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Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

About the Project

This resource guide was created in 2021 by Emilie Menzel as an assignment for a children's librarianship and literature course through University of North Carolina's School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Masters of Science in Library Science program.

The project is inspired by the research on historical master narratives and counter narratives in picture books by Sara B. Demoiny and Jessica Ferraras-Stone (2018). Per the definition given in their article "Critical Literacy in Elementary Social Studies: Juxtaposing Historical Master and Counter Narratives in Picture Books," a counter narrative will accomplish the following when recounting historical events:

  1. “Explore differences rather than making them invisible,

  2. Enrich understandings of history and life by giving voice to those traditionally silenced or marginalized,

  3. Show how people can begin to take action on important social issues,

  4. Explore dominant systems of meaning that operate in our society to position people and groups of people as ‘others,’

  5. Don’t provide ‘happily ever after’ endings for complex social problems.” (Richardson and Hatch 2009, cited in Demoiny and Ferraras-Stone 2018, 5)

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