Fall 2009 ELE 616 Research in Children’s Literature RealisticFiction
Meet the Manogies! The little people Always have a mountain ash near your house because the mountain ash protects you, Doda [grandfather] says. The food from the plate was to be shared with the Manogies, the little people. They’re the ones who keep watch over things. They like people who remember to share. Chapter 3, The Little Guys
What makes a book realistic? What is realistic fiction? Realistic fiction refers to stories that could indeed happen to peole and animals; that is, it is within the realm of possibility that such events could occur or could have occurred. These types of books cover a lot of different, realistic issues such as divorce, growing up, being poor, having disabilities or dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. Survival and adventure stories, mysteries and romance stories also are considered realistic fiction. A GUIDE TO COOL BOOKS for middle school aged kids
How would one define realistic children’s fiction? What sets it apart from fantasy or science fiction or mystery? What makes it so important to its readers? Perhaps the biggest drawing card for children with realistic fiction is that they are able to see themselves or people like themselves in the stories. It is as if the stories are mirrors into which they look -- and that is just what realistic fiction is --reflections of the child’s reality. Rochelle, Warren.A Sense of Responsibility in Realistic Children's Fiction. Emergency Librarian; May/Jun91, Vol. 18 Issue 5, p8, 6p
Realistic Fiction Brought to you by Miss Allen’s Fifth Graders Realistic fiction is simply stated as real kids with real problems solved in a realistic manner in a real world setting. If a story is excellent, it has more than one great characteristic. Therefore, realistic stories can and often do have humor, a sense of adventure, perhaps even danger. Real kids Real problems Real settings Real solutions Real humor Real adventure or danger This is no longer available on the web
How can there be “little people” in realistic fiction? “Little People” usually means some kind of supernatural beings What do we do with The Heart of a Chief and the Manogies? Are there actually supernatural beings in the book?
Realistic Fiction In good realistic fiction, the characters are engaging and believable. the dialogue is believable. the plot is fresh and original. the setting is true to life. the problems faced by the characters are honestly portrayed. the resolution makes sense. the theme grows naturally out of the action and characters - the writer does not preach at us. Children's Literature. Instructor: Chi-Fen Emily ChenDepartment of English, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Elements of realistic fiction 2 Characterization allows the reader to learn about what characters look like, what they say, what others say about them, and what they do (Lukens, 1999). Characters seem real because their actions and dialogue are believable. As readers, we often can identify with these characters because they are like our friends or ourselves. Conflict in realistic fiction is defined by the type of problem in the story. Conflict is the tension that exists between the forces in the character’s life. Teaching realistic fiction
Plot is what happens in the story. . . . The plot in realistic fiction must be believable or possible and easily understood, fast-paced and moving toward resolving the conflict. Two types of plots found in realistic fiction are the progressive and the episodic plots. Theme, according to Lukens (1999), is “the idea that holds the story together,…the central meaning of a piece of writing.” (p. 135) Teaching realistic fiction Elements of realistic fiction 3
Point of view is the perspective of the storyteller. When a story is written from the first-person point of view, the main character usually tells the story and uses the word “I.” When a story is written from the third-person point of view, the person telling the story is a central observer who knows all (omniscient) and can recount details, actions, thoughts, and feelings of the characters (conscious and unconscious). Teaching realistic fiction Elements of realistic fiction 4
Imagery refers to the author’s choice of descriptive words and phrases that help readers form a mental picture of settings, characters, and events, thus keeping readers fully involved in the story. Figurative language, including similes and metaphors, is used in realistic fiction to enhance imagery. Similes are comparisons that make use of “like” or “as.” A metaphor compares two unlike things directly without using like or as. Teaching realistic fiction Elements of realistic fiction 5
Author’s intent or tone relates to how the author wants readers to feel as we read the book. An author can intend the story to be humorous, sad, serious, slapstick, or any combination of these throughout the story, and will use sentence structure, word choices, patterns and arrangements to communicate and set the story’s tone (Lukens, 1999). Teaching realistic fiction Elements of realistic fiction 6
Realistic Fiction: Criteria Criteria for selecting titles in the realistic fiction collection began with believability of characters, settings, and events. Readers must be able to accept the characters as real people and events as real places when reading realistic stories; they must be credible. The reader must be able to imagine a boy like Jesse and a girl like Leslie as they race across the field in A Bridge toTerabithia. They must accept as possible Claudia and Jamie’s trip to the Metropolitan Museum, where they took up residence for a week inThe Mixed-upFiles of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
By the title alone, we know that Bridge to Terabithia will involve some type of bridge. But in this book the bridge isn’t just physical. The bridge that Jesse Aarons and Leslie Burke (the main characters) need to cross isn’t only about geography.
Claudia and Jamie are brother and sister. They are part of a busy family and Claudia feels as if she is never noticed or cared about. She feels as if life is nothing but tyranny with constant orders from her mother and father. Claudia decides to run away to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. When this idea finally penetrates into Jamie’s head, he thinks that she is crazy. Claudia finally talks her brother into going with her, using an unused ticket to New York City that was thrown away by mistake. E.L. Konigsburg