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Digital Literature for Children

Texts, Readers and Educational Practices

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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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Electronic Literature for Children. Characterising Narrative Apps (2010-2014)

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Electronic Literature for Children

Characterising Narrative Apps (2010-2014)

Celia TURRIÓN PENELAS

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Introduction

Story producers have found broad scope for creation in the current mediasphere, especially for children. The development of the contemporary media map in the past decades has boosted the expansion of children’s narratives in multiple formats and the most recent of these is electronic media. With the birth of the iPad in 2010 and the subsequent extensive use of tablets in the home, new entertainment and educational products have been promoted in the digital market. Among these, new types of stories for children, marketed as so-called apps, have appeared. But what challenges do they pose and what opportunities do they open in the context of children’s literature studies?

From the perspective of teaching and learning literature it has become important to answer some decisive questions regarding literary education such as the type of stories that are on offer, to what extent producers are aware of the aesthetic possibilities of the electronic formats and how they are actually implementing this potentiality in the existing digital works.

A brief look at the majority of the electronic literary works aimed at children shows four main trends. They relate to the industrial mechanisms of cyberculture,1 including the ludic and interactive nature of almost all human activity (Pérez Latorre 2013: 227), the tensions between simplicity and complexity...

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