"Once-Upon-a-Very-Real-Time": The Holocaust in Fiction for Children
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This thesis examines the narrative strategies and methods available to authors of children's fiction on the Holocaust to balance their differing interests of truthfully educating their readers about the subject, while not traumatising them. It attempts to answer the question whether the use of these methods has changed between the 1990s (the 'heyday' of the genre) and books published after 2005. The thesis gives a structered overview of the relevant theory and divides the narrative methods and strategies into two categories. First, the category of the formal aspects, which looks at genre, narrator and protagonist, closure, informational gaps, and paratexts. The second category deals with criteria of authenticity, specifically, the historical authenticity, the cultural authenticity, and the authenticity of characterisation. After this theoretical overview, this thesis discusses Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (1989) and Morris Gleitzman's Once (2005) (as well as the rest of the 'Felix series') and examines the ways in which these two writers have used the narrative strategies available to them to both educate, but also protect their readers. In the conclusion this thesis compares these works and decides that there is a clear difference between children's books on the Holocaust from the 1990s and those published after 2005.
Faculteit der Letteren