The enigma of the television tie-in

Naomi Hay-Gibson, Andrew Shenton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The television tie-in forms an area of literature that is often overlooked and, despite the frequency with which the term is used, it is rarely defined in reference sources. Books of this type have yet to receive widespread critical acceptance, yet the popularity of television tie-ins among young readers has been shown to be considerable. For many commentators, such literature remains synonymous with commercially-driven program merchandise, even though the educational value of the material in encouraging reading is well established. It remains difficult to identify precisely what the tie-in term embraces and, in the case of cross-over novels that incorporate elements from different programs, questions of authenticity and faithfulness to the original television series arise. When the notion of television tie-ins was discussed in interviews with librarians, considerable variations in their opinions emerged. The authors have, however, been able to draw on both these ideas and insights from source material in order to create a framework designed to help readers understand the territory covered by the television tie-in category of literature. With regard to promoting these books in libraries, it is wise to avoid employing the tie-in term with users, unless they are given specific indications of what is intended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-41
JournalNew Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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