This study examines the work of children's writers from the 19th and 20th centuries in order to expose the persuasive power of language. Looking at the work of 19th century English writers of juvenile fiction, Knowles and Malmkjaer expose the colonial and class assumptions on which the books were predicated. In the modern teen novel and the work of Roald Dahl the authors find contemporary attempts to control children within socially established frameworks. Other authors discussed include, Oscar Wilde, E. Nesbit, Lewis Carroll and C.S. Lewis.