About this project

the story points which To Kill a Mockingbird, Persepolis and How to Train Your Dragon have in common

  • the story points which To Kill a Mockingbird, Persepolis and How to Train Your Dragon have in common
  • a breakdown of Afrofuturism and other schools of the ‘Empire Writes Back’ movement
  • why Voldemort and Doctor Octopus occupy very different villain categories
  • such recurring literary characters as the failed adult, the savage conquest, the dream manic pixie girl, and the controversial ‘magic negro’
  • why scholars of the family consider Finding Nemo a step forward and The Incredibles a step backward
  • the vital connection between Star Wars and Vietnam
  • the social Darwinian structure supporting the animal monarchy of The Lion King
  • why Kung Fu Panda and The Hobbit are the same story, just as Avatar and Dances with Wolves are the same movie

Kid Lit

An Introduction to Literary Criticism

Author: Tom Durwood
ISBN: 978-1-952520-01-3 eBook 978-1-952520-04-4
Release Date: Tuesday October 20, 2020
Trim Size: 8 x 10
Pages: 218
Literary criticism
Books and reading
Comparative literature
Narratives/Depiction of Family

The book’s second section brings eight original scholarly features to the general reader. Rising scholars give in-depth interviews and features on topics from models of motherhood in Pixar to echoes of war in Harry Potter.

The author challenges his readers with a score of bold concepts: “You do not have to buy what I’m selling,” he writes. “It’s worse: you have to understand it, break it down, reply to it, and then produce your own theory to replace mine.”

Also included in “Kid Lit” are 28 pages of lesson plans, to help teachers leverage this idea-rich material into productive classroom sessions.

Durwood uses well-known stories and characters to introduce concepts of literary theory. He sees discussions of story structure and sidekicks to be the beginnings of a lifetime of critical thinking for our young readers.

Visit our Teacher's Resources page for more content!