We used verb generation and story listening tasks during fMRI to study language organization in children (7, 9 and 12 years old) with perinatal left MCA infarctions. Healthy, age-matched comparison children (n = 39) showed activation in left Broca's area during the verb generation task; in contrast, stroke subjects showed activation either bilaterally or in the right hemisphere homologue during both tasks. In Wernicke's area, comparison subjects showed left lateralization (verb generation) and bilateral activation (L > R) (story listening). Stroke subjects instead showed bilateral or right lateralization (verb generation) and bilateral activation (R > L) (story listening). Language is distributed atypically in children with perinatal left hemisphere stroke. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart.