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Childrens literature Essay

Child development was broken down into four theories. These theories focused on intellectual and cognitive development as well as social development and moral judgment development. Theoretical models can be applied to children’s literature by different kinds of books. Children in the younger ages enjoy books like Dr. Seuss the cat in the hat or The Bernstein bears books that focus on things like right from wrong and education. Children learn from these kinds of books at a young age and the books can be related to their lives. As children get older books become more meaningful and become something they can relate to.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the book I chose, because I felt like it was well known and something children could connect to and enjoy. The story of Harry Potter can be related to by many children. The trials the he faces as a boy living with his aunt and uncle in the “non-magic” world can be understood by some who have encountered the same things. He was unappreciated, bullied, made fun of, and treated unfairly just because he was unliked. On his eleventh birthday he finds out that he is actually a wizard and there is a school for kids just like him.

His parents, who were killed when he was a baby, were also magic people, and he was excited to be able to learn about them. At the school, Hogwarts, he is befriended by two people who truly become his best friends and family, and he is finally happy to know there are people who care about him. I think this book can be related to Piaget’s Cognitive Theory of Development. Piaget’s cognitive theory of development was outlined into four periods of intelligent development. The sensorimotor period, the preoperational period, the period of concrete operations, and period of formal operations.

The period of formal operations hits right at the age group that the Harry Potter series was intended for. This period occurs between the ages of eleven and fifteen when young people begin to use formal logic, engage in a true exchange of ideas, comprehend the viewpoints of others, and understand what it means to live in society. Most readers of this stage have entered adolescence and are ready for more mature topics. I think that this theory applies to this book as kids can relate to Harry’s life with the Dursley’s and the world he is living in. After finding out he is a wizard they can also relate to all the situations he will face while there at Hogwarts.

Children can use their imagination to take them away into their own world where they can get away from reality even for a moment. As far as the book itself goes, literary criticism is meant to interpret the meaning of literature. I believe this book is approached by formal criticism. Formal criticism focuses on the work itself rather than the literary history of the book. When I read this book I am not worried about the author and her life or anything about the literature. I am focused on the action and story itself and the suspense it brings to its readers.

I found this criticism part of the paper a little more challenging, but I agree with my decision as I did not think that any of the others fit. There is much that children and even adults can learn from reading books. There are books for children ages zero to three that focus mainly on shapes, colors, animals, and numbers. There are books for younger children up until age ten that are about little girls or boys and their adventures that they go on with their imaginary friends. Books about friendship and forgiveness that teach children to be kind and considerate of others as well as unselfish and giving.

Books for ages eleven to fifteen that focus on life as a teenager when your mother or father does not understand you and you are desperately trying to figure out who you are. Books that can teach compassion and loyalty to family and friends and just overall make you imagine worlds you could have never dreamed of. Finally to the ages of sixteen to nineteen when you are googling over that boy or girl you so wish would notice you or even if you are interested in the fantasy world of dragons and wizards, there is a book out there that can teach every one of us something about ourselves.

Books are out there to teach us new things and take us places we never knew we could go. It is all about actually reading what the author has to say and listening. For me reading was a way of life and something that made me who I am today. I encourage reading for everyone and I hope that my son is as passionate about reading as I am. References Russell D. L. (2008) Pearson education, Ch. 2: The Study of Childhood: pg. 1 The Discover of Childhood. Russell D. L. (2008) Pearson education, Ch. 3: The Study of Literature; para. 20 Literary Criticism.


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