Made­lyn Travis seeks Jewish chil­dren’s sto­ries

The Jewish Chronicle - - People - Made­lyn.Travis@ncl.ac.uk

LIT­ER­A­TURE en­thu­si­ast Made­lyn Travis needs your help. A PhD stu­dent at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity’s Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture depart­ment, she is re­search­ing the por­trayal of Jews in chil­dren’s books.

So far, she has come across only one chil­dren’s book writ­ten by Jewish writ­ers dur­ing the years be­fore the Sec­ond World War — Story

Time by Arthur Su­per and Joseph Halpern, and hopes JC read­ers may be able to help.

Mrs Travis tells Peo­ple: “As an Amer­i­can I grew up with im­ages of Jewish chil­dren in the books I was read­ing and won­dered if my son would have the same ex­pe­ri­ence. I could not think of any Bri­tish books with Jewish chil­dren in them.” She says many de­pic­tions of Jews in chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture are by non-Jewish au­thors, and draw on early stereotypes. “One might ex­pect to find a greater de­gree of cul­tural au­then­tic­ity in books by Bri­tish-Jewish au­thors, but they write about Jewish sub­jects in­fre­quently un­less it is in re­la­tion to World War.”

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