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Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 59–70 | Cite as

The Cultural Work of Magical Realism in Three Young Adult Novels

  • Don Latham
Original Paper

Abstract

Magical realism as a literary mode is often subversive and transgressive, questioning the values and assumptions of the dominant society that it depicts. Young adult literature, by contrast, is typically thought to serve a socializing function, helping to integrate young readers into adult society. What then is the cultural work of magical realism when it appears within young adult novels? An examination of three young adult novels—by Francesca Lia Block, David Almond, and Isabel Allende—reveals that they employ magical realism to accomplish socialization through subversion.

Keywords

Identity Magical realism Socialization Subversive literature Young adult literature 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of InformationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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