The Embodied Child: Readings in Children’s Literature and Culture brings together essays that offer compelling analyses of children’s bodies as they read and are read, as they interact with literature and other cultural artifacts, and as they are constructed in literature and popular culture. The chapters examine the ideology behind the cultural constructions of the child’s body and the impact they have on society, and how the child’s body becomes a carrier of cultural ideology within the cultural imagination. They also consider the portrayal of children’s bodies in terms of the seeming dichotomies between healthy-vs-unhealthy bodies as well as able-bodied-vs-disabled, and examines flesh-and-blood bodies that engage with literary texts and other media. The contributors bring perspectives from anthropology, communication, education, literary criticism, cultural studies, philosophy, physical education, and religious studies. With wide and astute coverage of disparate literary and cultural texts, and lively scholarly discussions in the introductions to the collection and to each section, this book makes a long-needed contribution to discussions of the body and the child.

chapter |20 pages

The Embodied Child

An Introduction
ByLydia Kokkola
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chapter 1|16 pages

Anne’s Body Has a Mind (and Soul) of Its Own

Embodiment and the Cartesian Legacy in Anne of Green Gables
ByJanet Wesselius
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part I|6 pages


chapter 2|14 pages

Learning Not to Hate What We Are

Black Power, Literature, and the Black Child
ByKaren Sands-O’Connor
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chapter 3|13 pages

“[I]t’s my skin that’s paid most dearly”

Katniss Everdeen and/as the Appalachian Body
ByRoxanne Harde
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chapter 5|12 pages

Kitchens and Edges

The Politics of Hair in African American Children’s Picturebooks
ByMichelle H. Martin, Rachelle D. Washington
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part II|4 pages


chapter 6|14 pages

Disciplining Normalcy

What Katy Did and Nineteenth-Century Female Bodies
ByJulie Pfeiffer, Darla Schumm
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chapter 7|14 pages

Embodying the Healthy, Charitable Child in the Junior Red Cross

ByKristine Moruzi
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chapter 8|13 pages

Liberty in the Age of Eugenics

Non-Normative Bodies in Fabian Socialist Children’s Fiction
ByAmanda Hollander
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part III|20 pages

Reading Bodies

chapter 9|20 pages

“My story starts right here”

The Embodied Identities of Blackfoot Readers
ByErin Spring
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chapter 10|14 pages

A Feeling Connection

Embodied Flourishing as Represented in Contemporary Picturebooks
ByAdrielle Britten
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chapter 11|16 pages

The Child’s Reading Body

ByMargaret Mackey
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chapter 12|15 pages

Hands on Reading

The Body, the Brain, and the Book
ByLydia Kokkola
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part IV|20 pages


chapter 13|20 pages

“Little cooks”

Food and the Disciplined Body in Nineteenth-Century Stories for Girls
BySamantha Christensen, Roxanne Harde
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chapter 14|14 pages

Break Dancing

Reading the Ballerina in To Dance
ByJennifer M. Miskec
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chapter 16|16 pages

“A dolla makes her holla”

Honey Boo Boo and the Collaborative Gaze of the Twenty-First-Century Knowing Child
ByLance Weldy
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