Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, „Yes to Solidarity, No to Oppression: Radical Fantasy Fiction and Its Young Readers”, Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego
This review assesses Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak’s Yes to Solidarity, No to Oppression: Radical Fantasy Fiction and Its Young Readers. Deszcz-Tryhubczak has two agendas in this volume: first, to explore the capacity of Radical Fantasy fiction to model for young readers the agency of youth forming collaborative, cross-generational, and possibly cross-cultural alliances to address glocal socio-political and/or environmental issues spawned by the injustices and inequities of late-stage capitalism; second, to model a new approach to participatory research, involving child readers not as subjects of study but as collaborative readers of texts. Deszcz-Tryhubczak provides a thorough examination of the problem of adult critics speculating about child readers based on constructed implied child readers rather than on actual children, then proceeds to identify how Childhood Studies may offer some productive means of thinking about and, more important, engaging with real children. She provides a clear definition of Radical Fantasy and brief readings of both core and marginal examples of the genre. This contextualizes her description of her methodology and discussion of results from two research projects collaborating with young readers. Finally, Deszcz-Tryhubczak contends that participatory research is a way to move forward in children’s literature scholarship in a more democratic manner, and moreover that applying this methodology to Radical Fantasy is potentially also a means of engaging children in important debates on issues that are shaping their futures. I find this book a stimulating contribution to our understanding of youth reading that offers intriguing possibilities for further research.