Eavesdropping Books as Testimony: Witnessing Secondhand Crimes Against Humanity with Young Children

Educational Theory 72 (5):595-616 (2023)
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How do educators talk about trauma with young children? Specifically, how do they address children's secondhand experiences of crimes against humanity? In this article, Cara E. Furman argues that classrooms for young children must witness these experiences. A genre of picture books that Furman terms “eavesdropping texts” offer testimony that both witnesses and invites children's secondhand experiences of crimes against humanity. Here, Furman couples a close reading of the books with literary criticism and trauma theory in order to showcase the nuances of the genre and the pedagogical potential of eavesdropping books for young readers.



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