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Only Connect: Readings on Children's Literature

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
First published in 1969, Only Connect is widely accepted as an essential volume for everyone concerned with children's and young adults' literature. This new edition offers a new selection of more than 40 essays and brief studies on history and criticism, literary standards, changing tastes, science fiction, young adult literature, fantasy, the problem novel, racism, and s ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 432 pages
Published April 18th 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1969)
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Destinee Sutton
This is awfully dated (I didn't finish it), but some essays hold up. I particularly liked "Children's Reading and Adults' Values" by Rosenehim because the author emphatically asks adults to treat young readers with respect ("...'great' children's literature...is simply great literature").

"Thoughts Concerning Children's Books" by Penelope Mortimer is good, too. It's pretty funny and she's arguing that "a good book cannot possibly be written for a particular age." I don't 100% agree with that sta
...more
Michael Fitzgerald
It's very frustrating that this book has been misnamed a "third edition" - there are ZERO readings in it that are found in the first edition and ZERO readings found in the second edition. It's 42 entirely different readings. I very much disagree with the rationale for not renaming the collection. Not even P. L. Travers's "Only Connect" remains, and yet "we believe in the spirit of the title" - what a load of nonsense. I suspect that they just wanted to ride on the coattails of the earlier editio ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
This second edition has 38 readings, most of which are kept from the 1969 first edition. There are some very good new pieces, especially the two by John Rowe Townsend. Some replacements were well thought out and one gets the sense that this is an updated improvement. Very different from the baby-out-with-the-bathwater third edition that seemed to believe that newer = better. Those with a passion for the topic will want to read both the first and second editions (the third is simply an entirely d ...more
Molly Sargent
Jun 05, 2011 Molly Sargent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection is a treasure trove of literary criticism and the development of children's literature. Included are articles by J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Graham Greene, and T.S. Eliot. Many of the articles are nothing short of fascinating, especially the piece "A Late Wanderer in Oz" by Jordan Brotman, Rumer Godden's "Imaginary Correspondence" between Beatrix Potter and her modern-day publisher, V. Andal, and "Didacticism in Modern Dress" by John Rowe Townsend.
First Second Books
Critical thought on children's literature from the 1960s makes me realize that the industry was much, much different then than it is now!
J.
May 27, 2010 J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A somewhat useful collection of 1960's children's lit scholarship. A few nice articles, and a good Engdahl interview. Not very theoretical.
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