This is an original, scholarly yet accessible contribution to the field of children's fiction. It focuses on gender in relation to children's fiction and the role that language plays in this relationship. Girls' and boys' reading itself is looked at, as well as the books that they encounter including the Harry Potter series, Louis Sachar's prizewinning Holes, fairy tales and school reading schemes. The book treats fiction as fiction, using as its guiding principles the multimodality of much childrens fiction; that fiction is almost always dialogic; that the feminist movement has had considerable influence on textual representations of women, men, boys and girls and that language (including what the characters say, and how, and what is said about them) is a key to the different readings of fictional texts. This will be a valuable resource for researchers in and students of linguistics, language studies and English literature.
Jane Sunderland is at the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, UK.