Annotated bibliography of books concerning Africa, for children and young adults.
While much critical attention has been given to adult literature, African literature for children and young adults remains a neglected area. As the United States becomes an increasingly pluralistic society, it becomes all the more important for children and young adults to be exposed to books set in Africa. This bibliography includes entries for nearly 700 books written in English by both African and Western authors and published between 1873 and 1994. An additional 120 books are either discussed or mentioned in the annotations.
The entries are organized in six chapters. The first chapter includes general works, while the others are devoted to particular geographic regions. Within each chapter, entries are further grouped according to genres, such as traditional literature, biography, poetry, drama, fiction, autobiography, and informational books. Entries are then listed alphabetically. Each entry includes an annotation that provides a plot/content summary, thematic analysis, literary evaluation, and sensitivity to multicultural and international issues; an indication of the recommended grade level for the book is included. The books are carefully selected to give fair representation to the various regions and countries of Africa, literary genres, prominent authors and books, and literary phases; the author has tried to include all available books published in the 1980s and 1990s. The introductory essay provides an in-depth analysis of the social, political, cultural, and literary contexts of the three phases of African children's literature: colonial, postcolonial Western, and postcolonial African. This bibliography is intended for scholars, teachers, librarians, parents, students, and general readers.