Theme: Homelessness

To be homeless is to be vulnerable. Homelessness implies exclusion, poverty and exile; it conjures up images of rootlessness and marginalization. Yet homelessness does not always lead to exclusion and social deprivation. Seekers and free thinkers who feel “homeless” in contemporary culture can still be part of society. Child homelessness is in this context much more threatening and dangerous. The stakes are higher. But even for the child homelessness can sometimes lead to freedom and growth beyond an oppressive home, community and school. Still, homeless children - whether they are victimized or liberated by it - challenge our conceptions of the good society and the nature of the child. Maybe precisely because of this, homeless children and youth are common in children’s literature. Charles Dickens'Oliver Twist, Laura Fitinghoff’s The Children from Frostmo Mountain, Astrid Lindgren’s Rasmus the Vagabond, and Henning Mankell's Comedia Infantil are just some examples from different periods.

We welcome articles on the topic of homelessness. The purpose of Barnboken’s theme is to identify the various depictions of homelessness in children's literature from different angles and perspectives.