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All for Love: the relationship between love-stories and reading as a cultural activity

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Kim Reynolds


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This chapter argues that there is a coherent subgenre of Young Adult novels in which characters who read are identified as ideal lovers and ambassadors for reading as an activity. In a discussion which begins with examples from the eighteenth century it acknowledges the long history of ambivalent attitudes to reading as an activity in most writing for the young and draws on Sarah Fielding’s claim that the ‘true Use of Reading is to make you wise and better’. The piece culminates in a discussion of modern YA novels by Stephen Chbosky, Leon Garfield, John Green, Diana Wynne Jones, and Margaret Mahy that feature pairs of reader-lovers. It shows how these novels address an audience of skilled and committed readers and, by using love stories to expand readers’ knowledge of literary history, conventions and traditions, offer models of ‘the true use of Reading’.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reynolds K

Editor(s): Arizpe E; Smith V

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Children as Readers in Children's Literature : The power of texts and the importance of reading

Year: 2015

Volume: 1

Print publication date: 05/10/2015

Online publication date: 05/10/2015

Acceptance date: 02/04/2014

Number of Volumes: 1

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: New York and London


DOI: 10.4324/9781315751542-10

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781138806696