Monday, June 14, 2010
A thoughtful response from Laurie Halse Anderson
Over on Condensery, blogger Kate Slater posted an essay about Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains. Slater started by noting "hurtful or reductive representations" of American Indians in Caddie Woodlawn, and then she moves on to talk about Chains. She says Anderson engages with marginalization, oppression, and violence in a rich (not reductive) way, and Slater notes some anachronisms in the book that she found jarring.
Anderson replied, asking Slater about the anachronisms, because, she said "If I made any mistakes, I would like to correct them."
That sentence leaped out at me! How many other authors are willing to say that?!
Slater replied to Anderson, and Anderson responded again. It is a terrific thread. Click on over to read "Rememory and Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains". That sort of engagement is what I wish I could have with authors who, in some way, include American Indians in their books for children and young adults. Course, it isn't possible with those who are no longer living (such as Wilder or Brink) but what about Rinaldi?
Further reading, see:
Reflections on CADDIE WOODLAWN: Teaching about Stereotypes using Literature
Illustrations of the "scalp belt" in CADDIE WOODLAWN
The "scalp belt" in CADDIE WOODLAWN