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Digital Literature for Children

Texts, Readers and Educational Practices


Edited By Mireia Manresa and Neus Real

This book is the result of a research project carried out by the research group GRETEL from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) on children’s and adolescents’ digital literary education. It offers some of the outcomes of this project and combines them with other contributions from internationally renowned authors to address the three pillars of digital literary reader training: the texts themselves, the responses they generate in children and adolescents and digital reading practices at home and at school.
This work is intended as a contribution to international research on digital literature for children and young adults and its impact on the teaching practices of literary education. Its main goals are to guide the inclusion of this training in classrooms and to investigate strategies for accessing multimedia, interactive and hypertextual messages and products that form a part of fictional products today.
The volume begins by contextualising electronic literary reading and specifying the new research framework of digital literature for children and adolescents. It then provides an overview of the relationships between the electronic medium and children and young adult production on the one hand, and of the digital works and their features on the other, to reflect on their potential for literary education. Subsequently, it tackles the effective contact of children and adolescents with this literature in order to determine what happens when different electronic works are made available to children readers without eliminating printed literature from their environment. Finally, the floor is given to two leading creators.
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Inanimate Alice – How We Accidentally Created a Digital Story for Schools



Bath Spa University

From viral marketing tool to pedagogical blockbuster, Inanimate Alice (The Bradfield Company 2005-2015) has had a slow, steady and largely unexpected rise to international prominence. In 2005 the Bradfield Company commissioned Chris Joseph and I to create a series of interactive stories for a marketing campaign for a feature film that has yet to be made. From that inauspicious beginning, Inanimate Alice has gone on to become one of the most popular digital stories in classrooms around the world. In this paper I discuss how and why this happened.

Image 1. Inanimate Alice. Episode 5: Hometown 2. Initial screen ← 213 | 214 →

The story of Inanimate Alice is a story of mistakes, dead-ends, lucky accidents, good decision-making, and spectacular success.

In fact, there are two stories to tell here: one, the story of Alice herself, and two, the story of the project overall and how, despite all odds, Inanimate Alice continues to thrive as a digital fiction for the 21st century.

The first story, the real story, is this: Alice is a young girl growing up surrounded by technology. Her father, John, works in the oil and gas industries, and Alice and her mother, Ming, travel the world with him, often living in remote locations. Alice is home-schooled by Ming, who is a painter, and John, who is an engineer. In each episode of the digital story, Alice is a...

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