New Directions in Children's Gothic: Debatable Lands, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

New Directions in Children's Gothic

Debatable Lands, 1st Edition

Edited by Anna Jackson


194 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Children’s literature today is dominated by the gothic mode, and it is in children’s gothic fictions that we find the implications of cultural change most radically questioned and explored. This collection of essays looks at what is happening in the children’s Gothic now when traditional monsters have become the heroes, when new monsters have come into play, when globalisation brings Harry Potter into China and yaoguai into the children’s Gothic, and when childhood itself and children’s literature as a genre can no longer be thought of as an uncontested space apart from the debates and power struggles of an adult domain. We look in detail at series such as The Mortal Instruments, Twilight, Chaos Walking, The Power of Five, Skulduggery Pleasant, and Cirque du Freak; at novels about witches and novels about changelings; at the Gothic in China, Japan and Oceania; and at authors including Celia Rees, Frances Hardinge, Alan Garner and Laini Taylor amongst many others. At a time when the energies and anxieties of children’s novels can barely be contained anymore within the genre of children’s literature, spilling over into YA and adult literature, we need to pay attention. Weird things are happening and they matter.

Table of Contents




  1. ‘Do Panic. They’re Coming:’ Remaking the Weird in contemporary children’s fiction
  2. Chloe Buckley

  3. Cuckoo Songs: The Changeling as Hero
  4. Geoffrey Miles

  5. ‘These are troubling, confusing times’: Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak as Post-9/11 Gothic
  6. Philip Serrato

  7. Figuring the Witch.
  8. David Punter

  9. Ghostly Vestiges of Strange Tales: Horror, History and the Haunted Chinese Child
  10. You Chengcheng

  11. Girls in Lace Dresses: The Intersections of Gothic in Japanese Youth Fiction and Fashion
  12. Emerald L. King and Lucy Fraser

  13. The Gothic in Oceania
  14. Erin Mercer

  15. ‘The Gothic is part of history, just as history is part of the Gothic’: Gothicising History and Historicising the Gothic in Celia Rees' Young Adult Fiction
  16. Catherine Spooner

  17. Adolescent Angels and Demons: The Religious Imagination in Young Adult Gothic Literature
  18. Rebecca Wigginton

  19. ‘Mind to Mind’: The Gothic Loss of Privacy in the Twilight Saga and Chaos Walking Trilogy
  20. Alexandra Valint

  21. ‘THIS HILL IS STILL DANGEROUS’: Alan Garner’s Weirdstone Trilogy – A Hauntology

Timothy Jones

About the Editor

Anna Jackson is an Associate Professor in English Literature at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes

Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel


Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature