Call for Reviews: Recent Publications on #Children

To celebrate the arrival of another tiny Allie, Allegra is launching a small but perfectly formed list of publications on #children, this time with a call for reviews. If you are interested in reviewing one of the books featured, please contact Allegra’s reviews editor Judith Beyer or reviews assistant Rosie Gant at and they will send out a copy.

Welcome to the world little one, we hope you will be just as fascinated by it as we are!

Here are our review guidelines:
As we receive many requests for reviews, please write 2-3 sentences why you should be reviewing this book, indicating how it relates to your own research or interests.
Spelling: British English. Please use –ise and not –ize word endings.
Word limit: 750-1500 words
Font: Times New Roman
Size: 12
Line Spacing: 1,5
No footnotes.
If you cite other authors, please reference their publication in the end.
The review is to be written within three months from the dispatch of the book.
When submitting the review, do not forget to include your name, (academic) affiliation, a photograph of yourself and a short bio of 2-3 sentences.

Children of AfghanistanHeath, Jennifer and Zahedi, Ashraf (eds.). 2014. Children of Afghanistan: The Path to Peace. Texas: University of Texas Press. 362 pp. Hb: $55.00. ISBN: 9780292759312.

The first comprehensive look at youth living in a country attempting to rebuild itself after three decades of civil conflict,Children of Afghanistan relies on the research and fieldwork of twenty-one experts to cover an incredible range of topics. Focusing on the full scope of childhood, from birth through young adulthood, this edited volume examines a myriad of issues: early childhood socialization in war and peace; education, literacy, vocational training, and apprenticeship; refugee life; mental and physical health, including disabilities and nutrition; children’s songs, folktales, and art; sports and play; orphans; life on the streets; child labor and children as family breadwinners; child soldiers and militarization; sexual exploitation; growing up in prison; marriage; family violence; and other issues vital to understanding, empowerment, and transformation.

Love's_UncertaintyKuan, Teresa. 2015. Love’s Uncertainty: The Politics and Ethics of Child Rearing in Contemporary China. California: University of California Press. 272 pp. PB: $29.95. ISBN: 9780520283503.

Love’s Uncertainty explores the hopes and anxieties of urban, middle-class parents in contemporary China. Combining long-term ethnographic research with analyses of popular child-rearing manuals, television dramas, and government documents, Teresa Kuan bears witness to the dilemmas of ordinary Chinese parents, who struggle to reconcile new definitions of good parenting with the reality of limited resources. Situating these parents’ experiences in the historical context of state efforts to improve “population quality,” Love’s Uncertainty reveals how global transformations are expressed in the most intimate of human experiences. Ultimately, the book offers a meditation on the nature of moral agency, examining how people discern, amid the myriad contingencies of life, the boundary between what can and cannot be controlled.

BoyhoodLankes, Matt [photography]. Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film. Texas: University of Texas Press. 200 pp. HB: $50.00. ISBN: 978-1-4773-0541-6.

In 2002, director Richard Linklater and a crew began filming the “Untitled 12-Year Project.” He cast four actors (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater) in the role of a family and filmed them each year over the next dozen years. Supported by IFC Productions, Linklater, cast, and crew began the commitment of a lifetime that became the film, Boyhood. Seen through the eyes of a young boy in Texas, Boyhood unfolds as the characters — and actors — age and evolve, the boy growing from a soft-faced child into a young man on the brink of his adult life, finding himself as an artist. Photographer Matt Lankes captured the progression of the film and the actors through the lens of a 4×5 camera, creating a series of arresting portraits and behind-the-scenes photographs. His work documents Linklater’s unprecedented narrative that used the real-life passage of years as a key element to the storytelling.

Just as Boyhood the film calls forth memories of childhood and lures one into a place of self-reflection, Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film presents an honest collection of faces, placed side-by-side, that chronicles the passage of time as the camera connects with the cast and crew on an intimate level. Revealing, personal recollections by the actors and filmmakers accompany the photographs.

Innocent WeaponsPeacock, Margaret. 2014. Innocent Weapons: The Soviet and American Politics of Childhood in the Cold WarUniversity of North Carolina Press. 304 pp. Hb: $34.95. ISBN: 9781469618579.

In the 1950s and 1960s, images of children appeared everywhere, from movies to milk cartons, their smiling faces used to sell everything, including war. In this provocative book, Margaret Peacock offers an original account of how Soviet and American leaders used emotionally charged images of children in an attempt to create popular support for their policies at home and abroad.

Groups on either side of the Iron Curtain pushed visions of endangered, abandoned, and segregated children to indict the enemy’s state and its policies. Though the Cold War is often characterized as an ideological divide between the capitalist West and the communist East, Peacock demonstrates a deep symmetry in how Soviet and American propagandists mobilized similar images to similar ends, despite their differences. Based on extensive research spanning fourteen archives and three countries, Peacock tells a new story of the Cold War, seeing the conflict not simply as a divide between East and West, but as a struggle between the producers of culture and their target audiences.

Children and BordersSpyrou, Spyros and Christou, Miranda (eds.) 2014. Children and Borders. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp 320. Hb £65. ISBN: 978113732630.

This edited collection brings together scholars whose work explores the entangled relationship between children and borders with richly-documented ethnographic studies from around the world. The book provides a penetrating account of how borders affect children’s lives and how in turn children play a constitutive role in the social life of borders. Providing situated accounts which offer critical perspectives on children’s engagements with borders, contributors explore both the institutional power of borders as well as children’s ability to impact borders through their own activity and agency. They show how borders and the borderlands surrounding them are active zones of engagement where notions of identity, citizenship and belonging are negotiated in ways that empower or disempower children, offer them possibilities and hope or alternatively deprive them of both. With innovative cross-fertilization between Border Studies and Childhood Studies, this volume illustrates the value of bringing children and borders together.

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