Kid Lit Before It Was Kid Lit

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A recent Slate Explainer details what children read before the advent of “children’s literature.”

The answer: “Epic poems, religious literature, romances, and Aesop.”

Looks like English kids had it better than most, with their stories about adventurous knights and talking foxes, at least until Hans Christian Andersen came along.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →