“Without Manifest, None of the Book Would have Happened”: Place, Identity, and the Positioning of Canadian Adolescent Readers as Literary Critics

Original Paper

Abstract

This article explores the interconnections between young adult fiction and young adult readers’ constructions of place within two contemporary texts. It employs a qualitative, multiple case study design, and utilizes discussion groups, semi-structured interviews, and the creation of place-journals to interpret some of the ways in which several young adult readers, from two contrasting Canadian communities (rural/urban), respond to how place and place-identity are construed within two young adult fiction texts: Tim Wynne-Jones’ Blink and Caution and Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest. Drawing on geography theory and ecocriticism, it argues that the participants’ interpretations of place align with the theories of place put forth by cultural geographer Doreen Massey and ecocritic Lawrence Buell. In doing so, it illustrates how the participants reflected on place, inside and outside of the chosen texts, as geographers and ecocritics would have done. The methodological approach moves beyond strictly textual analysis to privilege the voices of adolescent Canadian readers, positioning them as critical interpreters of place.

Keywords

Young adult literature Ecocriticism Canadian literature Cultural geography Reader response 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Child and Youth StudiesUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada

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