Children's Fiction about 9/11 Book uri icon

abstract

  • In this study, Lampert examines how cultural identities are constructed within fictional texts for young people written about the attacks on the Twin Towers. It identifi es three significant identity categories encoded in 9/11 books for children:ethnic identities, national identities, and heroic identities,arguing that the identities formed within the selected children’s texts are in flux, privileging performances of identities that are contingent on post-9/11 politics. Looking at texts including picture books, young adult fiction, and a selection of DC Comics, Lampert finds in post-9/11 children’s literature a co-mingling of xenophobia and tolerance; a binaried competition between good and evil and global harmony and national insularity; and a lauding of both the commonplace hero and the super-human. The shifting identities evident in texts that are being produced for children about 9/11 offer implicit and explicit accounts of what constitutes good citizenship, loyalty to nation and community, and desirable attributes in a Western post-9/11 context. This book makes an original contribution to the field of children’s literature by providing a focused and sustained analysis of how texts for children about 9/11 contribute to formations of identity in these complex times of cultural unease and global unrest.

publication date

  • August 5, 2009