Children’s Literature

Children’s Literature

In her work, “The All-White World of Children’s Books,” Nancy noted that there is a high level of prejudice in writing against black children and amongst those in charge of publishing the books. The work opened the eyes of librarians and teachers on the dearth of kids literature targeted at and involving blacks and in the end, from different ethnic backgrounds.

At least the characters that were not stereotyped or unrealistic had an exclusive opportunity to forward their literature to kids classrooms. Decades later, the literature of children was quite diverse even though the debate as on the inclusion of various characters from different ethnic groups and cultures continues to generate arguments (Lee 114).

In our modern world, the controversy  seems to be more focused on individuals who create ethnic, tribal, cultural stories and characters that is further complicated by concepts of what really makes a piece of writing or work an ethnic literature. Do the world view ethnicity on the concept of skin color only? Alternatively, people should authenticate the piece of literatures point of view and not necessarily focusing whether the author is from? The literatures subject matter should additionally be given consideration.

It is also notable that a piece written by different individuals may not focus on the aboriginal topic to the local individuals. Even so, such an author can write on universal argument but there are still doubts as to whether the book can still be considered an American native witting.

The originality and quality of the Native American writings for literature of kids create a basis for this debate. The focal point of literature makes the debate even difficult because the books are designed for young readers. Different authors for that matter also have current literature written on the same topic but have displayed the same argument for the subject (Atleo 41).

Scot O’Dell’s book “The Island of Blue Dolphins” for the test case portrays culture in the way that “Julie of the Wolves’’ book by Jean Graighead George depicts. Literature critics in the same cases agree that nonnative author’s books are not controversial necessarily.  My Heart is on the Ground’’ by Ann Rinaldi in a scornful critique however offers an account of Indian authors, critics and librarians.

She notes that when Rinaldi was criticized, it was not as a result of her skin color. “Some non-Indians have written quality books about Native people, cultures, and histories, and so it won’t be argued here that only Native authors can write Native-themed stories” (Atleo 28). Therefore, critics find Scot O’Dell and Jean Graighead George pieces being solid culture ambassadors.

In their works, the two authors created a multicultural literature where they clearly pointed out that multicultural education through emphasis on respect and cultural equality can restore human rights and enhance self-esteem of students and teach respect for different cultures across the United States.

The books have essential skills for teaching multicultural personalities as well as the significance of having various cultures in class (George 159). The wring by O’Dell reveals the relationship between the Island populace and Aleuts as it became sour as days went by and soon became full blown disagreement. A young girl Karana is the main character in the book had a dad by the name Chief Chowig.

The dad faced off with the Aleut leader Captain Orlov leading to a big fight and disagreement that left forty island natives dead including Chief Chowig. With many women left on the island, they continue to embrace life as it comes. They also take up on the roles of men making matters even more edgy in the village.

An elder decides to go to a different place because of being not comfortable with the occurrences in the island and promises to come back or send help someday. This is based on the fact that the manner of doing things was taking a turn slowly. A ship full of white men one day came to the islands shore to take everyone away. While boarding the ship however, Ramo, Karana’s brother is left behind but Karana jumps off the ship to be with her brother (O’Dell 142).

The two remain lonesome in the Blue Dolphins Island. Ramo one morning decided to visit the canoes on his own. Before reaching there, he was attacked and killed by wild dogs. Karana remains alone in the island and out of anger; she decides to avenge the death of her brother by killing the leader of the dogs.

She goes ahead to attack the dog’s leader, almost killing him but because of her kindheartedness, she again nurses the dog back to life. She further decides to befriend many animals on the island as she waits for white men with a boat to come to her rescue. The friendship she creates makes her stop killing any kind of animal but to take good care of them. The book therefore portrays a culture of being determined by the kind of environment that an individual’s grows in.

Karana meets Tutok, a little girl and they become friends. They learn other native languages from each other and begin communicating as great friends (O’Dell 151). The work of George transcends the stereotypes of people that believe that culture is determined by the type of clothes that people wear, the activities they mainly engage in as ethnic groups or the type of foods the groups feed on.

Members of a football team for instance will wear a uniform in the field and are more likely to take boiled eggs or pizza while home. For soccer players, it is also a routine to attend every day practice sessions whenever and wherever. It is their culture to have such traits for the sake of uniformity.

Culture doesn’t have to share within the same ethnic group necessarily. It is possible for African American; Indian and White characters to have same characters yet it can be very hard to share similar values such as ethnicity. Culture therefore in both George and O’Dell’s literature is quite broad in the sense that it accommodates individuals from different races as well as ethnicity (George 39).

Julie Edward is an American girl living in the Eskimo and changes her name to Miyax Kapugen from her American name Julie Edward while in the Eskimo. The literature theme in this writing is that conforming to different culture is inevitable sometimes. The girl changed her name so that can fit in the Eskimo environment somehow.

When her dad disappears from a place, Julie’s mum passes on. She therefore decides to employ survival strategies taught by her dad before. Even so, she gets mixed up and gets lost in the culture because she was an American raised up as per American culture.  She decides to work as a cook and a laundress while working her way to San Francisco in one of the shipping companies.

Tundra home is however quite different from her native land and she gets lost in the shrubs. Julie recalls that her father taught survival strategies by body language. Her dad was an exceptional hunter and taught her when she watched wolves. As a result, she employs the tactics successfully to accommodate and feed her (George 116).

From time to time she succeeds to adapt to a unique culture despite being lost. This therefore means that culture is not a stagnant issue and it can change from time to time based on an individual’s prevailing environment. James Houston among other critics acknowledge that the book ‘’Julie of the Wolves’’ is full of wolf knowledge and the attractiveness of its take transmits the sweeping immensity of Tundra, as well as other old and modern Arctic features such as the existence of humans and animals (Lee 129).

The first copy of the book was published in 1972 and more than three million copies have been sold and it explains why many children use the book in their learning process.

The environment in conclusion determines the different types of norms and an individual’s way of doing things. It is possible for people from different ethnicity, races and tribes to share common norms and ways of doing things despite the fact that they are not living in the same environment.

Karana fell very close to animal kinship because they were her immediate friends and could easily interact with. Julie at the same time understood survival tactics that could help her live with and be fed by wolves. They created their own culture because of their immediate environment.

Dyenu admits that O’Dell presents work that depicts Karana’s feminism character and her surrounding culture, such as when the chief leaves the village and women assume the roles of men (Atleo 1).


Works Cited

Atleo, Marlene, et al. “Books to Avoid: Ann Rinaldi’s My Heart is on the Ground.” 2000. Web.

George, Jean C. Julie of the Wolves. New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2011. Internet resource.

Lee, Aaron. Loosening the Seams: Interpretations of Gerald Vizenor. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State Univ. Popular Press, 2000. Print.

O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Boston: Sandpiper, 2010. Internet resource.