“Throw the book away”

Reading versus Experience in Children’s Fantasy


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About the Book

Children’s literature is an excellent way to educate children, on everything from social behavior and beliefs to attitudes toward education itself. A major aspect of children’s literature is the importance of books and reading. Books represent adult authority.
This book examines the role that books, reading and writing play in children’s fantasy fiction, from books that act as artifacts of power (The Abhorsen Trilogy, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Harry Potter) to interactive books (The Neverending Story, Malice, Inkheart) to books with character-writers (Percy Jackson, Captain Underpants). The author finds that although books and reading often play a prominent role in fantasy for children, the majority of young protagonists gain self-sufficiency not by reading but specifically by moving beyond books and reading.

About the Author(s)

Amie A. Doughty is an associate professor of English at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. She is a member of the Popular Culture and Children’s Literature associations and lives in Oneonta.

Bibliographic Details

Amie A. Doughty
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4982-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0566-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix

Preface  1

Introduction  5

Part I. Overviews

1. Children’s Literature, Fantasy and Metafiction  9

2. Books as Artifacts of Power  27

3. Interacting with Books  50

4. The ­Writer-­Character in Children’s Fantasy  64

5. Books and Storytelling in Film  81

Part II. Specific Series

6. Harry Potter, Book Learning, Adolescent Scribbling and Self­Reliance  111

7. Inkheart and the Rejection of Literacy  140

8. Living Characters and Life Behind the Scenes in The Sylvie Cycle  155

Conclusion  167

Chapter Notes  169

Bibliography  175

Index  195