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School Library Journal
The authors observe that teens in the process of developing their identities often experiment with names, manipulating and creating them as a way of presenting their individuality to others. Here, they examine contemporary authors who use names as a literary technique. They cite as examples M. E. Kerr, Gary Paulsen, and Polly Horvath, who use them to evoke humor, while Robert Cormier treated them as an expression of tone in several works. The Nilsens also look at the naming devices used by Karen Cushman, Gary Soto, Adam Rapp, Nancy Farmer, Orson Scott Card, Ursula K. Le Guin, Sandra Cisneros, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Kadohata, and Sherman Alexie, among others, to show how they establish time periods or settings, or reveal ethnic values. The text is written in a scholarly style for readers interested in teaching and sharing literature with young adults. Although some sources are mentioned in the text, the addition of footnotes citing all of the sources would clarify references. Still, this volume offers an interesting exploration of the use of this literary device for teachers of teen literature and for librarians who share books with teens.
—Rebecca SheridanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.