The Outside Child, In and Out of the Book

By Christine Wilkie-Stibbs

© 2007 – Routledge

214 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415516556
pub: 2012-09-02
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415978002
pub: 2007-10-01
US Dollars$150.00

About the Book

The Outside Child, In and Out of the Book is situated at the intersection between children’s literature studies and childhood studies. In this provocative book, Christine Wilkie-Stibbs juxtaposes the narratives of literary and actual children/young adults to explore how Western culture has imagined, defined, and dealt with their outsider status – whether orphaned, homeless, refugee, victims of abuse, or exploited – and how processes of economic, social, or political impoverishment are sustained and naturalized in regimes of power, authority, and domination.

In five chapters titled: "Outsider," "Displaced," "Erased," "Abject," "Unattached," and "Colonized," the book situates and repositions a range of pre- and post-millennium children’s/young adult fictions, autobiographies, policy documents, and reports in the current climate of rabid globalization, new "out-group" definitions, and prescribed normativity. Children’s/young adult fictions considered include: Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses trilogy; Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Jacqueline Wilson’s The Illustrated Mum; Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy; Ann Provoost’s Falling; Meg Rosoff’s, How I Live Now; Elizabeth Laird’s A Little Piece of Ground. Autobiographical works include Zlata Filipovic’s Zlata’s Diary; Kevin Lewis’s The Kid; Latifa’s My Forbidden Face; and Valérie Zenatti’s When I Was a Soldier.


"…a valuable addition to resources for teaching and studying texts about and for the young." - IRSCL

"Provocative, dense with ideas and very readable… its examination of specific narrative strategies in children's literature concerned with outsiderness make this a valuable addition to the body of research in children's literature and childhood studies." --Phyllis Ramage, Wasafiri, No. 60, Winter 2009

Table of Contents

1. Outsider 2. Displaced 3. Erased 4. Abject 5. Unattached 6. Colonized

About the Author

Christine Wilkie-Stibbs is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick UK. specialising in critical theory, children's literature and childhood. She is author of The Feminine Subject in Children's LIterature and The Mythological Consciousness of Russell Hoban.

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

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.

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Subject Categories

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