Author

Bethany Fort

Date Approved

2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Ramona Caponegro

Committee Member

Annette Wannamaker

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the inside and outside of preadolescent literature, a subgenre that has been widely neglected by literary scholars, educators, and book publishers. In Chapter 2, I analyze the themes within The Giver by Lois Lowry and use the developmental stage of preadolescence to define a subgenre of preadolescence, which has distinct characteristics that separate it from the other subgenres of children’s literature. In Chapter 3, I focus on the outside of preadolescent literature, using the results of bookseller and author surveys and research on the history of the tween retail market to uncover the subtle messages being communicated to tween consumers. I consider the liminal position of novels for preadolescent readers within the larger book-producing world by studying the publishing, marketing, and store placement of these novels. By comparing the preadolescents’ roles as implied readers and active consumers, I explore why these readers and their novels are being overlooked and offer some possible solutions for amending this great problem.

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