Donnie Darko Film Study

Donnie Darko is a 2001 film set in 1988, in a fictional Virginia town called Middlesex. This genre blend of drama, mystery and science fiction is precisely ambiguous enough to generate much discussion about what is meant to have happened. This is ideal ‘cult-following’ material. Note that Donnie Darko didn’t make much of a splash when……

A Woggle of Witches by Adrienne Adams Analysis

A Woggle of Witches is a picture book written and illustrated by American storyteller Adrienne (“Dean”) Adams in 1971. In total, Adams wrote six of her own books; mostly they illustrated for other writers. Adrienne Adams was a prolific illustrator through the 1960s and beyond, and a two-time winner of a Caldecott Medal (1960 and……

The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of……

In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories

In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories

In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories written by Alvin Schwartz was first published in 1971 for emergent readers ready for scary… but not too scary. I recently looked closely at a modern picture book called Creepy Carrots, another excellent example of a ‘scary’ story perfectly pitched at 4-6 year olds. This collection……

How To Make Friends With A Ghost by Rebecca Green Picture Book Analysis

How To Make Friends With A Ghost is a 2017 picture book written and illustrated by Rebecca Green. This cosy supernatural story is written as a non-fictional how-to guide and because this book deals with supernatural subject matter, covertly teaches how to be a good friend. PARATEXT OF HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH A GHOST……

A Glossary of Zombie Words

Fight The Dead Fear The Living image from the zombie series The Walking Dead

Why all the zombies in stories? Zombies have unlimited potential as metaphor. Historically, storytellers have used zombies to explore tensions between conservative and progressive values. The zombies themselves represent widespread cultural anxieties of their era. Some storytellers use zombie stories to reinforce the status quo while progressive storytellers use zombies to critique it. Watching the……

Powers by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

“Powers” is the final story in the Runaway collection by Alice Munro, published 2004. I find this story the most challenging of the lot — as in, what in holy heck was that all about? I’m going to have to write about “Powers” in order to understand it. Here goes my best shot. What can……