Fuse #8

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm Sensing Something Here. Something That Rhymes With "Pope".

Oz and Ends once again has come up with a dead-on critique of a children's literature trope that few of us have ever taken the time to notice. Does the phrase, "a sense of hope" mean anything to you? Well try reading descriptions of a kids' book or two and suddenly it's everywhere. I, personally, prefer M.T. Anderson's Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Acceptance Speech for Feed which is quoted in the piece:

"Yes, I do have hope. Not for the human race--we're doomed--but for the Insect Overlords who will follow us".
Amen to that, brother.
Definitely seek out J.L. Bell's thoughts on the matter.


At 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sense of hope DOES mean something to me. I know it is a trite trope, but I also think it does mean something in terms of kids' literature. See my Katrina Kids child_lit post to see what I mean. I was depressed as hell after touring NOLA on Tuesday, so thank goodness for those hopeful kids I saw last night on Ellerbee's show. M.T. Anderson does have a particularly gloomy outlook (as I've heard him hold forth before --- and, think he is cool even as I don't necessarily stand with him on this). But I don't. And I think kids are by and large hopeful and do think it is an important condition of childhood and, thus, for children's books.

At 12:21 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

All of which I can understand too. Of course, I did find it interesting that you so rarely find this term to describe adult books. As you yourself have pointed out, adults need a sense of hope just as much as the kiddies. So why use the term on children's literature and near to never on adult? Is it because it's considered a juvenile phrase?

At 10:44 AM , Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

That's a hilarious quote. I will try to rein in the platitudes in my reviews(:


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