It’s no exaggeration to say that one of the most exciting moments of my life was receiving the course materials for the Open University’s EA300 module in children’s literature. It was the start of an epic quest that is still ongoing as I work towards my PhD in children’s literature.
One of my favourite things about EA300 was the balance of classic and contemporary children’s literature. One notable novel on the course list which falls into both categories is Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, now in its fortieth year in print.
I’m currently helping to organise a symposium to celebrate Taylor’s novel, which will take place on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September at Homerton College, Cambridge. We’ll be taking Roll of Thunder as our starting point for wider discussion on children’s literature, literature in the classroom, and issues such as diversity, representation and authenticity in books for young readers.
We’re also hoping to bring together a broad group of people to join in these discussions, so whether you’re a writer, teacher, student, academic or librarian, why not come along?
You can find out more about the event here: