Children's and young people's literature

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Under children's literature (short CYL ) refers to literature which primarily at young people from the first pre-reading age to adolescence is directed. The entire corpus of children's and young people's literature comprises both fictional literature ( fiction ) and non-fiction , including printed matter and electronic texts as well as audio books .


The term is not clearly defined. A distinction is made between intentional CYL (all of the children and young people as suitable perceived literature), specific CYL (totality of written for children and young fictional and non fictional texts), children and youth reading (set of fictional and non fictional texts-received by children and adolescents ) as well as KJL as a subsystem of the societal action or social system "Literature" ("Subsystem KJL").

Literary works for underage readers (specific KJL) are often written for a certain reading age. Some “classics”, such as legends or novels from earlier centuries, also appear in new versions or retellings specially edited for children and young people. Children's books are also usually supplemented by illustrations , whereby the proportion of images can exceed the proportion of words the younger the target group is.



Until well into modern times , most people were illiterate , so the question of reading something especially for children and young people did not arise. In Europe, the first literatures, with which children could usually only come into contact at monastery schools, were primarily used for religious instruction and only indirectly for literacy .

The invention of the printing press in the middle of the 15th century only made it easier for children and young people to access literature to a limited extent. It was mostly limited to learning aids specially made for children, such as horn books . The most important reading remained, especially in the Protestant area, the Bible, hymnbook and Luther's Little Catechism .

Fairy tales that have been collected since the 16th century, but especially in the 19th century and also edited for children - by Giovanni Francesco Straparola , Charles Perrault , Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve , the Brothers Grimm and among others - have always been popular with children Božena Němcová .

Orbis Sensualium Pictus (1658)

In the 1580s, numerous inexpensive, often inferior books appeared, which were sold by peddlers and later also called popular books . A first important work for children and young people was Orbis sensualium pictus , published in 1658 by the Czech Johann Amos Comenius . As the subtitle suggests, the whole world of things and life should be painted and named. The “Orbis pictus” was the model for similar works that wanted to familiarize children with the real world until the 19th century. In the 1750s, booklets made of cardboard with only a few pages of different contents came onto the market, often containing prayers and an ABC illustrated with woodcuts . The ABC book was invented. This type of book was popular until the mid-19th century. The New England Primer , written by the English bookseller and author of anti-Catholic verse Benjamin Harris , became famous and became the most widely used textbook in North America.

The encyclopedism of the 18th century was also reflected in children's literature, for example in the elementary work by the pedagogue Johann Bernhard Basedow , which he published in 1774. In the Age of Enlightenment people were generally concerned with bringing up children and now also writing novels that are suitable for children. The best known is probably Robinson the Younger (1779) by Joachim Heinrich Campe , which is an adaptation of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe . Already Rousseau had in Emile explained that Robinson was appropriate for children reading and Campe wanted to give them easier access to the work.

Moralistic works

James Janeway, A Token for Children , posthumous edition of 1676.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Puritans in England and America published children's books shaped by Protestant ethics. Since child mortality was very high at the time - only every second person reached adulthood - the educational purpose of moralistic children's literature lay primarily in preparing children for their death and avoiding the damnation of hell. An example of Puritan children's literature is James Janeways A Token for Children (1671?), Which contains a series of "Stories of Exemplary Lifestyles and Joyful Deaths of Young Children" . It was widespread in England and its colonies until the mid-19th century. Children's fear of death was also promoted through precise descriptions of the agony of hell and the showing of corpses and public executions.

Isaac Watts ' Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children , published in 1715, softened the macabre narrative and was more friendly. His verses continued to express the notion that was still widespread in the 18th century that children were little adults with an inherently malicious nature. Watts' songs were valued as memorization exercises until the late 19th century.

Turning away from the educational message

Scene from Struwwelpeter (1845)
Illustration from Alice in Wonderland (1865)

Some of the first children's books, which had entertainment value in addition to a purely educational message, were published by John Newbery in the 1740s; however, Thomas Boreman wrote his Gigantick Histories a few years earlier .

Nevertheless, moralistic values ​​continued to shape many children's books until the late 19th century - also in German-speaking countries - although from the middle of the 18th century the purely religious message was increasingly based on the rational moralism propagated by Locke and Rousseau , in which the educational message was refined elaborated stories are hidden, suppressed. From the middle of the 19th century, pure fantasy and adventure stories were also increasingly accepted as children's literature.

In 1893, the Jugendschriften-Warte appeared for the first time in Germany , a publication by the United Testing Committees, which assessed newly published children's and youth books and published lists of recommended books. This publication had a very far-reaching influence on what was considered readable literature in Germany. Towards the end of the Weimar Republic , the publication had a circulation of almost 200,000 copies and was included in almost all teachers' newspapers. In their recommendation lists, the examination boards used very traditional evaluation criteria for art and childhood as a yardstick. Widespread books such as the Defiant Head series by Emmy von Rhoden , the publication of Thekla by Gumpert or the Nesthäkchen series by Else Ury were considered perishable trash.

Heinrich Hoffmanns Struwwelpeter (1845) was one of the first and also one of the most successful children's books that was illustrated by the author himself. Even if - or precisely because - the educational message is clearly recognizable, the grotesquely exaggerated illustrations and texts have their own comedy, which, however, was partially not noticed. ETA Hoffmann's fairy tale Nutcracker and Mouse King , published alongside the fairy tales by two other authors of German Romanticism in a children's book from 1816, is one of the first stories for children to deviate from contemporary children's literary moral concepts. A good half a century before Lewis Carroll, she made the bizarre, bizarre and grotesque part of children's literature.

The story of its origins also has further parallels to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865). Both stories were written for a girl among the author's friends. Such an approach flourished in Lewis Carroll's Alice stories, which were the first in the English-speaking world to be completely devoid of moralistic message. Carroll parodied Watts' verses in his work. In the same year as Alice , Wilhelm Busch's satirical Max and Moritz stories were published. The stories of moral edification, which have now been increasingly forgotten, continued to be parodied occasionally, for example by Hilaire Belloc ( Cautionary Tales , 1907).

In the tradition of Lewis Carroll's childlike approach to writing children's books, the English author AA Milne also stands . His stories of Pooh the Bear have become paradigms in children's literature. They were written in two separate volumes, Winnie-the-Pooh from 1926 and The House at Pooh Corner from 1928. The Pu stories were supplemented by two subsequent volumes of poetry, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six . The latter are called Ich und Du in the German translation , the bear is called Pooh . In order to understand English children's literature in particular, however, it is also essential to think of the inventor of Limerick : Edward Lear . This extremely ingenious combination of joke and poetry had an effect on Carroll as well as on Milne, but also on German poets such as Wilhelm Busch, Christian Morgenstern , Kurt Schwitters , Joachim Ringelnatz , Ernst Jandl , Robert Gernhardt , Peter Ustinov and others. a. There are pronounced children's poems among these latter v. a. at Busch, Morgenstern and Ringelnatz.

Modern works

Children's and young people's literature in BLI: B, Vorst public library, Van Volxemlaan 364, 1190 Brussels (Vorst).
Children's and young people's literature in BLI: B, Vorst public library, Van Volxemlaan 364, 1190 Brussels (Vorst).

In books for children and young people, almost everything can be presented in an age-appropriate manner, so that the variety of topics is correspondingly the same as in adult literature. As a result, children and adolescents can now deal with “harder” societal and social issues that affect them in books written for them, such as B. Death ( Jutta Bauer : Opas Engel ; Peter Härtling : Alter John ), xenophobia ( Tahar Ben Jelloun : Papa, what is a stranger? ), Cell phone use ( Roland Zoss Güschi ), disabilities ( Rodman Philbrick : Freak ), divorce the parents ( Anne Fine : family game ) or the struggle for self-determination ( Bali Rai : just (not) a marriage ).

Morton Rhue is one of the authors who repeatedly publish controversial books and who keep an eye on young people who have often been lost by society . The novel Die Welle , based on actual events, stands out from his work . It is the best-known book to date about the seductiveness of authoritarian or dictatorial structures. B. also make them receptive to right-wing radicalism . This novel also formed the basis for a play by Reinhold Tritt and for several films, most recently in 2008 for the German adaptation by Dennis Gansel .

Books valued as “valuable” and “committed” by literary criticism, educators and parents form a comparatively small niche with children and young people, in contrast to the very popular and accordingly high-turnover entertainment stories such as Die wilden Hühner by Cornelia Funke or zu the series that are particularly exciting, such as the goosebumps books by RL Stine or the three question marks .

For other genres popular with children and adolescents, see the following paragraphs.

Literatures for different age groups

Delimitation criteria

The differences between children's , youth and adult literature are fluid, subject to historical change and can only be loosely defined. It is often adults who draw the line in order to differentiate themselves from this literature.

Some novels that were originally written for adults have, over time, become youth novels. In other cases, such as the Harry Potter novels , the reverse process can be observed. The latter also applies to the novel Krokodil im Nacken by Klaus Kordon , which received the prize of the youth jury of the German Youth Literature Prize in 2003 (cf. Zellerhoff, 2012, 34–48).

In the English-speaking countries, the differentiation of fictional literature by age group is even more advanced than in the German-speaking countries. As "Middle Grade Fiction" (fictional literature for children of the middle grades) one describes literature there that is written for 10 to 12 year olds. In addition, all-age titles are propagated in the German-language publisher's brochures, which from the outset are aimed at an age-independent reading audience of adolescents and adults or young adults . ( See also: Fantasy → Subgenres )


In contrast to the mandatory age ratings for children's and youth films ( FSK ), there are only voluntary recommendations from some publishers regarding the appropriate age limits in the book sector, if one disregards the legal regulations on youth protection given above . In the lower age range, these are annual age groups, later the gradations take place in two-year steps. This should enable a differentiation, which nevertheless has to be adapted to the level of development of each individual child. However, information on the appropriate reading age in reviews may differ from the information provided by the publisher. Children's book publishers also want to tap into the broadest possible group of buyers or readers for their productions and therefore often give the reading age one to two levels lower than what reviewers consider sensible.

The age limit for children's and young people's books cannot be precisely set and is between twelve and fourteen years in the German-speaking area. In other cultures, such as B. in the USA , Young Adult Books are addressed to at least 14 to 16 year olds.

Literarily and thematically demanding books for young people are marked in the German-speaking area as for young adults and also appeal to far older groups of readers.

In 2009, the share of children's and young people's literature in the publishers' total revenue was 15 percent, and 95% of books have always been bought by adults. While sales of children's and young people's books rose by 24% in the first half of 2009 compared to the previous year, the Reading Foundation predicts that every second child will not receive any books for free and will never have them read aloud. It is therefore assumed that this literature is read more by adults (e.g. Harry Potter or fantasy novels) and only apparently addresses young people. The publishers want to profit more from the adult target group, which has a higher turnover, and to this end are establishing imprints for so-called all-age books. It is viewed critically that the increase in sales and economic success are essentially due to a few, very popular self-sellers , e.g. B. by Joanne K. Rowling , Cornelia Funke or Stephenie Meyer based.

Picture book

Child compares two picture books
Picture book illustrators: Kim Dong-sung , Jon Klassen and Alessandro Sanna at the children's and youth program at the Berlin International Literature Festival

The majority of picture books are aimed at preschoolers who cannot read yet. Since writing and illustrating picture books makes very different demands on the designer, authors and illustrators often work in teams. Other picture book authors are equally proficient in writing and illustrating. While the majority of picture books are large-format and have little more than 48 pages, picture books - such as B. The discovery of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick - in individual cases it can be much more extensive and intended for an older reading public. The special forms of picture books include a. the feel book, the lift-the-flap book and the pop-up book . First-reading books for children aged six to nine are also illustrated, but contain more text than picture books and comprise 64 to 96 pages in German-speaking countries. In the English-speaking countries there is a very extensive literature for the same target group, graded according to level of difficulty, made up of paperback volumes, each of which is only 24 to 48 pages long. In all cases, the stories are kept very concise and are told in short sentences to make reading easier.

Children's book

A children's book is a literary publication aimed at children between the ages of around 8 and 12 years. Children's books can be fiction , non-fiction or mixed forms. There are also often interactive children's books.

Books for children aged eight to eleven usually contain up to 180 pages; Recently, even more extensive books have appeared for the same target group. Children's books are also occasionally illustrated, but the illustration takes a back seat to the text. In English-speaking countries, ten to twelve-year-olds are often viewed as an independent group of readers whose reading - mid-grade fiction - is to be distinguished from other children's literature.

Youth literature


Young people's literature is fictional literature that is written, published or marketed for young people - i.e. young people between the ages of around 12 and 18.

Concept history

A distinction between literature for children and adolescents can be found for the first time in the case of the British author Sarah Trimmer , who first spoke of books for young persons in 1802, referring to 14 to 21 year olds. However, Trimmer's English word creation fell out of fashion again at the turn of the 20th century. Under the influence of the Young Adult Library Services Association , the more modern expression Young Adult Fiction has prevailed in the English-speaking world since the 1960s . In German, the word youth literature began to spread in the last quarter of the 19th century.

In a broader sense, especially in the case of older literary scholars , youth literature is sometimes also understood to mean the entire field of children's and youth literature.


Characteristic of literary texts that are classified as youth literature is a young main character who is at the center of the narrative action, who experiences growing up in the course of the plot and who is so to the young readers (be it as a first person, be it as a personal narrator ) communicates that they can easily empathize with her and identify with her.

That being said, teenage prose covers the entire spectrum of literary genres . The scope of this literature can be as varied as the imagination and talent of the authors allow. The focus of youth novels and stories is very often the challenges and problems of youth, so that youth literature is sometimes referred to as problem literature or coming of age ( adolescent ) literature. Young adult novels are often short and sometimes only contain 16,000 words. Apart from these peculiarities, youth literature has the same basic elements as any literature: characters , plot , framework, theme and style. The stylistic bandwidth is considerable and ranges from a brisk, sober narrative style to luxurious verbosity.


Youth literature before 1950

Works that meet the definition criteria mentioned at the beginning (young protagonist, thematization of conflicts from the area of ​​experience of young readers) have existed since the 19th century. Examples:

Emergence of the youth literature market

Seventeenth Summer (1942) by the Irish-American author Maureen Daly (1921-2006) is considered to be the first literary work that was written and published specifically for young readers . The novel tells the story of a young woman who begins a love affair with someone of the same age in her final year of school, knowing full well that they will both go to college in the coming year and thus go their separate ways.

A noteworthy youth book market - supported by young book trade customers who choose their own reading material - did not emerge until the 1950s, starting in the United States , where JD Salinger published his very influential first novel The Catcher in the Rye in 1951 , by its 32-year-old author was originally intended for an adult reading audience, but then found extreme popularity with the young. This is to be understood in connection with the youth culture of rebellion, which emerged in the USA in the 1950s and found its identity in beat literature and a little later in rock 'n' roll . Another milestone in the development of an independent youth literature was the novel The Outsider , published in 1967 by the 16-year-old author Susan E. Hinton . Hinton's work is noteworthy in that it was the first to credibly portray the dark sides of being young from a young person's perspective.

At the same time, the youth literature market segment was discovered by publishers. Booksellers and libraries also began to create their own departments for young readers, separate from children's and adult literature . The 1970s and the first half of the 1980s have been described as the heyday of youth literature. During this time the young reading audience formed and found their interests articulated in new, provocative novels.

Further development

Since then, juvenile novels have often dealt with age-typical crises that the process of growing up brings with it in the respective settings of young people such as family, school and leisure activities. This requires a wide range of topics that is hardly inferior to that of adult literature, only that the actors are mostly young people, analogous to the age of the respective target group. Novels that can be assigned to genres , such as: B. the science fiction or fantasy , the detective novel , the love story or the historical novel . Although young people's books are still mostly differentiated according to the age of their readers, authors such as Joanne K. Rowling , Stephenie Meyer , Cornelia Funke and Walter Moers are reaching more and more adult readers in addition to young people. Another trend is set by writers such as Per Olov Enquist , Isabel Allende , Henning Mankell , Paula Fox and Joyce Carol Oates , who, after their success with adults, are now also writing for a young readership.

Youth literature as explosive literature

Authors of youth novels - especially American authors - have used this form of literature again and again since the 1970s to deal with "explosive" topics (sexuality, psychosocial health, coercion and violence, dysfunctional family relationships, problems of social outsiders). There are also a few examples in German-language youth literature:


New genres and areas in which youth literature is currently advancing are graphic novels , light novels , mangas , fantasy , mystery , dystopia , romance novels , cyberpunk , splatterpunk , techno thrillers and modern Christian literature .

Roswitha Budeus-Budde stated in December 2015: “It will be wild again, literature for children and young people…” and asked the question: “If we are in times of a new beginning, children's and young people's literature is picking up again, as it has since its beginnings, seismographically cultural and political changes are they? ”The basis for their assessment were new publications such as Hellwach by Hilary T. Smith or A Week, an End and the Beginning of Everything by Nina LaCour.



Narrative literature

Even if, in the wake of the very extensive and very successful Harry Potter volumes, some children's or young people's books are increasingly being treated as novels , the usual form of design for children's literature is narration . In particular for children under twelve years of age, titles are mainly written that depict the experiences of a figure or group of identification mostly in a manageable period of time in chronological order from one perspective - that this form can produce demanding and substantial works, proves, among other things . a. Jutta Richter with her award-winning stories for children The day when I learned to tame the spiders or the dog with the yellow heart .


The comic series invented in the USA and aimed at children, such as Mickey Mouse , Donald Duck , Prince Eisenherz , Batman and Spider-Man, have remained more popular in German-speaking countries than in their country of origin, where they relate to newer series and genres such as B. the Manga , have long since been suppressed. Other children's and youth comic series popular in Germany are z. B. Asterix (France), Tintin , The Smurfs , Lucky Luke (all three from Belgium) and Clever & Smart (Spain). Many European children's comic series are characterized by great longevity. The most important German series, Fix and Foxi , has been appearing since 1953. a. Star Wars , The Chronicles of the Black Moon , Blake and Mortimer , Storm and the manga series One Piece , Naruto , Sailor Moon and Dragonball .

Gender-related books

There are still various book series that are specifically aimed at girls. Horse books, for example, are very popular with girls in their early teens. These books are mostly about girl friendships. Sibylle Luise Binder and Christiane Gohl as well as Lisbeth Pahnke (Sweden) and Jo Ann Simon (USA) are named as authors .

According to a national PISA supplementary survey from 2003 in Austria , developed by Margit Böck, the most important results show “that girls significantly prefer, more, longer, better and different reading than boys.” Furthermore, there is the greatest difference between adolescent reading interests of girls and boys “in the choice of non-fiction and information literature, which is mainly preferred by boys, while girls prefer to use fiction. In general, one can speak of a factual orientation in boys' lives and of a person-oriented and emotional orientation in the lives of girls. ”And in an older study from 1982 it says that boys“ have a stronger tendency towards gender-specific identification than girls, because girls also read books in which male role behavior dominates. Boys, on the other hand, never use so-called 'girls' books'. "

Crime novels

Erich Kästner with Emil and the detectives or Astrid Lindgren with Kalle Blomquist have already written outspoken children's thrillers . Contemporary authors such as In their crime novels for children, B. Mats Wahl deal with current social issues such as the environment and the integration of minorities, similar to the adult crime novels.

In addition to the singular crime stories, however, crime series from children and young people in particular are in demand. Sometimes very schematically appeal to the talent of children to solve criminological riddles: TKKG , The three ??? after Hitchcock and also most of the series by Enid Blyton z. B. Five Friends , Adventure Series, and the Mystery-About Series.

Love stories

Quite a few youth novels deal with the first great love , which the young protagonists sometimes cannot understand or even name at all. These novels present curiosity about the unknown, enthusiasm, jealousy and also the previously unknown intensity of feelings. In the course of such stories z. T. also excessive demands , if z. For example, a friendship that has been cherished so far suddenly changes into something completely new and unknown. Or competitive situations arise with the previous best friend, who are suddenly no longer as valued as they used to be, or if the loved one does not feel the same (anymore) and turns to someone else.

Love stories are also told for younger readers, such as B. in Ben loves Anna by Peter Härtling , but as a rule they are aimed at young people with actors of the same age. For example Leo, who has a crush on the strange star girl and then turns away from his friends. In Like a Hedge Full of Raspberries, Gunnel Linde, on the other hand, lets her first-person narrator experience first love as a painful process in order to come to terms with its end. And Mojsche and Rejsele (by Karlijn Stoffels ) fall in love with Poland in 1939, which unexpectedly leads to a happy ending very late.

In book series such as Die wilden Hühner or Die wilden Fußballkerle , however, the topic is presented in a humorous way and at least here does not come up against “true friendships”.

Stephenie Meyer is particularly successful with her series of books about Bella Swan, who falls in love with the vampire Edward Cullen, which is particularly popular with girls. The third part, Bis (s) zum Abendrot , stormed the bestseller lists in 2008 , including that of Der Spiegel .

Several books for young people have meanwhile been awarded the DeLiA literature prize for the best romance novel, according to Antje Babendererde with the 2007 first prize for dragonfly summer .

Fantastic children's and youth literature

Main article: Fantastic children's and youth literature

In the continuation of legends, myths and fairy tales, fantastic children's and young people's literature is currently the genre with the highest turnover and therefore also the most popular genre among children and young people. Due to the great demand, special editions with different covers but the same content have even been produced, which are also aimed at adults, as they are also appealed to by the age-independent appeal of imagination thanks to the per se fantastic content, dramaturgy and stylistic devices . The fabrics themselves are mostly carried by elements from adventure , action and coming-of-age stories.


Main article: Children's poetry

Children's poetry is particularly popular with small and very small readers and listeners. Turn young people appreciate poetry in the form of rap - chants . The best-known German-speaking children's poets, who are also particularly committed to linguistic wit, include the classics Christian Morgenstern , Eugen Roth , Kurt Schwitters , Wilhelm Busch , Joachim Ringelnatz , James Krüss , Heinz Erhardt , Josef Guggenmos , Ernst Jandl , Loriot and Robert Gernhardt . This series can be continued internationally u. a. by the English poets Edward Lear , Lewis Carroll , Alan Alexander Milne and Kenneth Grahame .


Non-fiction books are a very popular segment within children's and young people's literature for all ages. B. the long-lived series " What is what " . Authors such as Gerhard Staguhn or the organizers of the children's university are currently enjoying great success. Likewise David Macaulay using fictional examples of how cathedrals or mosques were built, Peter Sís with his elaborate, partly associative picture books about Tibet or Charles Darwin (“The Tree of Life”) or Alois Prinz with scientifically founded, nevertheless catchy biographies of people like Ulrike Meinhof , Hermann Hesse or Hannah Arendt , who also find well-inclined adult readers. Manfred Mai wrote a number of highly acclaimed and entertaining history books such as German history or world history but also on German literature . The television journalist Claus Kleber, in turn, presents events in history as dpa reports in news that made history - from antiquity to today . The architect and scientist Buckminster Fuller has written a book for technically and mathematically enthusiastic children with Goldilocks and the Three Bears , which explains the modern worldview in the space age as a fairy tale. The textbook is probably one of the most relevant areas of non-fiction for children and young people .


Some authors of children's and young adult books tell their young readers about their own childhood in autobiographies . These include Peter Rosegger ( Waldheimat ) , Erich Kästner ( when I was a little boy ) , Uri Orlev (Die Bleisoldaten) , Renate Welsh (Dieda or The Strange Child) and Roald Dahl (Boy. Beautiful and terrible things from my childhood) . Astrid Lindgren's autobiography The Vanished Land was again the only book with which the popular author was primarily aimed at an adult readership.

An autobiographical special case not only with regard to the age of the young author is The Diary of Anne Frank .

Yearbooks and book series

From the end of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century, yearbooks, collector's books and illustrated youth calendars were among the most popular and influential books for young people. Around 1900 z. B. in a square format Gerlach's books for young people , all of which are illustrated by selected artists and in which poems are next to popular swans and stories, e.g. B. by the shield citizens , retold myths, lullabies and fairy tales were put together.

Other examples are The Good Comrade , The New Universe , The Workmate , Miracles in Space, and The Great Readers Digest Youth Book . These books consisted of a loose collection of shorter fictional stories (including the first science fiction short stories published in Germany ), natural history reports (mainly about expeditions , foreign peoples , natural wonders ) and technical contributions (locomotives, ships, civil engineering, radio and television technology).

The most successful yearbooks were elaborately and carefully designed as hard covers and, in addition to numerous black-and-white illustrations, had also contained color plates, including fold-out depictions of explosions, since the 1920s. Even the typesetting was very important, and it was designed to be as accurate as it is varied.

Usually such yearbooks are aimed at 10 to 17 year olds. The technical contributions in particular were often so well researched that they served young people as a solid source of information and the younger children were “a source of amazement”.

In 2002, the youth book series Das Neue Universum , which had been published almost consistently since 1880, was also discontinued.

Children's and youth literature in individual countries

German-speaking area

In German-speaking countries, authors of children's and youth literature rarely write adult literature, and vice versa. Well-known exceptions to this rule in Germany are Theodor Storm , Christian Morgenstern , Joachim Ringelnatz , Erich Kästner , Peter Hacks , Peter Härtling , Max von der Grün , Wolfgang Bittner and Gudrun Pausewang . In Switzerland Lukas Hartmann and Roland Zoss .


There were a total of 14 children's book publishers in the GDR . The market leaders in terms of the number of book titles were the Neues Leben publishing house (founded in 1946) and the children's book publishing house (founded 1949). In the first years up to 1949 the influence of the occupiers asserted itself, and mostly works from the Soviet Union were published as well as by writers who had returned from exile. In these children's book publications the ideological , i.e. H. socialist upbringing and developing values ​​for children and young people in the foreground. The focus was on narratives of contemporary subjects, in which, not least, all actors find themselves in the structures of the collective, at least at the end of a book . A prototypical novel for this is Tinko (1954) by Erwin Strittmatter . The boy of the same name gets into a quarrel between his grandfather, who is bitterly fighting for his private court, and his father, who believes in community property. In the end, the grandfather dies as a symbol of the downfall of the old system.

In the 1960s, the previously applicable ideological guidelines and the resulting literary patterns were relaxed somewhat. The collective idea took a back seat, and the children's books also dealt with individual difficulties. In the 1970s and 1980s this change took place even more clearly. Were predominantly self-contained narratives created previously , i.e. H. Stories that offered young readers a positive solution were increasingly being written for novels whose actions no longer offered simple, straightforward solutions. Towards the end of the GDR it was finally possible to deal openly and critically with the growing problems of society in children's and youth literature. Examples are Umberto (1987) by Günter Saalmann or Farewell Disco by Joachim Nowotny . The novel Umberto tells the story of a neglected boy who, with no prospect of escape, remains stuck in an environment marked by alcoholism, indifference and emotional coldness. In the farewell disco , the demolition of a village in the course of open-cast lignite mining is described.

Federal Republic of Germany

Book market

In 2017, 8,752 new publications in the field of children's and young people's books came onto the market in Germany, which - compared to the two previous years - was slightly down. Books for children and young people made up around 16.3% of total sales in the German book trade this year; this number was only surpassed by fiction. Within children's and youth literature, children's books for readers up to 11 years of age made up the largest share with 28.2% of sales; this was followed by picture books and books for young people (from 12 years). Another economically very important section are the biographies. The publisher with the highest turnover in the field of children's and youth literature is currently Carlsen Verlag, followed by Ravensburger Verlag and the Oettinger Verlag Group.

English speaking area

It is characteristic of the English-speaking world that there are many personalities among the authors of children's and youth literature who also find importance as authors of adult literature. In Great Britain this applies to William Makepeace Thackeray , Robert Louis Stevenson , Oscar Wilde , Rudyard Kipling (Nobel Prize Winner) and Roald Dahl , and in the United States Nathaniel Hawthorne , Carl Sandburg , Isaac Bashevis Singer (Nobel Prize Winner), John Updike , Joyce Carol Oates , Irene Dische , Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison (Nobel Prize Winner).

United States

Along with France, Great Britain, and Sweden, the United States has one of the greatest traditions of children's and young adult literature. A number of educational books and the pioneers of the genre ( Hawthorne , Goodrich , Abbott ) were followed there in the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century by authors such as Mary Mapes Dodge ( Hans Brinker , 1965), Louisa May Alcott ( Little Women , 1868), Kate Douglas Wiggin ( Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm , 1903), Frances Hodgson Burnett ( The Secret Garden , 1909) and Eleanor H. Porter ( Pollyanna , 1913), whose works are now considered classics. The fantastic genre, which had long been firmly established in England by Lewis Carroll ( Alice in Wonderland , 1865), only gained a foothold in the United States with L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz (1900). This line of tradition was later continued by authors such as Hugh Lofting , Walter R. Brooks , Madeleine L'Engle , Lloyd Alexander , Ursula K. Le Guin , Katherine Paterson , Donald Barthelmes , Susan Cooper , Diane Duane , Tamora Pierce , Christopher Paolini , Michael Chabon and Holly Black .

Other influential children's book authors of the 20th century were Laura Ingalls Wilder ( Little House on the Prairie series, since 1932), Pulitzer Prize-winning Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings ( Spring of Life , 1939), EB White ( Klein Stuart , 1945), Meindest DeJong ( The Wheel at School , 1954), Scott O'Dell ( Island of the Blue Dolphins , 1960), EL Konigsburg ( The Secret Museum Guests , 1967), Robert C. O'Brien ( Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh , 1971) and the very original cartoonist and writer “Dr. Seuss "aka Ted Geisel . Since the wave of immigration in the early 20th century, children's literature in the United States has also been characterized by a large number of works that tell of the homeland and the fate of migrants. B. the stories of the Polish Nobel Prize laureate Isaac B. Singer ( A Day of Pleasure , 1969). Well-known children's book authors of recent times are Louis Sachar , Jerry Spinelli , Edward Irving Wortis aka "Avi", RL Stine , Lemony Snicket and Kate DiCamillo .

The most influential picture book authors and illustrators in the country include Margery Williams ( The Velvet Rabbit , 1922), Ludwig Bemelmans ( Madeline series, since 1939), Marcia Brown , Maurice Sendak ( Where the Wild Things Are , 1963), David Macaulay , Chris Van Allsburg , Paul O. Zelinsky , Jan Brett , Jean Marzollo and David Wiesner .

Inspired by JD Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye , an independent youth literature was created in the USA in the 1950s. a. Susan E. Hinton ( The Outsiders , 1967) and Paul Zindel ( The Pigman , 1968), and later - - after the interruption by the fantasy wave of the 1980s and 1990s Han Nolan , Virginia Euwer Wolff , Ann Brashares and Carl Hiaasen count . One of the achievements of this literature was to identify "explosive" and problematic topics such as B. to depict youth sexuality; by authors such as Betsy Byars , Judy Blume , Beverly Cleary , Lesléa Newman , Sharon Creech and Rodman Philbricks , similar themes have found their way into literature for younger people since the 1960s.

Pedagogical perspective

Quality discussion

To the same extent that, on the one hand, children's books have become apparently non-educational, i. H. stimulating and entertaining and not wanting to educate , on the other hand, a social discourse about the quality of children's books has emerged that hardly exists in other areas - for example in relation to non-fiction .

What makes a good children's book? This question is answered variously. In 1971, Hans-Joachim Gelberg wrote in the first preview of his newly founded publishing house Beltz & Gelberg : “With the addition of the literary-oriented children's and youth book sector, Beltz is doing even more. Here, the claim to literature that does not falsify, belittle or play down is taken seriously. ”For Thomas Lehr , a good children's book is“ one in which adults too, enraptured, instructed, nourished […]; but it is also a pleasure to read with fat fingers and to eat in bed, sinking with hot ears ”. Astrid Lindgren puts it this way, what makes a good children's book for her: “And then I write the way I would like the book if I were a child myself. I write for the child in me. ”For Annette Langen, a good children's book is one that touches the child's soul.

Every preoccupation with children's and young people's literature raises the question of what quality can actually make at KJL. The German legislator stipulates the absolute minimum by forbidding minors to make accessible texts that it classifies as “harmful to minors”, regardless of whether young people actually read such texts, even contrary to the reading ban (cf. “Definitions ", 3.) or want to read. There are comparable youth protection measures in other countries.

For Marion Gerhard von der Zeit , the jury of the Luchs Children's and Young People's Literature Prize applies the following standards to good literature:

“It pursues common criteria, is concerned with quality, with a feeling for literary and artistic trends, and all in all, books fall into disrepair, which characterize a pilot function for the eternal current goal of children's literature, which was postulated 250 years ago: children and young people an age-appropriate, but artistic to offer high quality literature that can explain the world, poetry and motivation to read at the same time. Luchs award-winning books therefore - fortunately - do not offer a representative overview of the total production of German-language publishing programs, but a cross-section of the upper segment, the much-touted "excellencies" of children's and youth literature. "

- Marion Gerhard : The time

Katja Wiebe points out that there is also a lot of high-quality children's and youth literature to be discovered in Central and Eastern Europe:

“Even though the German children's book market certainly seems well stocked in all of the areas indicated here, there is still a lot to discover in the“ East ”! Especially the subtle humor of the poems and also of the children's books , but also the illustration and the view into foreign life and problem worlds through the socially critical youth book (Russia, Slovenia) are worthwhile. "

- Katja Wiebe : Overview study on current children's and youth literature in Poland, Russia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, p. 5.

Transfer to other media

Perhaps even more so than in adult literature, the possibility of filming and merchandising plays a role in the marketing of children's and young people's books , etc. a. (computer) games and puppets derived from them play a very important role.

It was above all Walt Disney who specialized in the film adaptation of children's and youth literature, initially in the form of cartoons from the 1920s , and then as feature films with real actors from the mid-1940s . A classic of children's literature film adaptation is - in addition to the numerous cartoons - not least Disney's musical version of the book Mary Poppins by Pamela Travers , the story of a magical nanny. The jungle book by Rudyard Kipling has already become known and made accessible to many young children through the animated film by the Disney studios, while Kipling's book is only accessible to the slightly older ones. The film adaptations of Pan Tau , The Return of the Fairy Tale Bride and Luzie, the Horror of the Street are known to far more children as their literary models.

In Germany alone in the second half of 2007, The Little King Macius , The Three Robbers , The Three ??? - The secret of the ghost island , Toni Goldwäscher and Max Minski and I their cinema performance.

In addition to the cinema, books for children and young people also provide templates for television series and the rapidly growing market for radio play CDs; recently also for children's apps. In Switzerland, the cult mouse Jimmy Flitz from the radio play series by Roland Zoss became a postage stamp and like the ABC Xenegugeli an app. Reading stories and radio plays are still being produced for the radio. T. be books for children.

In addition, comic variants have also been presented, such as The Hobbit , The Wind in the Weiden or Herman Melville's Moby Dick .


This article or section consists mainly of lists, which should be replaced by running text . Please help Wikipedia improve this. More about is here to find.

Special library

The International Youth Library in Munich 's Obermenzing district, established in 1949, has a particularly large collection of German-language and international children's and youth literature .

Festivals, trade shows, associations and archives

Children's and youth book author Frank Cottrell Boyce on September 9, 2015 in the garden at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin during the children's and youth program of the 15th Berlin International Literature Festival .

The following festivals, associations and archives are essential in the field of children's and youth literature:


  • since 1960 annually in November / December: children's and youth program at the Munich Book Show
  • annually in September since 2001: children's and youth program at the international literature festival berlin
  • annually in March since 2001: at Lit.Cologne in Cologne
  • since 2001 annually in November: Steglitzer literature festival in Berlin
  • since 2005 annually in November: reading festival Seiteneinsteiger in Hamburg
  • since 2007 annually in March: Munich Book Show Junior
  • since 2008 annually in July: White Ravens Festival of the International Youth Library in Munich
  • since 2009 annually in September: children and youth program of the Harbourfront Literature Festival

Trade Shows

  • Since 1975, every November at the Oldenburg Children's and Youth Book Fair ( KIBUM ), around 2000 new German-language publications in the field of children's and youth media have been presented.
  • The largest international trade fair is the Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi in Bologna.




German-speaking area

Two winners of the German Youth Literature Prize 2012:
Finn-Ole Heinrich (left, prize winner in the children's book category with his book Frerk, du Zwerg! ) And Nils Mohl (right, prize winner in the youth book category with his book Once Upon a Time Indianerland ) at the 10. Steglitzer literature festival in the Schwartzschen Villa in Berlin

The most important prize awarded in Germany for children's and youth literature is the German Youth Literature Prize of the Working Group for Youth Literature . It is currently (2019) awarded in four categories: children's books, youth books (both since 1956), picture books and non-fiction (both since 1964). In addition, the following awards and prizes exist in Germany:

Prices for children's and young people's literature (different for age groups)

Prices for children's and young people's literature (not age-group differentiated)

Prices for children's and young people's literature - individual categories, genres and topics (not age-group differentiated)

Illustration prices

Graphic literature

Picture book prices

Literature prices for beginners

Children's literature prices

Youth literature prizes

No longer existing prices

United States

In the United States , there are two main organizations that encourage quality writing for young readers by awarding awards to outstanding authors and works:

  • Picture book literature: Caldecott Medal (since 1938)
  • Literature for beginners: Theodor Seuss Geisel Award (since 2006)
  • Children's literature: Newbery Medal (since 1921), ALA Notable Books for Children (since 1940), Mildred L. Batchelder Award (since 1968), May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture (since 1970), Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production (since 2008)
  • Young adult literature: ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults (since 1930; originally Best Books for Young People ), Margaret Edwards Award (since 1988), Alex Awards (since 1998), Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults (since 1999), Michael L. Printz Award (since 2000), Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (since 2008), Great Graphic Novels for Teens (since 2009), William C. Morris YA Debut Award (since 2009), Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (since 2010), Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults (since 2010)
  • Children's and young adult literature in general: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal (since 1954), Coretta Scott King Book Awards (since 1985), Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal (since 2001), Amelia Bloomer Book List (since 2004), Schneider Family Book Award (since 2004)

The National Book Award - alongside the Pulitzer Prize, the most important literary prize in the country - has also been presented in a Children's Books category (renamed Young People's Books in 1996 ). The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award has existed since 1967 . The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has been presenting its Golden Kite Award since 1974 ; the winners are chosen by young readers. The prize is currently (2019) awarded in six different categories (including picture books, young people's books, non-fiction). The non-profit organization Parents 'Choice Foundation has presented its Parents' Choice Award every year since 1978, which comprises several categories and is selected by a mixed jury made up of teachers, literary scholars, artists, parents and representatives from other groups. PEN America has granted the PEN / Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship to outstanding authors in the field of children's and youth literature since 2001 . In 2003, the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature was launched as an offshoot of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature , which can also be awarded to non-American authors. The USBBY Outstanding International Books List ( OIB List ) of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), first published in 2006 , also includes a large number of foreign book titles. Since 2008, the Library of Congress has named an outstanding American writer a National Ambassador for Young People's Literature every two years . The oldest prizes in children's and young adult literature include the Josette Frank Award (since 1943; until 1997: Children's Book Award ), the Jane Addams Children's Book Award (since 1953), the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award (since 1957) and the Regina Medal of the Catholic Library Association (since 1959). One of the most extraordinary prizes for children's and youth literature is the Phoenix Award , established in 1985, which honors books that are of the highest quality but largely overlooked for 20 years.

Picture books have also received the Charlotte Zolotow Award since 1998 . The Kerlan Award (since 1975) and the Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award (since 2011) exist for children's books .

In addition, there are numerous prizes with which works and authors from certain special areas can be recognized, such as the Pura Belpré Award (since 1996), the Asian / Pacific American Awards for Literature (since 2001, with several categories for children's and youth literature), the American Indian Youth Literature Award (since 2006), the Arab American Book Award (since 2006).

Finally, another group of prizes is awarded to works and authors from specific genres, such as the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (since 1982), the Golden Duck Award for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction (1992-2017; since then Notable Book Lists ) , the Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers (since 1998) and the Andre Norton Award (since 1995; until 2006: Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest ).

A special feature is the Cybils Award , which has been awarded to books in ten categories since 2006 that are selected not by literary critics but by children and young people who blog about this literature . Books written by children and young people were honored with the National Kids-in-Print Book Contest for Students from 1985 to 2007 . The PBS Kids Writers Contest has had a similar purpose since 2002 .

Other countries

Iwona Chmielewska (left) and the South Korean children's book expert Jiwone Lee on the stage of the Teatro Communale in Bologna on March 26, 2013: As part of the 50th Bologna Children's Book Fair , Chmielewka's book Augen (눈) received the Bologna Ragazzi Award 2013 in the Fiction category

The two most important international prizes for children's and youth literature are the Hans Christian Andersen Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award . In the field of illustration, the prizes at the Biennale for Illustrations in Bratislava and the Bologna Ragazzi Awards given by the Bologna Children's Book Fair are the most important international awards.

There are also the following awards and prizes:

Children's and youth literature as a university discipline


Children's and young people's literature is also a subject in the canon of many specialist academies or universities of applied sciences for social education . Courses in which the focus is on children's and young people's literature are still only offered sporadically in German-speaking countries and only offered as a master's course:

There are 406 undergraduate and graduate degrees in Children's Literature in the United States , many of which include literary training. Ten American universities offer a doctorate in children's literature .

Research institutions

Even in literary studies, children's and youth literature has fought for a firm place. The following research centers for children's and youth literature exist in German-speaking countries:

Current research

One of the latest studies on international children's and young people's literature is the survey by Katja Wiebe about current children's and young people's literature in Poland, Russia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Hungary .

See also


Children's and young people's literature


  • Gina Weinkauff, Gabriele von Glasenapp : Children's and youth literature. Schöningh, Paderborn / Munich / Vienna / Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-8252-3345-7 ( UTB. 3345).
  • Manfred Marquardt: Introduction to children's and youth literature. Stam, Troisdorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-8237-8121-9 .
  • Isa Schikorsky: DuMont crash course for children and young people's literature. DuMont, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-8321-7600-4 .


International literature
  • Carmen Bravo-Villasante: World History of Children's and Youth Literature. Attempt to present an overall picture. Schrödel, Hanover / Dortmund / Darmstadt / Berlin / Munich 1977, ISBN 3-507-38000-5 .
  • Theodor Brüggemann, Otto Brunken (Hrsg.): Handbook for children's and youth literature. Volume 1: From the beginning of book printing to 1570. Metzler, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-476-00607-7 .
  • Theodor Brüggemann, Otto Brunken (Hrsg.): Handbook for children's and youth literature. Volume 2: From 1570 to 1750. Metzler, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-476-00611-5 .
  • Theodor Brüggemann, Hans-Heino Ewers (Hrsg.): Handbook for children's and youth literature. Volume 3: From 1750 to 1800. Metzler, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-476-00484-8 .
  • Theodor Brüggemann: Children's and youth literature 1498–1950. Annotated catalog of the Brüggemann Collection. Wenner, Osnabrück 1986-2005, ISBN 3-87898-345-X .
  • Theodor Brüggemann: Not a penny for an Orbis Pictus. Selected studies on children's and youth literature from the 16th to the 20th century. Ed. U. Introduction by Reinhard Stach. Wenner, Osnabrück 2001, ISBN 3-87898-373-5 .
  • Otto Brunken, Bettina Hurrelmann, Klaus-Ulrich Pech (eds.): Handbook for children's and youth literature. [4.] From 1800 to 1850. Metzler, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-476-00768-5 .
  • Otto Brunken, Bettina Hurrelmann, Maria Michels-Kohlhage, Gisela Wilkending (eds.): Handbook for children's and youth literature. [5.] From 1850 to 1900. Metzler, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-476-01687-4 .
  • Christoph Launer, Heinrich Pleticha : What they liked to read. Forays through 500 years of children's and youth literature. Arena, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-401-04997-6 .
Special literatures
  • Hans-Heino Ewers: Experience wrote it and it's enough for young people. History of German children's and young adult literature from the 18th to the 20th century. Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-631-61246-0 .
  • Gabriele von Glasenapp , Michael Nagel: The Jewish youth book. From the Enlightenment to the Third Reich. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1996, ISBN 3-476-01413-4 .
  • Petra Josting, Walter Fähnders (Ed.): “Laboratory Versatility”. On the literature of the Weimar Republic. Festschrift for Helga Karrenbrock on her 60th birthday. Aisthesis-Verlag, Bielefeld 2005, ISBN 3-89528-546-3 (contains , inter alia, 13 articles on children's and youth literature from the Weimar Republic).
  • Winfried Kaminski: Anticipation and Memory. Studies in children's and young people's literature with educational intent. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1992, ISBN 3-476-45020-1 .
  • Helga Karrenbrock : Fairy Tale Children - Contemporaries. Studies on children's literature from the Weimar Republic. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-476-45068-6 .
  • Helga Karrenbrock: “Revolution in children's bookcases”. To synchronize childhood in the children's novels of the New Objectivity. In: Reiner Wild (ed.): Social modernization and children's literature . Röhrig, St. Ingbert 1997, ISBN 3-86110-122-X , pp. 124-139.
  • Helga Karrenbrock: "Family ties". Parents and children in the new children's literature of the Weimar Republic. In: Hans-Heino Ewers, Inge Wild (Hrsg.): Family scenes in children's literature . Juventa, Weinheim / Munich 1999, ISBN 3-7799-0450-0 , pp. 95-111.
  • Rüdiger Steinlein, Heidi Strobel, Thomas Kramer (Hrsg.): Handbook for children's and youth literature. [7.] SBZ / GDR. From 1945 to 1990. Metzler, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-476-02177-7 .
  • Reiner Wild (ed.): History of German children's and youth literature. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2002, ISBN 3-476-01902-0 .
  • Wolfgang Bittner : German children's and youth literature - an inventory. In: writing, reading, traveling. Athena, Oberhausen 2006, ISBN 3-89896-253-9 , pp. 61-67.


  • Günter Lange (Hrsg.): Children's and youth literature of the present. A manual. Schneider, Hohengehren 2011, ISBN 978-3-8340-0788-9 .

reference books

  • Bettina Hurrelmann (Ed.): Classics of children's and youth literature. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-596-12668-1 .
  • Aiga Klotz: Children's and Young People's Literature in Germany 1840–1950. Complete list of publications in German. Metzler, Stuttgart 1990-1997.
  • Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer: Classics of children's and youth literature. An international lexicon. 3 volumes Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-476-02021-5 .


Special topics

  • Gabriele Dreßing: Between the Bible and the picture book. Religious literature for children and young people as reflected in the Catholic Children's and Young People's Book Prize. Röhrig Universitätsverlag, St. Ingbert 2004, ISBN 3-86110-371-0 .
  • Hans-Heino Ewers : literature for children and young people. An introduction to basic aspects of the action and symbol system for children and young people. Fink, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-8252-2124-5 .
  • Rainer Strzolka, Gabriele Kucher: On the development and distribution of German and foreign language children's and youth literature. Selected examples. In: DFW Documentation Information. Vol. 29.1981, H. 3/4, pp. 73-92; H. 5/6, pp. 139-159; Vol. 30.1982, H. 2/3, pp. 55-61 ISSN  0373-8825 .

Children's literature


  • Roderick Cave, Sara Ayad (Ed.): The story of the children's book in 100 books. Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 2017, ISBN 978-3-8369-2123-7 .
  • Georg Ruppelt : German children's books of the 18th century. A contribution to the preparation of a bibliography of old German children's books
  • Georg Ruppelt: Old children's books. Catalog and guide to the exhibition at the Hamburg State and University Library , December 10 - 24, 1980 a. January 2 - 20, 1981. State and University Library, Hamburg 1980.

reference books

  • Jack Zipes (Ed.): The Oxford encyclopedia of children's literature. 4 volumes. Oxford University Press, Oxford u. a. 2006.
  • Susanne Gaschke: Witches, Hobbits and Pirates - The best books for children. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-421-05668-4 .

Special topics

  • Heinz Kuhnert: The picture book in children's literature in the GDR since 1945 , Der Kinderbuchverlag, Berlin - GDR, 1976.
  • Tobias Kurwinkel: picture book analysis. Narrative, aesthetics, didactics. Tübingen: Francke, 2017, 306 pages, ISBN 978-3825248260 .
  • Dorothee Markert: Momo, Pippi, Rote Zora ... what's next? Reading Education, Female Authority, and Gender Democracy. Ulrike Helmer, Königstein 1998, ISBN 3-927164-67-4 .

Youth literature


  • Carl M. Tomlinson, Carol Lynch-Brown: Essentials of Young Adult Literature. Allyn & Bacon, 2006, ISBN 0-205-29014-0 .


  • Pam Cole: Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century. McGraw-Hill, 2008, ISBN 978-0-07-352593-8 .
  • Alleen P. Nilsen, Kenneth L. Donelson: Literature for Today's Young Adults. Allyn & Bacon, 2008, ISBN 978-0-205-59323-1 .

Special topics

  • Rita Zellerhoff: Complex linguistic structures in youth literature. Shown on award-winning works of the youth jury of the German Youth Literature Prize. Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-631-67538-0 .
  • Katherine T. Bucher, KaaVonia M. Hinton: Young Adult Literature: Exploration, Evaluation and Appreciation. Prentice Hall, 2009, ISBN 978-0-13-714532-4 .

Web links


Commons : Children's and Young Adult Literature  - Collection of images, videos and audio files



Youth literature

Individual evidence

  1. Carsten Gansel: Modern children's and youth literature. Suggestions for a competence-based teaching. Cornelsen Scriptor, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-589-22927-7 , p. 13.
  2. ^ Carmen Bravo-Villasante: World history of children's and youth literature. Schrödel, Hannover et al. 1977, ISBN 3-507-38000-5 , p. 39.
  3. ^ Carmen Bravo-Villasante: World history of children's and youth literature. Schrödel, Hannover et al. 1977, ISBN 3-507-38000-5 , p. 41.
  4. ^ Carmen Bravo-Villasante: World history of children's and youth literature. Schrödel, Hannover et al. 1977, ISBN 3-507-38000-5 , p. 43.
  5. ^ Carmen Bravo-Villasante: World history of children's and youth literature. Schrödel, Hannover et al. 1977, ISBN 3-507-38000-5 , pp. 43-45.
  6. Hans-Heino Ewers, afterword, children's fairy tales by CW Contessa, F. de la Motte Fouqué, ETA Hoffmann, Reclam 1987, p. 347
  7. ^ Boundary Issues
  8. ^ Children's literature: Hostile takeover
  9. ^ Georg Räth: The interactive children's book . In: The world . March 16, 2016 ( [accessed December 24, 2017]).
  10. Matthew Grenby: The Guardian of Education . Thoemmes Press, Bristol 2002, ISBN 1-84371-011-0 , pp. 155 .
  11. books for young persons in the Ngram Viewer. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .
  12. Ashley Strickland: A brief history of young adult literature. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .
  13. Young adult literature in the Ngram Viewer. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .
  14. z. B. Gero von Wilpert : Subject dictionary of literature (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 231). 6th, improved and enlarged edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-520-23106-9 .
  15. ^ Nancy Lamb: Crafting Stories for Children. Writer's Digest Books, Cincinnati 2001, ISBN 1-58297-238-9 , p. 24.
  16. ^ The major elements of writing fiction. ( Memento from May 25, 2012 in the web archive )
  17. ^ Seventeenth Summer Summary. Retrieved July 20, 2019 .
  18. ^ Mary Owen: Developing a Love of Reading. In: Orana. March 2003, pp. 11-17.
  19. Roswitha Budeus-Budde: No more recipes. Children's and young people's literature on the move. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . Marg. 277, December 1, 2015, supplement literature, p. 15.
  20. a b c Quoted from Gerda Hagenauer: The reading competence and reading behavior of 15- to 16-year-old Austrian schoolchildren - A gender comparison from a socialization-theoretical perspective , diploma thesis for obtaining the master’s degree at the Faculty of Culture and Humanities of the University of Salzburg , Department for Educational Science and Sociology of Culture, Salzburg, November 2005, PDF file p. 3, 19 and 23 ff. Of 182 pages, online at
  21. For sales of fantastic children's and young people's literature, see also Harry Potter, Commercial Success
  22. For adult editions of Fantastic Children's and Youth Literature, see Harry Potter, Novels
  23. Ranking of the largest youth book publishers according to sales share in the market for children's and youth books in Germany from January to December 2018. Accessed on July 21, 2019 .
  24. Tilman Spreckelsen: Hans-Joachim Gelberg on the eightieth: And the dragons are still alive. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. August 27, 2010, accessed April 9, 2014 .
  25. Andreas Nentwich: Thomas Lehr: Tixi Tiger Shark and the secret of Easter Island There was another ovolect! In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. June 20, 2008, accessed April 9, 2014 .
  26. Quotations. In: Expressen, December 6, 1970. Retrieved July 21, 2014 .
  27. Good books touch the soul: Children's books are important for development. (No longer available online.) In: JA ZUM KIND, Marken Verlag GmbH. Formerly in the original ; Retrieved July 21, 2014 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  28. Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young Persons: Offenses at risk for young people : What is indexed?
  30. ( Memento from March 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  31. ( Memento from April 3, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) - OHRENBÄR became a book - radio stories for little people . It can be heard on radioBerlin 88.8 from 7:20 pm. Produced by SFB , now rbb under coproduction by WDR5 and NDR Info . First broadcast: October 1, 1987.
  32. Children's and Young People's Literature / Book Studies (MA). Retrieved July 21, 2019 .
  33. Master Children's and Youth Media. Retrieved July 21, 2019 .
  34. Retrieved July 22, 2019 (search terms "United States" + "Children's literature"). Retrieved July 22, 2019 (search terms "United States" + "Children's literature").
  35. Universities with Doctorate Degrees in Children's Literature. Retrieved July 21, 2019 .
  36. Katja Wiebe: Overview study on current children's and youth literature in Poland, Russia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary . Robert Bosch Foundation. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  37. DNB link