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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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Change of Direction



Escola Massana. Centre d’Art i Disseny

Over the last decade studies on children’s literature have undergone an extraordinary development, but only very recently have they begun to look at the world of electronic devices.

Computers, e-readers, tablets, mobile phones, all form part of our everyday environment, although some have been around for several decades it was the relatively recent appearance of tablets (in 2010) that really caught the interest of the wider public in apps, or applications designed for digital handheld devices.1

The idea of many of these applications is to immerse us in a defined storyline which in certain instances is combined with an interactive game, and in others is based upon it. These are what we call book apps. Some of these are derived from analogue editions while others are native, in other words, created from the specific possibilities offered by digital technology. These are different productions from those destined for e-readers because they do not follow the reading logic of the book codex.

The effect of this new reality on the future of books has been interpreted in many different ways, some of them hostile, some very enthusiastic, and most of them sceptical. Beyond the emotional responses however, their very existence poses important questions starting with the definition of the concepts of book and reading. We will not expound on this aspect as we are more interested in its place in our cultural...

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