The Trouble With Reader-response Theory in Reading Multicultural Literature: A Critique of Dana Fox’s and Kathy Short's Stories Matter

Jacquelyn Chappel


This book review of Kathy Short’s and Dana Fox’s collection of essays on multicultural literature (Stories Matter, 2003) offers a summary  of the views expressed and finds that authors in the debate over what counts as multicultural literature take up either a reader-response approach or cultural studies approach to reading literature. Edited by two of the major figures on multicultural literature in education today, Stories Matter raises a number of important disagreements and confusions over definitions of multicultural children’s literature that continue to be debated over today. The book review offers a useful summary and provides a framework for making sense of the many voices in this debate.


multicultural literature, reader-response theory, Stories Matter, Kathy Short, Dana Fox, cultural studies, world literature, cross-cultural literature, parallel cultures, transnational literature.

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