Examining the Works of Neil Gaiman: Children Don’t Need Their Literature Dumbo’d Down.

Thomas Byrne


Previous generations of works that have targeted the tween or “middle-reader” audience have often tended merely to be a continuation of the early reader genre - somewhat bland, Disneyfied works that reinforced the ideas of children as lesser beings than adults (or even Young Adults), needing protection from scary thoughts and ideas and, by extension, who are considered unable or incapable of delving deeper into their text.

However, in Coraline and other works, we see that Neil Gaiman’s literature for children reaches for darker and more fully developed plots and characters. This trend helps move popular books for children away from Disneyfied reflections of life toward a more critical and thought-provoking literary experience at a young age.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680