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Young Adult Literature: Rite of Passage or Rite of Its Own

TitreYoung Adult Literature: Rite of Passage or Rite of Its Own
Type de publicationArticle de revue
Année de publication2005
AuteursProukou, K.
RevueThe ALAN Review

Myths swirl about young adult (YA) literature, from Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter: It’s literature for teenagers; it’s literature about teenagers; it’s stylistic and simplified literature; it’s overly didactic and, of course, shorter than a real novel. It is a rite of passage. But it is much more. It is about life, its histories and potentialities, transformations and choices; it is about conflicts between the claim of the individual and the claims of culture (Freud); it is about life’s fantastic flux of being. It is about new beginnings and other directions; of young heroes who wind upthreads and carry wisdom, of the child-one who sees, clearly, that the emperor has no clothes. It is not only about rites of passage, but is also a rite of its own, an archetypal icon-bearer of the monomyths that recreate us, as an examination of Huckleberry Finn, The Chocolate War and Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, three very different novels spread out over time, illustrate.

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