Declarations of Independence: Empowered Girls in Young Adult Literature, 1990-2001

Declarations of Independence: Empowered Girls in Young Adult Literature, 1990-2001

by Joanne Brown, Nancy St. Clair
     
 

Uncovers and traces the development of the young female protagonist from the role of submissive fairy-tale maiden to the spunkier more independent girls who now appear with increasing frequency in young adult literature. Focuses on American titles written in a time when young adult fiction began to adapt to the post-modern directions already established in fiction

Overview

Uncovers and traces the development of the young female protagonist from the role of submissive fairy-tale maiden to the spunkier more independent girls who now appear with increasing frequency in young adult literature. Focuses on American titles written in a time when young adult fiction began to adapt to the post-modern directions already established in fiction for adults. It is a unique exploration of characters portrayed with wit, intelligence, and will, reinforcing attributes seldom seen in earlier works about females. This next generation of heroines is the model with which today's readers can readily identify. With an annotated list of titles for suggested reading following each chapter, Declarations of Independence is the ideal resource for parents, middle and high school teachers and librarians. It should be a fixture in every public and undergraduate school library.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Examining 'historical fiction, contemporary realism, and literature of the fantastic,' this book shows how these genres offer new images of girlhood for their readers. Anyone interested in girls' literature will find this an absorbing, thoughtful study, one that sheds new light on contemporary young adult literature and gender issues.
Booklist
A fascinating, illuminating study that would be a fine addition to all academic and large public libraries.
Feminist Collections: A Quarterly Of Women's Studies Resources
...a wonderful overview of books published in the last decade or so that feature 'spunky, fiery, empowered girls' as protagonists. The book is a fantastic resource for everyone...this book does an excellent job...
The Children's Literature Program
This book is a wonderful tool for those working with adolescent girls, particularly teachers of English literature. The book offers a welcome perspective to adolescent development and empowerment. Those working with adolescent females will find the book useful for finding books that will inspire and communicate to today's young girls.
Choice
Examining 'historical fiction, contemporary realism, and literature of the fantastic,' this book shows how these genres offer new images of girlhood for their readers. Anyone interested in girls' literature will find this an absorbing, thoughtful study, one that sheds new light on contemporary young adult literature and gender issues.
School Library Journal
As societal expectations over time have changed to a more accepting view of women as independent, intelligent beings, so too has literature begun to reflect those changes. The authors use the term "empowered girls" to describe these new protagonists. There are discussions of young women in historical fiction, in the contemporary world, in fantasy, and in memoir. Chapters include analyses of novels and offer examples of female empowerment achieved in a variety of ways. Each chapter concludes with annotated suggestions for further reading. A bibliography cites the books mentioned throughout the text. A valuable exploration of the topic.-Dana McDougald, Cedar Shoals High School, Athens, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Arguing that fiction creates as well as reflects codes of behavior, Brown (English, Drake U.) and St. Clair (English, Simpson College) study the gradual development of the empowered young female protagonist in literature and survey young adult literature of the 1990s, seeking empowered role models for young girls. Separate chapters are devoted to historical fiction, fiction set in the contemporary world, the literature of the fantastic, and memoir. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810842908
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2002
Series:
Studies in Young Adult Literature Series, #7
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Joanne Brown is Associate Professor of English at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She is the author ofPresenting Kathryn Lasky in Twayne's United States Authors' series on writers for young adults, and has published short fiction, personal essays, and articles on young adult literature. Nancy St. Clair is an Associate Professor of English at Simpson College in Indiania, Iowa, where she also serves as Chair of the English department and as director of the Cornerstone and Senior Colloquium programs. She has published several articles on women's studies and young adult fiction.

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