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Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Transcript of Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Written in the present about the past; text makes accurate historical references
"Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor
A book that is set in the time in which it is written
One of the most influential children's literature genres, most applicable to children's own lives
May address controversial issues
"Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
Modern Realistic Fiction
-A book that is set in the time in which it is written.
-Popular amongst students because realistic fiction is very accessible and easy to relate to as the characters often face real-life problems that parallels or complements the readers' own lives.
-The protagonist confronts these problems and in the process, matures from the experience, resulting in character development.
Family, Friendship, Socialization, Outsiders, Coming of Age
Romance, Sexuality, Growing Up, Moral Choices
Mortality, Survival, Fears, Challenges, Struggles, Triumphs
Humor, Adventure, Mystery, Sports, Animals
Important Literary Elements in Realistic Fiction Text
1. PLOT = The unfolding conflict and ultimate resolution, this is what keeps the reader intrigued and engaged in a book through to the end.
2. SETTING = Descriptions of location, time period, social and cultural context, even the weather.
3. CHARACTER = They are developed through appearance, dialogue, action, and monologue.
4. THEME = Underlying meaning and/or message the story relates, as well as the truths of human nature and society that it teaches.
5. VIEWPOINT = The focus, tone, and nature of the narrator determines if the plot is believable and the readers' understanding of it.
*Book Series: Often "formula fiction", that is, books that are written in simplified styles using predictable plots and standard characters. The Alice McKinley series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is an example of a better written series at it narrates a young girl going through middle school, facing issues such as growing up as a female without a mother.
-The book must be engaging so that the reader is invested in discovering its outcome.
-The book must embrace realistic characters, situations, and settings in order to be considered realistic fiction. The book must reflect life in a way that is possible, plausible, and believable.
-Character development is immensely important to excellent quality realistic fiction writing.
-Any books that portray adverse or discouraging experiences and situations must permit some cause for optimism and hope by the end of the novel. The book should help young readers can take control over difficult life situations, deal with them, and even solve and overcome them.
-Common themes in realistic fiction convey moral values, such as kindness and generosity.
-Many modern realistic fiction novels deal with
controversial issues, such as pregnancy, sex,
homosexuality, racism, violence, or contain
-The issues are considered controversial because they do not align with the dominant social morals and values that are typically considered to be held in society.
-The fear is that students will be frightened or corrupted by these books.
-Most teachers and librarians, however, argue that students need to read about topics considered controversial in order to learn about and accept opposing views.
Benefits to Reading Modern Realistic Fiction
-Fosters students' interest and engagement in reading - many students find a love for reading through realistic fiction as it often parallels their own lives.
-The reader gains insight about himself and his various relationships with family and peers.
-Helps the reader to learn how to control and cope with life experiences, such as growing up, that the reader may possibly encounter in his life.
-Depicts life in other cultures and geographic regions different from the one's own.
Early Lower School
"Because of Winn-Dixie"
by Kate DiCamillo
"Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor,." 2008. 5 October, 2013.
Cleary, Beverly. "Ramona Forever." New York: First Avon Camelot Printing. 1984. Print.
DiCamillo, Kate. "Because of Winn-Dixie." New York: Scholastic, 2000. Print.
Hancock, Marjorie R. "A Celebration of Literature and Response." Boston: Pearson, 2007. Print.
Hinton, S.E. "The Outsiders." New York, Puffin Books, 1967. Print.
“Holes the Book” Louis Sachar. 2002. 5 October, 2013.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. "My Louisiana Sky." New York: Random House, 1998. Print.
"Kate DiCamillo: Because of Winn-DIxie." March 2000. 5 October, 2013.
Lynch-Brown, Carol, Carl M. Tomlinson, and Kathy G. Short. "Essentials of Children’s
Literature. "Boston: Pearson, 2011. Print.
Russell, David L. "Literature for Children: A Short Introduction." Boston: Pearson,
"The World of Beverly Clearly." 2010. 3 October,. 2013.
Tunnell, Michael O., James S. Jacobs, Terrell A. Young, and Gregory Bryan. "Children’s
Literature, Briefly." Boston: Pearson, 2011. Print.
White, Ruth. "Belle Prater's Boy." New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group,
Inc., 1996. Print.
"The Outsiders" By S.E. Hinton
"The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends, and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship-and forgiveness-can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm."
A Great Realistic Fiction Author: Beverly Cleary
-Cleary has written over 40 books
-Cleary began her career with a library science degree
-Cleary sympathized with children and felt that there was not enough literature available that young children could relate to - Thus she began writing to this void in children's literature.
-"From the moment Howie Kemp's mysterious "rich" Uncle Hobart arrives from Saudi Arabia, everything around Ramona Quimby seems to be changing. Howie and his sister, Willa Jean, talk only about Uncle Hobart. Ramona's mother and Aunt Bea seem to be keeping secrets. Life for Ramona, now a grown-up third-grader, is full of beginnings and discoveries and surprises - one very big surprise and one very small, but just as special!
"Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up "greasers" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to except - until the night someone takes things too far."
-Gang violence, underage drinking and smoking, strong language and slang, and family dysfunction.
Position on Banned Books Lists
-S.E. Hinton was 18 when the book was published. As a woman, she chose to use her initials rather than her name, Susan Eloise, in order to prevent male book reviewers from dismissing her work.
Lower to Middle School Transition