Tag: sickness

  • Two Weeks With The Queen by Morris Gleitzman Novel Study

    Two Weeks With The Queen is an Australian middle grade novel by Morris Gleitzman. My edition is copyrighted 1989, though other places on the web will tell you this book was first published in 1990 or 1991.

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    The Secret Garden cover by Graham Rust Mary looking in through the gate

    The Secret Garden is a novel by British-American Frances Hodgson Burnett, originally published in serialised form in America between 1910-11, the end of the Edwardian era in England. We now consider this a story for children, probably because the main characters are children. Surprising to me: this story was originally aimed at an adult readership. […]

  • Dance In America by Lorrie Moore Short Story Analysis

    Rauschenberg painting

    “Dance In America” is a short story by Lorrie Moore and can be found in the collection Birds Of America, published in 1998. Find it also in The Collected Short Stories. “Dance In America” first appeared in The New Yorker in 1993. Louise Erdrich reads Lorrie Moores short story “Dance in America” and discusses Moore…

  • Writing Activity: Describe Medical Rooms and Hospitals

    William Simpson - One of the wards of the hospital at Scutari 1856

    Medical rooms and hospitals are safe, infantalising, dangerous, creepy, life-saving, traumatising places, and I offer them here as examples of what Foucault called ‘heterotopia‘. The hospital’s ambiguous relationship to everyday social space has long been a central theme of hospital ethnography. Often, hospitals are presented either as isolated “islands’ defined by biomedical regulation of space…

  • A Continuum of Imaginative Powers

    I enjoy stories about characters with wild imaginations, and that may partly explain why I love children’s books. From Where The Wild Things Are to highly symbolic fairytales to post-modern off-kilter realities, children’s literature is full of dreamscapes and fantastic journeys. But stories of imaginative power don’t end with childhood — there are many examples…

  • My Neighbour Totoro Storytelling

    My Neighbour Totoro (1988), from Japan’s Studio Ghibli, is one of the few genuinely child centred films in existence. In contrast, most films out of DreamWorks and Pixar contain dual levels of meaning, including jokes only the adult co-viewer will understand, or emotional layers inaccessible to children. For instance, in Toy Story 3 Andy says…

  • The Love Of A Good Woman by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

    “The Love Of A Good Woman” by Alice Munro is the title story in the collection which won the Nobel Prize in Literature, 2013. It’s a long short story — about 70 pages. We might even call it a novella, though let’s just go with this: The title story of Alice Munro’s collection, The Love…

  • Illness and Disability in Children’s Literature

    The Doctor exhibited 1891 Sir Luke Fildes 1843-1927 Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894

    Illness, disability and disfigurement has a problematic history in children’s literature. What are the main problems, today and in the past, and how might writers aspire to do better? A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND ILLNESS When you think of classic children’s literature and illness, you’re likely to come up with The Secret Garden.…

  • The Influence of The Lovely Bones on Modern Literature

    The Lovely Bones cover

    The emphasis in the First Golden Age [of children’s literature] was very much on being healthy in mind and body – if a child became sick, he or she usually got well as part of their story. Today’s reader has no such encouragement. There is an alarming trend in what has been termed “sick-lit” which…

  • Strays Like Us by Richard Peck Storytelling Tips

    Strays Like Us is a 1998 middle grade novel by American author Richard Peck. (155 pages) Peck not only understands the fragile emotions of adolescents, he also knows what kind of characters will pique their interest. In this tender novel, he paints a richly detailed portrait of Molly, a drug-addict’s daughter sent at the age…

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl film poster

    Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is a metafictive coming-of-age film based on a young adult novel by the same name. The book is an example of ‘sick-lit‘. Greg […] is coasting through senior year of high school as anonymously as possible, avoiding social interactions like the plague while secretly making spirited, bizarre films…

  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman Storytelling Tips

    If I Stay book cover

    If I Stay by Gayle Foreman is a young adult novel published 2009. This book is beautifully plotted, and makes an excellent case study if writers are planning a story with an ‘alternating’ plot. WELCOME TO THE THIRD GOLDEN AGE This book is an excellent example of ‘The Third Golden Age Of Children’s Literature’, as described by…