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children's literature, childhood and culture (and anything else that strikes my fancy).

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Location: pittsburgh, U.S. Outlying Islands

carbon-based life form: thinking, reading and gardening. New College alum; current grad student writing a dissertation. I specialize in children's literature, media, and culture, and queer/gender studies, with a strong interest in 19th century British literature and culture. I like history, a lot.

Monday, November 01, 2004

kansas charley

I just finished Joan Jacobs Brumberg's book: Kansas Charley: The story of a nineteenth century boy murderer. Charley is a boy who murders, not a murderer of boys (although he is that, too). It was interesting but I do wish Brumberg had spent more time on a broader discussion of juvenile justice and juvenile death penalty cases/issues. The book really is about Kansas Charley, although oddly enough, there isn't much in there about Charley himself - he ends up being a kind of absence in the middle of the book. He evidently spoke very little during his trials; interviews with him are only excerpted in the book. Charley's voice, speaking for himself, is largely absent.
Otherwise, a fantastic case analysis that helps historicize the current anxieties over kids who kill.


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