The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children’s Literature

general article writing


Answer the questions below based on the lecture and readings. Each answered the question should

utilize key examples from the readings and be no more than 2-3 content pages each, double

spaced, and MLA 8th edition citations and works cited. Make sure to BOLD your argumentative

thesis statement.


ESSAY: After reading “The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children’s Literature: Why the

Debates Really Matter,” discuss what are the major pro and con issues. Using lecture examples of

Asian stories published in English in the United States, support your position as to why you

personally think cultural authenticity matters or not, specifically for children’s picture books. Be sure

to have a minimum of two citations in the body of your essay and a “Work(s) Cited.”

Kathy G. Short and Dana L. Fox

illustrators, editors, publishers, educators, librarians, and scholars all

have different points of view about authenticity that they each feel

strongly about based on the own sociocultural experiences an philo­

sophical views. But do these debates about cultural authenticity really

matter? ;

We first became closely inv.olved with these issues when we

were editors of & the New Advocate, a professional journal for those

involved with young people and their literature, where we

published a number. of articles on cultural authenticity. The

controversy _and debates in­ intrigued us, so we read everything we

could locate on the topic. We.were impressed by the complexity of

the issues being discussed, but we were also concerned about how

often the debates quickly moved to simplis­ tic insider Ioutsider

distinctions, specifically whether whites should write books about

people of color. We found that no one article dealt with the

complexities of the debates about cultural authenticity, and we

realized that, given the nature of the issues, no one article ever

could reflect this complexity and range of viewpoints. That is when

the idea of this edited collection came into being.

Often, publishers discourage edited collections, believing that

arguments are not merely academic but reflect deeply held beliefs at the

heart of each person's work increating literature fo young people and

We were also concerned, however, by how often the debates

seemed to swirl back to dichotomies and simplistic outsider/insider


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