Forty Years of Children's Literature in Israel: Genres, Trends and Heroes

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Shlomo Harel


Adventure stories dominate Israeli chil­dren's literature. At various times over the past forty years, three types of adventure stories have been prominent: historical/ biographical, Holocaust, and neighbor­hood life. Each deals with reality, challeng­ing situations, and leadership in a different way. This paper examines: (1) the ways in which the cultural climate and sociological ethos participate in molding the hero's character; (2) whether the fictional world presented to Israeli children mirrors the Is­raeli reality of the time; (3) whether Israeli children's fiction satisfies the expectations and needs of readers, educators, parents, and critics; and (4) how the adventure story genre gained its prominence in Is­rael.


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How to Cite
Harel, Shlomo. 1993. “Forty Years of Children’s Literature in Israel: Genres, Trends and Heroes”. Judaica Librarianship 7 (1–2):50–58.
First International Symposium on Jewish Children's Literature
Author Biography

Shlomo Harel

Dr. Shlomo Harel received his Ph.D. from the Department of Hebrew Literature of Tel-Aviv University. His dissertation dealt with research on Hebrew poetry during the 19th century. He is the head of the regional school for teachers-in-service at Beit-Berl, where he also heads the Department of Literature at Beit-Berl College and the Yemima Center for the Study and Teaching of Children's Literature, which he founded in 1985. He is the editor of Be'emet?!, a miscellany of children's and adolescents' literature, and Be'eri, the interdisciplinary yearbook of Beit-Berl. Dr. Harel has recently published a novel: The Puffins of Itzi Geva: A Life-Story of a Boy in Love, intended for adolescent readers, and a new book of his theoretical research about children's literature: Children's Literature as Literature. Dr. Harel has also received many awards, including the Shlomo Shpan Prize for Literature (1972), a stipend from the International Library for Children's Literature in Germany, the Partisan's Prize (1988), and the Dov Sadan Prize (1990).