, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 229-236
Date: 20 Jun 2006

Lying in Children’s Fiction: Morality and the Imagination

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Abstract

The telling of lies is significant in fiction written for children, and is often (though not in all cases) performed by child protagonists. Lying can be examined from at least three perspectives: philosophical, moral and aesthetic. The moral and the aesthetic are the most significant for children’s literature. Morality has been subtly dealt with in Anne Fine’s A Pack of Liars and Nina Bawden’s Humbug. The aesthetic dimension involves consideration of lying’s relation to imagination, fantasy and creativity; Richmal Crompton’s William: the Showman and Geraldine McCaughrean’s A Pack of Lies show this at a complex, metafictional, level.