The Power Imbalance in children's Literature: Locating the Power of the child
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Children’s literature is for and to children, but it is written, edited, published, reviewed, purchased and often selected, by adults. The adult thus dominates the genre, and the overshadowing power the adult holds is frequently in focus in literary criticism in the field of children’s literature. However, by changing this focus and moving it over to the child, it is possible to explore the ways in which the child can be powerful, rather than the adult. The conventional features in children’s literature exist and have become prevalent due to the general adult power surrounding the genre. However, Kevin Brooks’ The Bunker Diary lacks the conventional features of the genre that the adult has established, and the novel then allows the power of the child to come forward instead. The Bunker Diary is throughout this thesis used to illustrate where the power of the child is located. The power of the child unfolds in specific kinds of power that can have multiple meanings. These are all explored, and the child reader can arguably be empowered by reading contemporary, controversial literature for children.