John Marsden: Darkness, Shadow, and Light

Overview

A master storyteller, John Marsden is Australia's best known writer for young adults. Marsden first found success with the publication of So Much To Tell You. Since then he has gone on to publish many popular and well-recognized titles, including those in the Tomorrow Series and The Ellie Chronicles. In his books, Marsden explores adolescents caught in a world of opposites, of innocence and guilt, idealism and realism, and joy and despair.

Marsden's world view and his faith in ...

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John Marsden: Darkness, Shadow, and Light

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Overview

A master storyteller, John Marsden is Australia's best known writer for young adults. Marsden first found success with the publication of So Much To Tell You. Since then he has gone on to publish many popular and well-recognized titles, including those in the Tomorrow Series and The Ellie Chronicles. In his books, Marsden explores adolescents caught in a world of opposites, of innocence and guilt, idealism and realism, and joy and despair.

Marsden's world view and his faith in adolescents serve as the backdrop for John Noell Moore's critical readings of Marsden's major novels. In John Marsden: Darkness, Shadow, and Light, Moore investigates the full spectrum of Marsden's work, beginning with the author's life as a teacher and writer. Throughout the book, Moore weaves together Marsden's recurring themes, chief among them writing and storytelling as ways of constructing identity in the transition from childhood to adulthood and the ability of young adults to endure hardships and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. The book is a valuable addition to the current scholarship on young adult literature and will be welcomed by middle and high school English teachers and students alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
This book is another in the "Scarecrow Studies in Young Adult Literature," an acclaimed series of biographies that provide a rich academic look at young adult literature. Moore's contribution is sufficiently scholarly, exploring the depth of the Marsden catalogue and attempting to present a picture of the author himself. As befits the format of the series, Moore introduces a brief biography and then engages in critical discussions of the most well known books in the Marsden catalogue. He presents adequate summaries and discussions of the novels, but it is his critical commentary of Marsden's novel Out of Time that stands out. Moore includes charts of the narrative sequence and structure of the novel, illuminating the many literary allusions, and the postmodern literary aspects addressed through the novels form and content. The critical chapters are rich with Marsden quotes but seem to miss what makes Marsden's novels significant within their own Australian context. There are hints of Marsden's critical view of social and cultural mores that are never fully applied within the analyses except in the critical discussion of the Tomorrow series. There Moore explores the role of Marsden in the canon of Australian young adult fiction. As with most academic writing, the passion and creativity of the novels are difficult to recreate in critical commentaries. Regardless, the Scarecrow Studies series is a growing resource in the critical documentation of young adult literature. Moore's text on Marsden is fortieth in the series and should be included in middle and high school library collections. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Noell Moore is associate professor of Education at The College of William and Mary and is the author of Interpreting Young Adult Literature: Literary Theory in the Secondary Classroom. He has served on the board of directors of ALAN and has published articles in the ALAN Review and the English Journal.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Chronology xi

1 Marsden on Fiction: Unmasking Reality 1

2 Faces and Fears: The Search for Identity in So Much to Tell You 15

3 Self-discovery in Take My Word for It: A Sequel to So Much to Tell You 29

4 Writing in the Dark: Letters from the Inside 41

5 The Music of the Dark Angel: Dear Miffy 55

6 The Great Gatenby: Humor and the Adolescent Male 69

7 The Journey: The Quest Without and the Quest Within 81

8 Checkers: The Political Novel 101

9 Out of Time: The Postmodern Novel 115

10 The Tomorrow Series: A Modern Epic for Young Adults 137

11 Marsden's Hamlet: The Dark Prince 163

12 A Final Word 173

Bibliography 175

Index 181

About the Author 185

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Fear Pack territory

    Fear Pack territory. Get out.

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