Art of Place in Literature for Children and Young Adults: How Locale Shapes a Story

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This book examines the fairy-tale as a significant influence on place in the literature. The rapid development of children’s fiction in the nineteenth century occurred shortly after the widespread circulation of fairy tales. Fairy tales are a particularly concrete, visual, and cinematic form of writing, a genre in which place plays a significant role. Children’s authors use fictional landscapes in a variety of traditional and innovative ways to create compelling, powerful texts.


“Dewan’s text is so encyclopedic in its coverage that it will long serve as a handbook for researchers as well as immediately providing an eye-opening analysis for scholars.” – Prof. Ruth B. Bottigheimer, StateUniversity of New York at Stony Brook

“This comprehensive and meticulously documented study of place in children’s literature will prove to be a valuable reference for both students and scholars of children’s literature.” – Prof. Don Latham, Florida State University

“Whether in children’s literature, in adult literature or in real life, place is far more than a backdrop to action: setting and self, “scape” and psyche are inextricably linked. For anyone traveling through or dwelling in the territory we call children’s literature, Dewan’s work will serve as an invaluable guide, one which helps us to see the familiar anew while enticing us to explore those places we have yet to visit.” – Prof. Joyce Thomas, Castleton State College

“This book combines breadth with depth and draws on the strong description of young people’s literature that is thus achieved to develop and support a telling, yet always readable argument about the importance of place in this literature. It is a notable accomplishment.” – Prof. Margaret Mackey, University of Alberta

Table of Contents

Preface by Ruth Bottigheimer
1. Introduction: Place in Children’s Literature
2. Wondrous Landscapes: The Art of the Fairy-Tale Setting
3. The Journey through Life: The Road, the Path, the Way
4. Enclosed Spaces: Gardens, Islands, Valleys
5. The Sylvan Landscape: Trees, Forests, Jungles
6 The Magical Built World: Castles, Palaces, Enchanted Cities
7. Below the Surface: Caves, Mines, Underground Places
8. Liminal Places: Borderlines and Thresholds

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