Realism

Unlike the term “fantasy,” “realism” (or “realistic fiction”) doesn’t always appear as a distinct category in reference books about children’s literature. The Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature (Zipes et al. 2005) includes sections on legends, myth, fairy tales, fantasy, and science fiction, but no single entry on realistic fiction. The Norton Anthology does devote sections to adventures, school stories, and domestic fiction, and excerpts from seminal titles that have realistic qualities, such as From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Konigsburg 1967). Similarly, Perry Nodelman and Mavis Reimer’s The Pleasures of Children’s Literature (2003) includes sections on poetry, picturebooks, fairy tales, and myth, but not on realism. No separate entry on realism is found in Children’s Books and Their Creators by Anita Silvey (1995), nor in The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English (Watson 2001). Instead, realism tends to be discussed as an attribute of other kinds …

This essay may be found on page 198 of the printed volume.

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