Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 359–376 | Cite as

Stories of Multiracial Experiences in Literature for Children, Ages 9–14

Original Paper

Abstract

This study analyzed 90 realistic novels written and published in the United States between the years 2000 and 2010 and featuring mixed race characters. The researchers examined specific textual features of these works of contemporary and historical fiction and employed Critical Race Theory to contextualize the books within paradigms about multiracial identity. Findings indicated three broad trends in representations of mixed race identity with an almost equal number of novels falling among three descriptive categories. Books in the Mixed Race In/Visibility category depicted stereotypical experiences and provided little or no opportunity for critique of racism. Mixed Race Blending books featured characters whose mixed race identity was descriptive but not functional in their lives. Mixed Race Awareness books represented a range of possible life experiences for biracial characters who responded to social discomfort about their racial identity in complex and credible ways. This study has implications for research and pedagogy in the fields of education and children’s literature as they expand to become more inclusive of this type of diversity.

Keywords

Mixed race Biracial Multiracial Children’s literature Multicultural literature 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern Illinois UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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