You are on page 1of 11

GENRES OF CHILDRENS LITERATURE: Picture Books Definition: A book in which the picture is as important as the text.

. This is a genre based on a physical format, so it can contain titles from many of the other genres. It includes picture books, illustrated storybooks, wordless storybooks, concept books, and informational books. In picture books, both text and illustration are fused together, to provide more than either can do alone (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts). Illustrated story books are different from picture books in that the text can stand alone and the illustrations are secondary to the text, yet complement the text. These books are generally up to 48 pages in length. Poetry Books Definition: Poetry books can range from poetry that rhymes to free verse and concrete verse. It takes the sound of language and arranges it in beautiful forms. Each word is chosen carefully for its sound and its meaning. It appeals to both the thoughts and feelings of the reader. Traditional Literature Definition: This literature is born of oral tradition, and is passed orally from generation to generation. It often has "retold by" or "adapted by" in front of the author, on the title page of the book. It often starts with the phrase "Once upon a time..." and often has a happy ending. The story often includes patterns of 3 (3 characters, 3 tasks, 3 events, etc.). There are many versions of the same story. Good always conquers evil. Sub-genres of traditional literature include fairy tales, folk tales, Mother Goose rhymes, legends, myths, proverbs, epics, and fables. "Fractured" Fairy Tales, Modern Fantasy (and Science Fiction) Definitions: "Fractured" Fairy Tales are traditional tales, told with a new "twist." Modern fantasy is rooted in traditional literature, but has an identifiable author. Modern fantasy also includes modern fairy tales like those from Hans Christian Andersen. In general, modern fantasy stories involve magic, the "quest," and/or "good versus evil." Fantasy creates an alternative universe, which operates on laws different than our own. Sub-genres of fantasy include animal fantasy, quest fantasy, machine fantasy, toy and doll fantasy, time fantasy, comic fantasy, high fantasy, and other world fantasy. High fantasy is complex stories characterized by recurring themes and often take place in created or imaginary worlds. Science fiction speculates on what might happen in the future in our universe, so it has some basis in our reality. The books in this genre address themes of love, justice, truth, loyalty, goodness, courage, wisdom, etc. Sometimes the line between fantasy and science fiction is blurred, with elements of both genres in the story. Contemporary Realistic Fiction Definition: Titles dealing with the problems and joys of living today. There is often an element of character growth or self-realization in the book. Titles can promote tolerance and understanding of others and their experiences. It "extends children's horizons by broadening their interests, allowing them to experience new adventures and showing them different ways to view and deal with conflicts in their own lives" (Through the eyes of a child (2003), p. 363) Historical Fiction and Biography Definition: Realistic fiction set in the past. Readers can gain an understanding of the past and relive past events vicariously. Biography includes biographical fiction, fictionalized biography, authentic biography and autobiography. Informational Books Definition: Informational books can also be called non-fiction books. Informational books must be accurate, authentic, up-to-date, factual, clearly organized, and include illustrations when needed. These books should avoid anthropomorphism, stereotypes and generalizations. Sub-genres include photo documentaries, narrative texts, how-to books, question and answer books, activity books, field guides/identification books, survey books, concept books and life-cycle books. Introduction There are many advantages of using children's literature, including picture books, as tools to teach concepts across the curriculum: in science, social studies, mathematics, art, and other curriculum topics. Some of them are: 1) Good picture books and literature in general, can awaken the child in each one of us, which is not a bad thing, and is sometimes easily misplaced in our daily lives. The use of literature in teaching any subject can be a new, creative, and imaginative way to approach a topic. Approaching a topic from a different "angle" through literature, including picture books, can increase student motivation to learn (Lake, 1993, p. 18). A good story is a strong teaching tool, which gives a concrete, "contained" perspective for learning or thinking about a topic (Carr, 2001, p. 147). 2) The simple, but imaginative worlds within picture books, and all literature, can provide students with an excellent and motivating introduction to complex curriculum topics. It is a great way to introduce a topic, especially to struggling learners in that it allows you to work from concrete, "simple" examples, before moving onto more abstract and complex examples (Carr, 2001, p. 148). It is easy to read in a short amount of time

3) In a good picture book, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts: the pictures do more than reflect the text, but serve to move the story forward in a way that the text can not do alone. The interplay of text and picture in a good picture book engage the reader on a deeper level, "on both an intellectual and an emotional level (Huck, 1997, p. 199)." 4) Picture books are bicultural, that they share qualities of books and the visual arts (Hammond, 1994, p. 11). For instance, reading a picture book engages a child in both the visual and the language arts. Because of the many parallels between art and language arts, learning becomes connected and cumulative when the two disciplines are correlated in the classroom (North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts, 1998, p. 1). I would use this same argument in using childrens literature, in general, across any curriculum subject. Because picture books use more than one learning style (visual and written) they are an excellent teaching tool. 5) Good literature books captivate the child's interest and information is rapidly absorbed through them (Butzow, 1989, p. 6) Good quality literature, including picture books, contain universal themes that make them, in many ways, "ageless:" they can be enjoyed by student of all ages (Carr, 2001, p. 146). The use of literature to teach curricular concepts helps relate the concept being taught to real-life situations, bringing the concept into the child's world (Whitin, 1992, p. xii). 7) Most teachers are frustrated by the lack of time to cover all the curriculum topics. Integrating curriculum topics such as literature and science, for instance, can save more time than trying to teach the concepts separately (Welchman-Tischler, 1992, p. 1). 8) The last reason to me is one of the most important: the use of good literature in imaginative ways, to teach curriculum topics, makes learning fun! As stated above, they celebrate the often complex dance between the visual and written forms of communication; two very powerful ways of communication we use everyday. Types of Picture Books A picture book, for the sake of this handout, is be defined as a book where the pictures are as important, or more important, than the words in the book (if any). There are several types of picture books: * Alphabet or counting book * Concept book, where a book describes an object in various ways, a class of objects, or an abstract idea (Huck, 1997, p. 163) * Wordless books * Predictable books * Picture Storybooks, where both illustrations and text bear the burden of narration (Huck, 1997, p. 198) What Makes a "Good" Picture Book? Charlotte Huck has an excellent checklist for evaluating picture books (1997, p. 223). As well, Carol Butzow provides details for judging books for a cross-curricular unit of study (1989, p. 7). Some of their criteria are outlined below: * Content * Format o Is the book appropriate for your age of o Are the book jacket and end papers student? appropriate to the theme and setting of the book? o Does the book encourage curiosity and * Theme wonder about its topic(s)? o Is the theme worthwhile? Is it too obvious or o Is the book connected to your curriculum overpowering? topic(s) in more than just a superficial way? * Accuracy and Authenticity o What is the quality of the language? o Where called for, are the illustrations * Illustrations accurate? o Do the illustrations extend the text? o Does the author's background qualify o Are the words and illustrations woven him/her to write on this topic? together in any way? Do they create "rhythm and o Are fact and fantasy distinguished? Does it movement" in any way? matter for your cross-curricular purposes? Integrating Picture Books into the Curriculum While many of the activities mentioned in the books in "Literature Integration in the Curriculum" are designed for use with specific book titles, many of them use the same general types of activities. Some of these are listed below: 1. Draw maps, diagrams, and charts based on 5. Before you finish the book, have students the information provided in the book. predict the outcome. Create multiple endings to 2. Provide opportunities for students to go to the the story. library and research the facts presented in the 6. Do your own picture books, based on the picture books, whether it be about some of the patterns presented in the original. animals, plants, history, or other concepts 7. Try using the art techniques, as used in the presented in the book. book. 3. Is there any mathematics presented in the 8. Write newspaper articles, or advertisements, book? Numerically write down math. based on the events in the book. 4. Find and compare other books on the 9. Write creative forms of book reviews, using tools problem, not just picture books. such as Moen's, "Better Than Book Reports."

10. Make a new book jacket, or a poster, for the book. 11. Create word searches related to the book or topic. 12. Interview the author, or characters, presented in the story. Write a commercial to encourage people to read the book. 13. Draw a map related to the story's settings. 14. Split the story into sections, and have them read the story out loud, in groups. 15. Write down the facts presented in the story, and then check with other sources to see if they are correct. 16. Write down your favorite or unusual quotation in the book.

17. Create a postcard from one of the characters in the book. 18. If the book is about a certain culture or historical event, pick out important cultural items mentioned in the book. Draw the item, and write about it. 19. Draw a coat of arms which describes the main character. 20. Classify the characters, objects described in the book different ways: size, color, shape, etc. Have the students draw out the different classifications. 21. Even after all of the above, may I be so hypocritical to say: we do not always need to overanalyze books. Maybe it is o.k. to enjoy them just for the pure pleasure of it.

Picture Books Picture Book: A book in which the text and pictures are equally important o Illustrated book: A book in which the text is primary o Wordless picture book: A book containing only pictures. NB: There is controversy as to whether a wordless book can be considered literature. Many wordless picture books can the literary elements we look for in texts: view, theme, character studies, setting, tone. Narrative art: art that tells a story. Picture books are a form of narrative art. THE ILLUSTRATIONS IN PICTURE BOOKS Illusion: a technique used by artists to make us see things that are not really there: distance, depth, texture. Illustrations in picture books must project a mood that is appropriate to the text. Principal Elements of the Art of Illustration The principal elements of the art of illustration are: line, space, shape, color, texture, composition, perspective. o Line conventional colors are used, for example, for the sky, grass, etc.) to define objects by outlining psychology of color (cultural phenomena) to suggest movement, distance, o reds, yellow: excitement feeling/emotional responses o blues, greens: calm, quiet curves, circles: warmth, coziness, security o purple, royalty sharp, zigzag: excitement and rapid movement o green: envy, illness horizontal: calm, stability o blue: depression vertical: height, distance o yellow: cowardice figures at top of page: further away than used to suggest cultural distinctions those at bottom or sides o Texture o Space (very powerful) creating characteristics of a three draws attention to specific forms on the page dimensional surface on a flat surface generous use of space: emptiness, loneliness, used to emphasize the realistic quality of a isolation picture lack of open space: claustrophobic feeling, used to enrich the visual experience and to confusion, chaos stimulate the viewers imagination o Shape Composition/Perspective massive grouped shapes: stability, enclosure, o Composition: the arrangement of the details confinement, awkwardness in the picture lighter, delicate shapes: movement, grace, good composition creates a sense of freedom rhythm in moving from page to page--a rounded: similar to curved and circular lines rhythm that is in keeping with the squarish, angular shapes: excitable reaction narration o Color good composition creates a sense of children do not require brightly colored unity between the illustrations and the pictures text integrating them into one on the page color can detract from the text if o Perspective: the vantage point from which overpowering or inappropriate the viewer looks on at the objects or the least imaginatively used artistic element events in the picture in childrens picture books (that is, Artistic styles found in childrens books Representationalism: presents objects realistically, but not necessarily photographically; may be used with non-realistic subjects Expressionism: deliberate distortion and exaggeration using line, space, color, shape, texture, composition; abstraction is extreme expressionism

Impressionism: uses splashes, speckles, dots of paint to achieve an interplay between color and light;

creates a dreamlike effect; distances the viewer from the action bizarre incongruities; the product can be nightmarish bold, unshaded colors

Surrealism: an otherwise realistically depicted object subjected to unnatural juxtapositions and Cartoon: uses gross exaggerations and distortions for satiric or humorous effect; uses solid lines and Folk Art: designs and images peculiar to a specific culture--to effect the mood of the culture;

particularly suited to folktales Photography: used mostly in realistic stories and informational books Artistic media Painterly techniques:using paint as the primary medium--watercolors, tempera, gouache, poster color, oil paint, acrylics, pastels, chalk, pencil, ink, crayons Graphic techniques: blocks or plates that are inked and imprinted on paper--woodblocks, linocuts (linoleum), scratchboard, stone lithography Montage (grouping of different pictures or designs to create a single picture) and collage (grouping materials--string, cotton, weeds--with pictures to create a single picture) Picture-book layout text must be carefully placed in relation to the pictures the pictures must illustrate what the accompanying text describes (called juxtaposition) THE STORIES IN PICTURE BOOKS Principal types of stories o Folktales, legends, myths initially passed by word-of-mouth adhere to the traditional storytelling patterns: often begin with Once upon a time and end with a happily ever after typically take place in an imaginary place where magic is commonplace Modern fantasy stories o take place in modern settings and employ magic as a principal feature o most omit the potentially threatening forces of evil that characterize the folktales Talking animal stories includes complexities of our world avoid magic literature for children is foremost for focus on everyday issues in quite enjoyment realistic contemporary settings expose children to other cultures; depict early exposure to symbolism: animal or sympathetic characters with whom the child inanimate characters symbolize can identify or empathize facets of human nature children like to read stories about other Realistic stories children who are like themselves few subject taboo in childrens picture books today Narrative elements Plot: sequence of events leading to a specific goal must be clear and fairly direct should have a clearly defined beginning, middle, end focuses on a conflict which must be resolved o conflict can be internal (struggle within a character) or external (between characters) for young children the plot must use a simple, chronological time frame; more complex plot structures for older children young children like action, suspense, humor Character o theme--the principal idea that governs the o focus is one character story (e.g. disobedience of parental o character is a human (usually a child) or an authority often results in dire consequences)--should not be confused with animal with childlike qualities morals or lessons (didactic stories) o characterizations are quite simple (picture Literary style books are not long enough for complex o boredom results character development) which something is either too simple (all Setting common monosyllable words) or too hard o usually conveyed visually by picture (complex sentences with many unfamiliar o still a story element because setting words) determines much of how and why things o as picture books happen in the story are often written for non-readers, they o success depends on effective selection of must read well aloud scenes o he best picture Subject and theme books challenge childrens thinking without o subject should hold meaning for a young overwhelming it child (e.g. child disobedience but not toxic Social concerns and the picture storybook waste disposal) o need to be aware how picture books portray and interpret society (e.g. stereotyping)

o Childrens reading should include a diverse but this does not mean we must censor or selection of social attitudes. forbid certain books Folk Literature Definition: Folk or traditional literature is the collection of tales passed from generation to generation and from the old to the young by word of mouth (also called the oral tradition). Folk literature is believed to be peoples efforts to organize their experiences into meaningful patterns. Folk literature includes fairy tales, myths, legends, fables, tall tales, and other oral traditions of preliterate societies. Theories of the origin of folk tales: Aryan myth theory (or monogenesis--single origin): all folk tales came from the Teutonic myths of a single ancestral people. Polygenesis (many origins) theory: people everywhere in the world experience the same emotions-love, pity, fear, anguish, jealousy, hatred--and results of these emotions--greed, selfish ambition, courage, kindness--and conditions of people--cruel step-parents, neglected children, resulting in many variants of the same story (such as Cinderella). Psychoanalytic theory: folk tales come from the dreams, nightmares, and unconscious emotions of the storyteller. Problems with theories: We know today that all peoples do not share the same emotions, for example some groups of people are indifferent to whether children they bring up are their own. Yet, there is striking similarities among folk tales found in different parts of the world. Science of folklore: Folktales are the cement of society: they codified and reinforced the way people thought, felt, believed, and behaved. Folktales are created by most people at an early level of civilization. Folktales may contain elements of past religions, rituals, superstitions, or events. Folktales are carried orally by migrating peoples, travelers, captives. Storytellers altered [edited] tales, combined tales, and adapted tales for the lands and peoples listening. [Tales carried over water versus land usually had fewer alterations.] Distinctive elements of folktales: Pattern of form: o Introduction: introduces the leading characters, the time (once upon a time, in olden times when wishing still helped, long ago and far away) and place (bridge, palace, forest, hut--a very minimum of details), and the problem to be solved or the conflict which is the essence of the story (winning security, earning a living, accomplishing impossible tasks, escaping powerful enemies, outwitting wicked schemes and schemers, succeeding with nonchalance). o Development: the heart of the story--quests begin, tasks are initiated and performed, flight gets underway, obstacles appear, hero or heroine reduce despair or helplessness or plunge into more and more perilous action--until a climax when the problem or conflict will be resolved one way or another. The plots are vigorous and full of suspense and action. The unity of the tale is held together by an economy of incidents--generally limited to three tasks or three riddles or three trials. o Conclusion: usually swift and brief; and accounts for everything that was started in the introduction-heroes/heroines achieve a happy solution, villains are satisfactorily punished. o Pattern of style Meant to be told or read aloud--not read silently. Often story has a cadence with words suited to the tempo. A rapid and natural give-and-take in dialogue. Words carefully chosen to make long descriptions unnecessary. Often uses rhyme for a particular characters speech. o Pattern of character portrayal o Plot is more important than characters. o Characters are used typed, for example the good are altogether good and the wicked are completely wicked--leading to no sympathy and easy liquidation in the conclusion. Types of folk literature: Folktales Animal tales--generally the principal characters are animals that talk and act like humans and interact with humans (who have negligible and negative roles). Fables--a form of animal tale in which animals portray human virtues and vices for the purpose of conveying a [usually blatantly stated] moral message. Most fables require abstract thinking and are lost on young children. Mrchen or wonder tales (magic)--magical wonders (a person or object or enchantment) long ago in faraway lands usually depict the conflict between good and evil, usually with characters of royal birth; usually end in a happy marriage.

o need to be aware of the underlying message


Pourquoi (why) tales--explain natural phenomena; many Native American and African folktales fall into this category, such as Why mosquitos buzz in peoples ears. Noodlehead (or simpleton) tales--main characters are lovable fools (underdogs) who trade one possession for another of lesser value until they are left with nothing except happiness. Cumulative tales--include repetitious patterns, such as three wishes, three deeds or a repeated list that is added to. Tall tales--comic stories of preposterous exaggeration, such as Paul Bunyan, which defy logic and almost always without a moral lesson. Ghost stories, including jump tales (it got you). Most children prefer to hear ghost stories in groups (for safety?).


Stories of gods, goddesses, heroes of a given culture. Help define human relationships with a deity or deities. Explain origin of customs and societal beliefs. Help to reinforce cultural values, such as primary good and evil. Help to explain natural phenomena, such as desolation of winter. Help to resolve peoples fear of the unknown, such as thunder, lightning, death. and legends Grew out of mythology but focus on stories of humans as heroes. Derive from Christian sources (King Arthur), saints legends, local legends (such as Johnny Appleseed). The typical legend grows up around a real person--although facts are lost. metaphor to look at an ordinary event in a new, imaginative way; Japanese Cinquain five-line stanza of 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 syllables respectively; medieval origin (5 lines) Concrete poetry words arranged to form a pictorial representation of the subject of the poem Limerick six-line humorous poem; first, second, and fifth lines rhyming; and the third and fourth rhyming [AABBA] Free verse no pre-set rules; may hve rhyming and rhythmical pattern; 20th century Language of Poetry ...uses strong, vigorous words or evocative, rich words or delicate, precise words that define with accuracy Imagery (mental pictures created by the words) Direct images--visual (sight), tactile (touch) auditory (sound), olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste) Indirect images--simile (like or as comparison), metaphor (implied or is a comparison), personification (gives life qualities to inanimate objects, idea, forces of nature; metaphorical by nature) Sound Rhythm (pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem; called meter; smallest unit called a foot) Iamb (two syllables with the emphasis on the second) Trochee (two syllables with emphasis on the first) Anapest (three syllables with emphasis on the last) Dactyl (three syllables with emphasis on the first) Rhyme (similarity of sound between two or more words)

Poetry Definition of Poetry ...the effective combination of sound and sense ...concrete and artistic expression in emotional and rhythmical language ...invention by producing something unexpected, surprises and delights ...a momentary stay against arrest of disorder [Robert Frost] Effects of Poetry X. J. and Dorothy M. Kennedy: 1. makes us laugh (nonsense poems to poems of comedy) 2. tell us stories (set scenes, establish characters, convey plots) 3. send us messages (points, ideas) 4. share feelings with us (from the poet) 5. start us wondering (see things in new ways, stretch our imaginations) On children musical rhythm is felt and yields movement Poetry as a set of tools External form* (the stanza) Internal sound and imagery Form* of Poetry Narrative poetry (a story in verse) Ballad straightforward; easy to understand; frequently tragic and plaintive setting, character, events with a climax; beginning, middle, end character motivation and possibly character development; underlying theme typically follows a four-line scheme with second and fourth lines rhyming Epic poems (The Iliad, The Song of Hiawatha, The Highwayman Lyric poetry (describes a feeling; intellectual or emotional response to a subject; usually focus on one experience; are usually brief; depend heavily on musical and rhythmical qualities) Haiku 17 syllables divided into three lines; usually about nature or peoples relationship to nature; uses

Alliteration--repetition of initial sounds in Consonance--repetition of consonant two or more words sounds within word Assonance--repetition of identical vowel sounds Fantasy Definition: Fantasy is any story of the impossible--a tale including events that contradict the laws of the natural world. Fantasy is an original story that can be traced to an original text and author. Fantasy, compared to the folktale is more complex in structure, has more character development, has more detailed settings, and is generally more polished in literary style. Fantasy contains some form of enchantment and can be classified according to the predominant type of enchantment in the tale. Types of fantasy: Literary fairy tale o hero or heroine engages in monumental o conventional setting struggles against a seemingly all-powerful evil and the fate of an entire civilization depends o predominantly flat and stereotyped on the outcome of that struggle characters real world threatened by dark forces o acceptable magic element passage from a primary o happy ending world into a secondary world Animal fantasy takes place entirely in o focuses on animals possessing human traits, imaginary worlds inhabited by imaginary especially human feelings -- from which we creatures can learn something about our selves o quests often are for identity of the hero or o animals exist in a predominantly human heroine world only they can talk and feel human o plot typically consists of a series of remarkable emotions adventures, humor is either absent or a Toy fantasy secondary element, do not shy away from o talking toys (i.e. dolls, stuffed animals) are tragedy (good is not accomplished without the major characters some significant sacrifice) o some involve transformation to human form; o Supernatural and time fantasy (including ghost others are content with being toys and witch stories) Eccentric and extraordinary characters set in the primary world with fantasy o rely on wild exaggeration element often a disturbing aspect that o usually a central character possessing must be corrected by the end of the story magical or extraordinary powers Science fiction and space fantasy Enchanted journeys and imaginary lands o First: Mary Shelleys Frankenstein (1818) o goes back before Homers Odyssey o usually focuses on life in the future o sending characters on a journey from a real o some devoted to dramatizing the wonders of world into an other world technology (instead of magic) into a world of miniaturized characters (note o often involves a struggle between the forces of similarity to childrens relation to their good and evil world) many are didactic in undertone, dealing o journey may have some purpose with ethical problems (technology: for Heroic or quest fantasy or high fantasy human good or destruction) Special characteristics of fantasy: Characteristic demanded by the reader Originality: (according to Zilpha Snyder): o Fantasy is an original work of fiction and not a o No nonsense retelling of a folktale o No treachery Believability, achieved by: o The fantasy worlds are presented in the story o Massing of detail--vivid descriptions o Maintaining consistency--for example, can only as if they were real; certain rules are established--and adhered--by the author that enter special world through the wardrobe in the operate within the fantasy world attic o The fantasy remains past the end of the story-o Restraining the fantastic--there are limits to that is, the characters do not, for example, powers, etc. awake to find it was all just a dream o Rooted in reality and human nature Rewards of fantasy Writers can explore complex ideas on a symbolic level Exploration of philosophical issues on a level that children can understand and appreciate Challenges our perceptions of reality Develops and exercises the imagination Realistic Fiction

Definition: Realistic fiction is stories of life in the real world (the world as we know it) and governed by the laws of the natural world as we understand them. Realistic fiction intends to provide a believable verisimilitude or plausibility to life as we experience it Characters may be very ordinary or quite exaggerated. Plots may be mundane or preposterous. Realistic fiction is an artists view of the world in which we live. Realistic fiction can be classified by the principal focus of the realistic element. Types of realism: Adventure stories The oldest type of fictional story. protagonist must either outwit or unite with nature in order to survive Characterized by o Mysteries o exciting, fast-moving plot popularized by Edgar Allan Poe in the o unusual, often bizarre, characters early 19th century often sharply defined always involves the solving of a puzzle, strong and daring heroes, dastardly perhaps a crime villains depends heavily on plot intricacies and o frequently exotic settings. clever twists Two main kinds of adventure stories successful mystery contains cleverly o Survival stories planted clues and an ingenuous crime focus on an individual(s) pitted usually and its solution against the forces of nature Domestic realism or family stories Focuses on the everyday manners, customs, and mores of English society o Prior to the mid 20th century, family scenes were romantic o After the mid 20th century, and the dramatic change in the family structure, the happy family unit is often replaced with emotionally charged situations broken homes, and nontraditional domestic arrangements. Social realism Forces on societal problems--poverty, crimes, education, working conditions, corruption--and how those problems affect the characters in the novel Stories typically offer hope in the midst struggles. o message is usually if hardship is to be overcome, it will be through perseverance and determination rather than through some fortuitous event that sheds rich blessings on the protagonist New Realism is a form of social realism in which frankness, absence of sentimentality, and at times a diminishing of hope are the basis of the story Psychological novels and problem novels Psychological novel first date, puberty, moving, teen pregnancy, drugs, homosexuality o A product of the 20th century o Family is usually depicted as helpless or part o Focuses on a single individuals emotional of the problem--a reflection of the perceived reaction and adjustment to lifes breakdown of the modern family structure experiences o Solutions come from outside the home--a o Tends to be for older readers sympathetic adult or a peer o Rarely carries a social message o Used in bibliotherapy--using directed reading o Not every problem has a solution to help young adults cope with personal Problem novel problems (some authors object to this saying o A product of the 1960s it encourages the individual to narrow their o Focuses on a single issue of immediate perspective and focus on self-pity) concern to young people, such as divorce, Realistic animal stories Originated in North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Animals are depicted realistically, behave as animals, are not empowered with human speech, but are given a personality and a hint of human emotion Special characteristics of realism: Often seen as coming of age stories in which the main character finds greater independence, accepts responsibilities and must make decisions Often stories find children moving from a position of isolation and distrust to one of reaching out to others and acknowledging a need for social interaction Increases childrens thinking skills Historical Fiction Definition: Historical fiction is stories set in the past and seeks to recreate the aura of a time past, reconstructing characters, events, movements, ways of life, and the spirit of a bygone day: The time period--and its portrayal--is at the core of the story. Historical fiction may overlap other genres, for

example historical realism, historical fantasy, historical tall tales, and historical mysteries. Historical fiction may be a domestic novel, a psychological novel, etc. Relationship to biography: Historical fiction and biography complement each other. Where historical fiction portrays the era, including mention of some specific individuals; biography portrays the individual, including mention of some of the features of the era. Historical fiction enriches the context for biographies from the same time; biography enriches understanding of specific individuals. Historical development: Developed from the romantic movement of the early 19th century. Appeals to the romantic desire to escape from the present. Historical fiction before World War I tended to be idealized and filled with patriotic sentiment. Historical fiction today attempts to reassess and understand the past rather than glorify it. After World War I, historical fiction declined in popularity. During the 1930s to 1960s, historical fiction regained popularity. The youth rebellions of the 1970s brought a rejection of the past and a clamor for relevance in fiction. Characteristics of historical fiction: Unobtrusive history o conveys the flavor of the period--its sights, o depends on a believable and sounds, smells, characteristics. o uses language appropriate to the setting reasonably accurate setting; often includes actual historical personages. (time and place). o events in historical fiction are o faithful to the facts of the period--this creations of the authors imagination; they means the author reads history of and are not history. documents from the period covered. o fills gaps for the reader, such as Sensitivity political and social history, customs, o writers of historical fiction must be psychological attitudes, state of science and sensitive to and balance the various technology during the covered time period. intellectual views of an era. o primary requirement of historical o ignorance and prejudice have no place in fiction is that it tells a good story. the authors telling of the story or Authenticity perspective of the era Evaluating historical fiction: tells a good story conveys the flavor of the historical period authentically captures the people of the period, their values, and their habits uses dialogue to make the characters sound authentic but not artificial faithfully uses historical knowledge to avoid distorting history fairly and sensitively portrays different sides of the compelling issues of the period gives us insight into contemporary problems as well as helps us understand the problems of the past Age and historical fiction: children of any age can enjoy historical fiction. very young children have little understanding of chronology or the existence of a past and may not realize the story is from another era. around age 7 or 8 children become aware of the passage of time and the existence of a past Biography Definition: Biography is a nonfictional work describing the life, or part of the life, of an individual. When the author is also the subject of the biography, the work is called an autobiography. Biography is considered literature. Relationship to historical fiction: Biography and historical fiction complement each other. Where biography portrays the individual, including mention of some of the features of the era; historical fiction portrays the era, including mention of some specific individuals. Biography enriches understanding of specific individuals; historical fiction enriches the context for biographies from the same time. Approaches to biography (degree of authenticity): Authentic biography -- attempts to convey the factual information of a persons life; does not include any unsupported facts, facts supported by reliable research; rarely includes dialogue--unless taken from letters or diaries or reliable personal recollections. Fictionalized biography -- dramatizes events; creates dialogue and scenes to make the story more interesting; good fictionalized biography will not creates scenes that did not happen. Biographical fiction -- pure fanciful invention with only passing regard to the historical facts. Forms of biography (coverage of a life): Complete biographies -- a persons life from the cradle to the grave. These may be brief and simple or long and complex. Partial biographies -- focuses on a part or aspect of a persons life.

Collective biographies -- may be 1) brief biographical sketches of several people with something in common; for example, scientists, First Ladies, sports figures, musicians or 2) the weaving the biographies of several people into one story. Evaluating (elements of) biographical writing: Subject -- prior to the 20th century, biographical writings focused on and glorified saints and royalty. Today, biographical writings focus on--and depict rather realistically at times--any person the author chooses. The author chooses and relays facts in a way to make the person interesting. In addition to learning more about the person, a good biographical writing will allow you to learn more about people in general. Accuracy -- good biography is accurate and authentic; fictionalized biography conveys the essence of the character if not always the specific details of their life. There should be no glaring omissions from the persons life that would distort the readiers view or understanding of that person. can document evidence and research upon which the writing is based. Endnotes, footnotes, bibliographies, and indexes can be added to books intended for readers older than second grade. Balance -- today, biographies are preferred which show the human side of people--their errors in judgment, personality flaws, eccentric habits, etc.--balanced with the glorious exploits. Style -- even the most interesting information and be written in such a way that it is dull and dry. Humor is utilized too little in biographical writings. Vocabulary and sentence structure must match the needs of the intended reader. Theme -- a biography without a theme is a loose collection of facts. Some biographies are didactic. Special characteristics of autobiography: Autobiography is often much more informal than biography, for example, memoirs and reminiscences. Autobiographies often lack references and dates. Autobiographies can be quite biased in representation and coverage. Few autobiographies are written for children. Informational Books Definition: Informational books deal exclusively with factual material presented to instruct the reader. They are generally consider to be functional or utilitarian books and not part of literature. Children, however, do not always separate fiction and nonfiction and there is an interest/need to have informative books which also appeal to the aesthetic. [I once picked up Hardware Today magazine and was captivated by an article on a small hardware stores attempt to arrange shelves and supply a wide variety of items in a limited space. The author of the article was a poet who earned a living writing for trade magazines. The article was creative and accurate--intended to aid other small hardware store owners in selecting stock.] We have become accustomed to informational books being dry and dull; however, there is no reason why nonfiction books cannot adhere to finer literary standards and hold our interests as would a good novel. Types of informational books: Lands and people o title accurately represents contents and o cultures and customs flavor of presentation o appropriate for age of intended reader o history and governments o distinguishes between fact (what we know) o religion and theory (what we suggest) Science and nature o presents a balanced view of the information o life sciences o information is up-to-date o environment Accuracy and objectivity o physical and earth sciences o author has appropriate specialized training in o mathematics the subject Fine and applied arts o no [glaring] errors in information o art appreciation and art history o there is no undue bias or over simplification o drawing and painting Format and organization o dance o layout of the book is easy to follow o theater o there is a clear and logical organization, for o photography example, moving from simple to complex ideas o writing or developing in chronological order o sports o there are organizational aides such as o crafts and hobbies headings and subheadings Human development and behavior o especially for older children there are o life cycle: birth, growth, sexuality, death supplementary aids such as a table of contents, o interpersonal relationships glossary, index, bibliography o emotions o illustrations are carefully place in the text, o disabilities such as next to the material they illustrate; o psychological and sociological problems captions are appropriate Evaluating informational books o photographs provide a sense of reality and Purpose authenticity o clear and manageable o subject treated thoroughly and objectively


o art work should convey a mood appropriate to the topic Style o the writing is clear

o the style of writing (choice of words and

sentence structure) is engaging and appropriate to the subject and intended reader