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ERIC Number: EJ1000485
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
"All of Her Changes Have Made Me Think about My Changes": Fan Readings of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's "Alice" Series
Heinecken, Dawn
Children's Literature in Education, v44 n2 p104-119 Jun 2013
This essay follows the insights of reader response theory to examine how readers of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice McKinley series negotiate textual meaning and construct particular identities in relation to the series' controversial content. Ranking second on the American Library Association's top one hundred list of banned and challenged books for 2000-2009, and criticized by conservative groups and feminist scholars alike, the "Alice" series may be understood as belonging to a widely-denigrated genre of relational reading material largely consumed by girls. The study analyzes over 2 years of reader posts to the Official Alice Blog, the major fan website to the series, to argue that reading "Alice" is a means by which fans shape their social and cultural identities in sometimes contradictory ways. While "Alice" fans display an uncritical adoption of some traditional beliefs around gender and sexuality in their reading of the series, their discussion simultaneously reveals how their recognition of the series as transgressive and liberating in its presentation of matters related to female adolescent identity enables readers to construct particular identities for themselves as readers, teens, and young women that are formed in opposition to some conservative and traditional ideologies. Moreover, in their engagement with the series' progressive sexual politics fans move closer to claiming agency as sexual subjects.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A