Some specific plot elements, or motifs, that we find in children’s novels are not as promiennt in the mainstream fiction. The first is coming to a new home. Naturally, this element–connected to the basic motif of dislocation, inherent in all fiction–is present in quite a number of mainstream novels, such as Jane Eyre or Mansfield Park. However, I would state that the new home is more dominant in children’s fiction and also more significant, since the change of setting is a more dramatic event in a child’s life than in an adult’s. The character’s reaction to the change is very revealing.

The Rhetoric of Character In Children’s Fiction by Maria Nikolajeva


  1. What are some examples of moving house (or school or country) in books you have read?
  2. How did the character react?
  3. What did it reveal about them?