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Inviting multiple ways of critically engaging with literature, this text offers a fresh perspective on how to integrate children’s literature into and across the curriculum in effective, purposeful ways. Structured around three “mantras” that build on each other—Enjoy; Dig deeply; Take action—the book is rich with real examples of teachers implementing critical pedagogy. The materials and practical strategies focus on issues that impact children’s lives, building from students’ personal experiences and cultural knowledge to using language to question the everyday world, analyze popular culture and media, understand how power relationships are socially constructed, and consider actions that can be taken to promote social justice.
Written for teachers and teacher educators, each chapter opens with three elements that are closely linked: classroom vignettes showcasing the use of literature and inviting conversation; three key principles elaborating the main theme of the chapter and connecting theory with practice; and related research on the topics and their importance for curriculum. Other chapter features include key issues in implementation, suggestions for working with linguistically and culturally diverse students, alternative approaches to assessment, and suggestions for further reading. A companion website to enrich and extend the text includes an annotated bibliography of literature selections, suggested text sets, resources by chapter, and ideas for professional development.