Realistic Fiction In Children’s Literature


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ELE 620
Cambridge College

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Realistic Fiction In Children’s Literature

  1. 1. Realistic Fiction in Children’s Literature ELE 620 Cambridge College
  2. 2. Elements of Realistic Fiction  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
  3. 3. Characteristics of the Best Realistic Fiction  Characters are engaging and believable.  Dialogue is believable  Plot is fresh and original  Setting is true to life  Problems faced by the characters are honestly portrayed  Resolution makes sense  Theme grows naturally out of the action and characters  Writer does not preach at us
  4. 4. Elements of Realistic Fiction  Introduction is where the author builds the story’s background. This is where the reader learns about the setting, the characters, and the story’s conflict, and perhaps what took place before the story begins.  Setting is where and when the story takes place: location, season, weather, and time period. Setting is important to the plot, the characters, the characters’ problems, and the theme.
  5. 5. Characterization and Conflict  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.
  6. 6. Plot and Theme  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.  Theme is the idea that holds the story together,…the central meaning of a piece of writing
  7. 7. Point of View  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
  8. 8. Imagery  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.
  9. 9. Tone  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
  10. 10. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary  SUBJECTS:  Divorce  Parent and child  Schools  Letters
  11. 11. Frindle by Andrew Clements  SUBJECTS:  Teacher-student relationships  New words  Schools
  12. 12. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech  SUBJECTS:  Death  Grandparents  Family life  Friendship
  13. 13. The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis  SUBJECTS:  African Americans  Family life  Prejudice  Brothers and sisters
  14. 14. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg  SUBJECTS:  Metropolitan Museum of Art  Runaways  Brothers and sisters
  15. 15. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli  SUBJECTS:  Death  Family life  Prejudice
  16. 16. Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan  SUBJECTS:  Great-grandmothers  Brothers and sisters  Family problems  Mexican Americans  Mexico
  17. 17. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff  SUBJECTS:  Family life  Orphans  Artists  Foster home care  Old age
  18. 18. Criteria for selection  Criteria for selecting titles in the realistic fiction collection begins 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