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In France during World War I, four French children learn about honesty, loyalty, and courage from an English army deserter who tells them a series of stories related to his small, silver donkey charm. (Source: Trove)
Ruins or Foundations : Great War Literature in the Australian CurriculumClare Rhoden,
2012single work criticism — Appears in:
12012;'The Great War has been represented in Australian curricula since 1914, in texts with tones ranging from bellicose patriotism to idealistic pacifism. Australian curricula have included war literature as one way of transmitting cultural values, values that continue to evolve as successive generations relate differently to war and peace. Changes in ethical perspectives and popular feeling have guided text selection and pedagogy, so that texts which were once accepted as foundational to Australian society seem, at later times, to document civilisation's ruin.
In recent years, overseas texts have been preferred above Australian examples as mediators of the Great War, an event still held by many to be of essential importance to Australia. This paper first considers arguments for including Great War texts on the national curriculum, exploring what war literature can, and cannot, be expected to bring to the program. Interrogating the purpose/s of war literature in the curriculum and the ways in which the texts may be used to meet such expectations, the paper then discusses styles of war texts and investigates whether there is a case for including more texts by Australian authors.' (Author's abstract)
An Awfully Big Adventure : Killing Death in War Stories for ChildrenAlison Halliday,
2006single work criticism — Appears in:
Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature,Decembervol.
22006;(p. 90-95)Halliday locates a gap in Kerry Mallan's study concerning discourses of death and dying in children's literature, and claims, 'A curious omission is death in war, from the legal killing of and by soldiers, to the horror underlying the euphemism of 'collateral damage'' (90). Halliday suggests that despite a 'proliferation of discourses [on the] manifestations of death... there is a lingering taboo in dealing with death in war stories, especially for older readers' (90). The essay refers to some of the strategies and narrative techniques used to represent war in children's fiction from an array of novels, including several Australian children's texts by contemporary authors, Morris Gleitzman, Sonya Hartnett, Anthony Eaton, Serpil Ural and David Metzenthen. Strategies discussed include discourses of hope, the use of metaphor, reader-subject positioning and setting with Halliday concluding that, 'When death is present and brutally explicit...cultural pressures about the appropriateness of reading material and consequent censorship occur' (94).