NYU Press and the Tamiment Library & Wagner Labor Archives hosted a fabulous party for the editors of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature. Besides the great turnout and enthusiastic readings, we also got a great (and insightful) write-up from Elizabeth Bird at the School Library Journal that we had to share with you
Now you know how you’ll pick up the work of someone who spends there days within the halls of learning and the minute they begin to speak about their book you find your eyelids making a break for the floor? Not the case here. Both Mickenberg and Nel were engaging, talented speakers. Both brought up little points of interest, like the fact that the cover has already gotten an objection from someone because it shows a boy with a gun. A POP gun, but a gun just the same. You couldn’t write this stuff.
Right from the start they made the point that not everything written by radicals is, in fact, radical. That said, the realm of children’s literature “has always been political”. It makes sense. Abolitionists wrote abolitionist texts for their kids. Communists for communist children. Second wave feminists for their offspring. And so on.
(Pictured above: Editors Phil Nel and Julia Mickenberg)