Sparing the Child: Grief and the Unspeakable in Youth Literature about Nazism and the Holocaust

Routledge
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Bosmajian explores children's texts that have either a Holocaust survivor or a former member of the Hitler Youth as a protagonist.
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About the author

Hamida Bosmajian is Professor of English at Seattle University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Sep 13, 2013
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781135720377
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Children's & Young Adult Literature
Literary Criticism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Young Adult novel is ordinarily characterized as a coming-of-age story, in which the narrative revolves around the individual growth and maturation of a character, but Roberta Trites expands this notion by chronicling the dynamics of power and repression that weave their way through YA books. Characters in these novels must learn to negotiate the levels of power that exist in the myriad social institutions within which they function, including family, church, government, and school.

Trites argues that the development of the genre over the past thirty years is an outgrowth of postmodernism, since YA novels are, by definition, texts that interrogate the social construction of individuals. Drawing on such nineteenth-century precursors as Little Women and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Disturbing the Universe demonstrates how important it is to employ poststructuralist methodologies in analyzing adolescent literature, both in critical studies and in the classroom. Among the twentieth-century authors discussed are Blume, Hamilton, Hinton, Le Guin, L'Engle, and Zindel.

Trites' work has applications for a broad range of readers, including scholars of children's literature and theorists of post-modernity as well as librarians and secondary-school teachers.

Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature by Roberta Seelinger Trites is the winner of the 2002 Children's Literature Association's Book Award. The award is given annually in order to promote and recognize outstanding contributions to children's literature, history, scholarship, and criticisim; it is one of the highest academic honors that can accrue to an author of children's literary criticism.

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