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A Child’s Story

(p.3) Introduction
Between Generations
Victoria Ford Smith
University Press of Mississippi

The introduction to Between Generations establishes a thorough critical and literary framework for understanding the import and history of adult-child collaboration. It first provides a concise account of children’s literature scholarship that takes on the vexed concept of child agency, from the 1980s to the present, and outlines the book’s methodology in locating and interpreting accounts of adult-child collaboration—a methodology that takes into account real and fictive collaborations as well as what the author calls hybrid collaborations. These hybrid collaborations are new models of authorship grounded in relationships between real adults and children, but adults fictionalize those relationships or describe them using language associated with powerful social constructions of childhood. Disentangling complex representations of collaborations—approaching them with the skepticism children’s literature demands but also with open-mindedness to the possibility of a child’s creative agency—is a complex but productive practice that is at the center of Between Generations.

Keywords:   collaboration, children’s literature, child agency, authorship, methodology

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