Much literature for children appears in the form of series, in which familiar characters appear in book after book. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, authors began to write science fiction series for children. These early series generally had plots that revolved around inventions developed by the protagonist. But it was the development and use of rocket and atomic science during World War II that paved the way for interesting and exciting new themes, conflicts, and plots. While much has been written about the early juvenile science fiction series, particularly the Tom Swift books, comparatively little has been written about children's science fiction series published since 1945. This book provides a broad overview of this previously neglected topic.
The volume offers a critical look at the history, themes, characters, settings, and construction of post-1945 juvenile science fiction series, including the A.I. Gang, the Animorphs, Commander Toad, Danny Dunn, Dragonfall Five, the Magic School Bus, and Space Cat. The book begins with an introductory history of juvenile science fiction since 1945, with chapters then devoted to particular topics. Some of these topics include the role of aliens and animals, attitudes toward humor, the absence and presence of science, and the characterization of women. A special feature is an appendix listing the various series. In addition, the volume provides extensive bibliographical information.
KAREN SANDS is an assistant professor of English at Buffalo State College where her specialty is children's literature.
MARIETTA FRANK is a Curriculum-Reference Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford./e She has previously worked as a high school librarian.