Reading in the DarkHorror in Children's Literature and Culture

Reading in the DarkHorror in Children's Literature and Culture

Jessica R. McCort

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9781496806444

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture is a collection of essays that seeks to consider gothic horror texts for children with the respect such texts deserve, weighing the multitude of benefits they can provide for young readers and viewers. It refuses to write off the horror genre as campy, trite, or deforming, instead recognizing that many of the children’s books and films categorized as “scary” are among those most widely read/viewed by children and young adults. It also considers how adult horror has been domesticated by children’s literature and culture, with authors and screenwriters turning that which was once utterly horrifying into safe, funny, and delightful books and films, along with the impetus behind such re-envisioning of the adult horror novel or film as something appropriate for the young. Especially today, when dark novels, shows, and films targeted toward children and young adults are proliferating with wild abandon, understanding the methods by which such texts have traditionally operated, as well as how those methods have been challenged, abandoned, and appropriated in recent years, becomes all the more crucial.

Table of Contents

Front Matter


Jessica R. McCort

“In the Darkest Zones”

Jessica R. McCort

Get It Together

Nick Levey and Holly Harper

Teen Terrors

Janani Subramanian and Jorie Lagerwey

Let the Games Begin

Emily L. Hiltz

Where Are the Scary Books?

Kirsten Kowalewski