had a powerful effect. Authors like James Daugherty, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lenski, Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire, Virginia Lee Burton, Robert McCloskey, and many others addressed directly and indirectly the major social issues of a turbulent time: racism, immigration and assimilation, sexism, poverty, the Great Depression, World War II, the atomic bomb, and the threat of a global cold war.
The central concern that many children’s book authors and illustrators wrestled with was the meaning of America and democracy itself, especially the tension between individual freedoms and community ties. That process produced a flood of books focused on the American experience and intent on defining it in terms of progress toward inclusivity and social justice. Again and again, children’s books addressed racial discrimination and segregation, gender roles, class differences, the fate of Native Americans, immigration and assimilation, war, and the role of the United States in the world. Fiction and nonfiction for children urged them to see these issues as theirs to understand, and in some ways, theirs to resolve. Making Americans is a study of a time when the authors and illustrators of children’s books consciously set their eyes on national and international sights, with the hope of bringing the next generation into a sense of full citizenship.
A couple with children divorce. A court orders the father to pay child support, but the father fails to pay. This pattern repeats itself thousands of times every year in nearly every American state.
Making Fathers Pay is David L. Chambers's study of the child-support collection process in Michigan, the state most successful in inducing fathers to pay. He begins by reporting the perilous financial problems of divorced mothers with children, problems faced even by mothers who work full time and receive child support. The study then examines the characteristics of fathers who do and do not pay support and the characteristics of collections systems that work.
Chambers's findings are based largely on records of fathers' support payments in twenty-eight Michigan counties, some of which jail hundreds of men for nonpayment every year. Chambers finds that in places well organized to collect support, jailing nonpayers seems to produce higher payments from men jailed and from men not jailed, but only at a high social cost. He also raises grave doubts about the fairness of the judicial process that leads to jail. While Chambers's total sample includes 12,000 men, he interweaves through his text moving interviews with members of one family caught in the painful predicaments that men, women, and children face upon separation.
To increase support for children at lower social costs, Chambers advocates a national system of compulsory deductions from the wages of non-custodial parents who earn more than enough for their own subsistence.
The Mental Growth of Children from Two to Fourteen Years was first published in 1942. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.This discussion of the development and application of the Minnesota Preschool Scales includes detailed accounts of the statistical analyses used, follow-up studies, and a number of case histories, as well as a review of previous work in the testing of infants and young children. Covers a 12-year period during which trained examiners tested the same children at stated intervals. 1,350 tests were used in the standardization of verbal and nonverbal forms. Test standing on the Minnesota scales showed correlation with standing on tests given at the completion of high school.
Latin American history—the stuff of wars, elections, conquests, inventions, colonization, and all those other events and processes attributed to adults—has also been lived and partially forged by children. Taking a fresh look at Latin American and Caribbean society over the course of more than half a millennium, this book explores how the omission of children from the region's historiography may in fact be no small matter.
Children currently make up one-third of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, and over the centuries they have worked, played, worshipped, committed crimes, and fought and suffered in wars. Regarded as more promising converts to the Christian faith than adults, children were vital in European efforts to invent loyal subjects during the colonial era. In the contemporary economies of Latin America and the Caribbean—where 23 percent of people live on a dollar per day or less—the labor of children may spell the difference between survival and starvation for millions of households.
Minor Omissions brings together scholars of history, anthropology, religion, and art history as well as a talented young author who has lived in the streets of a Brazilian city since the age of nine. The book closes with the prophetic dystopian tale "The Children's Rebellion" by the noted Uruguayan writer Cristina Peri Rossi.
How and why you should take your children backpackingDespite America’s enthusiasm for outdoors activities like hiking and backpacking, most books on these subjects focus on adults. Backpacking, however, is an ideal activity for the entire family. Tim Hauserman, who is both an experienced outdoors guide and the father of two daughters, now offers a handbook for parents who would like to introduce their children to backpacking and camping. Hauserman provides practical, humorous advice for families new to the outdoors and for trail-savvy parents planning to take their children along for the first time: how to prepare, what to bring, who carries what, how far to walk, what to do in camp, safety precautions, dealing with mishaps, and proper trail and campground etiquette. He includes guidance about appropriate distances and pack weights for every age level of child, as well as tips about backpacking with an infant and bringing the family dog along on the adventure. He even suggests appealing destinations in the Sierra Nevada appropriate for various age groups and recounts some of his (and his daughters’) favorite hikes. Hauserman’s down-to-earth encouragement is based on decades of backpacking and camping with his own children, their friends, and other groups of youngsters. He is candid about his experiences and the lessons he learned from his own mistakes and how he dealt with them. Ultimately, the reward of sharing a special adventure and the peace and beauty of the outdoors makes all the effort worthwhile.
This feminist exploration of mothers, mothering, and motherhood combines evaluations of empirical and theoretical work with personal narratives by mothers or caregivers. While the authors' analyses yield suggestions for new approaches to motherhood, the narratives vividly demonstrate the relevance of these issues to women's lives. The result is a nuanced picture of the complex realities mothers face, as well as their struggles, joys, and hopes for their children. In the book's first part, "Social Constructions of Motherhood," Chase and Rogers argue that dominant western views of motherhood have been and continue to be detrimental to most mothers and children. In the second part, "Maternal Bodies," the authors attend to the ways that American society and women themselves have regarded the physical aspects of motherhood. Mothers' bodies, the authors contend, have long been objects of cultural and political struggle. The final part, "Mothering in Everyday Life," suggests that only an understanding of the daily realities of mothering will lead to social and political changes promoting the welfare of mothers and children.
In My Tibetan Chldhood, Naktsang Nulo recalls his life in Tibet's Amdo region during the 1950s. From the perspective of himself at age ten, he describes his upbringing as a nomad on Tibet's eastern plateau. He depicts pilgrimages to monasteries, including a 1500-mile horseback expedition his family made to and from Lhasa. A year or so later, they attempted that same journey as they fled from advancing Chinese troops. Naktsang's father joined and was killed in the little-known 1958 Amdo rebellion against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the armed branch of the Chinese Communist Party. During the next year, the author and his brother were imprisoned in a camp where, after the onset of famine, very few children survived.
The real significance of this episodic narrative is the way it shows, through the eyes of a child, the suppressed histories of China's invasion of Tibet. The author's matter-of-fact accounts cast the atrocities that he relays in stark relief. Remarkably, Naktsang lived to tell his tale. His book was published in 2007 in China, where it was a bestseller before the Chinese government banned it in 2010. It is the most reprinted modern Tibetan literary work. This translation makes a fascinating if painful period of modern Tibetan history accessible in English.