ERIC Number: EJ967303
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Challenging the Mythology of Home in Children's Literature
Wilson, Melissa B.; Short, Kathy G.
Children's Literature in Education, v43 n2 p129-144 Jun 2012
The myth of home is what distinguishes children's literature from adult novels (Wolf 1990). Nodelman and Reimer ("The Pleasures of Children's Literature," 2003) write that while "the home/away/home pattern is the most common story line in children's literature, adult fiction that deals with young people who leave home usually ends with the child choosing to stay away" (pp. 197-198). In a critical content analysis of recent award-winning middle reader novels from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, a new pattern was observed. This pattern, called a postmodern metaplot, begins with the child being abandoned, rather than the child leaving the home. The child's journey is to construct a home within a postmodern milieu complete with competing truths and failed adults. Ultimately, the child's postmodern journey ends with very modern ideal of the child leading the adults to a hopeful ending, a home. The article explores the changing roles of childhood and adulthood in children's literature and questions if the mythology of home can be undone.
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Novels, Content Analysis, Postmodernism, Family Environment, United States Literature, English Literature, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom; United States