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Young Adult Literature  

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Full-Text Reference Books from Literati

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The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia of Modern Criticism and Theory
Offers the student and scholar of literary and cultural studies a comprehensive guide to the history and development of criticism in the humanities.

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Critical Terms for Literary Study - Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin
Exploring the concepts that shape the way we read, the essays combine to provide an extraordinary introduction to the work of literature and literary study. Each essay provides a concise history of a literary term, critically explores the issues and questions the term raises, and then puts theory into practice by showing the reading strategies the term permits.

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A History of Feminist Literary Criticism
This book offers a comprehensive guide to the history and development of feminist literary criticism and a lively reassessment of the main issues and authors in the field.

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The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
An authoritative and international survey of world literature in English. The Guide covers everything from Old English to Contemporary Writing from all over the English-speaking world. It covers poems, novels, literary journals and plays.

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The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English
An A-Z reference work providing a critical and appreciative overview of English language children's books from across the world.


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General Topics and Articles

  • Literary criticism: Topic Page
    Assessment and interpretation of literary works. The term ‘criticism’ is often taken to mean exclusively adverse comment, but in fact it refers to all literary assessment, whether positive or negative. MORE
  • Literature: Topic Page
    Words set apart in some way from ordinary everyday communication. In the ancient oral traditions, before stories and poems were written down, literature had a mainly public function - mythic and religious. MORE
  • Literary Theory
    From The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy: A reasoned account of the nature of the literary artifact, its causes, effects, and distinguishing features. So understood, literary theory is part of the systematic study of literature covered by the term ‘criticism’, which also includes interpretation of literary works, philology, literary history, and the evaluation of particular works or bodies of work. MORE
  • Young Adult Literature
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature: Young Adult Literature, typically regarded as REALISTIC FICTION for readers aged twelve through eighteen, is an American contribution to world literature that emerged during the 1940s when adolescence—the period between childhood and early adulthood—came to be regarded as a separate stage of human development. MORE
  • Young Adult Fiction
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature: There is a considerable problem with the concept of literature for young adults. What is a young adult, and when does he or she become simply an adult? MORE


  • Walter Dean Myers (1937 - )
    From Encyclopedia of African-American Writing: When young Walter was just 3 years old, Herbert and Florence Dean adopted him and moved him from Martinsburg, West Virginia, to New York City's Harlem neighborhood. MORE
  • David Almond (1952 - )
    From The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English: British writer whose first children’s novel, Skellig (1998), had the rare distinction of being awarded both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award. MORE
  • Paul Zindel (1936 - 2003)
    From The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English: A prolific, award-winning American novelist of young adult fiction. MORE
  • Robert Cormier (1925 - 2000)
    From The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English: American novelist and journalist, Cormier is one of the most pessimistic of 20th-century children’s writers. MORE
  • Jane Yolen (1939 - )
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature: Y. identifies herself as a storyteller, a literary practitioner who is more interested in metaphor and plot than in portraying facts. Her STORYTELLING is realized through POETRY, DRAMA, PICTURE BOOKS, FOLKLORE, short stories, and novels for children, teenagers, and adults. MORE
  • Jerry Spinelli (1941 - )
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature: Author of children's and young adult books, S. spent most of his childhood in the West End of Norristown, Pennsylvania. MORE
  • Mildred Taylor (1943 - )
    From Encyclopedia of African-American Writing: When Mildred was just a few months old, her father had to flee from their home in Jackson, Mississippi, to avoid a violent confrontation with a white man. MORE
  • Philip Pullman (1946- )
    From The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English: Though he is best known for the series His Dark Materials, of which Northern Lights (published in America as The Golden Compass) has been the recipient of both Carnegie Medal and Guardian Award for Childrens Fiction awards, all Pullman’s work shares the same wit and intelligence. MORE
  • S(usan) E(loise) Hinton (1950 - )
    From The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English: American author credited with writing the first genuine young adult novel. Her novels are realistic, portraying contemporary male teens in troubling situations and their growth in overcoming these adverse circumstances. MORE
  • Gary Soto (1952 - )
    From The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature: Gary Soto is the Chicano poet who is most acclaimed in academic circles in the United States. MORE


  • Aestheticism
    From The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia: The French 19th Century literary doctrine of beauty as an end in itself, with no moral or political purpose. MORE
  • Deconstruction: Topic Page
    In linguistics, philosophy, and literary theory, the exposure and undermining of the metaphysical assumptions involved in systematic attempts to ground knowledge, especially in academic disciplines such as structuralism and semiotics. MORE
  • Feminism: Topic Page
    Movement for the political, social, and educational equality of women with men; the movement has occurred mainly in Europe and the United States. It has its roots in the humanism of the 18th cent. and in the Industrial Revolution. MORE
  • Formalism
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A term applied both to a generalized tendency and to certain specific schools and movements within literary criticism. MORE
  • Lesbian and Gay Studies/Queer Theory
    From The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia of Modern Criticism and Theory: Queer theory in the United States is opposed to the kind of encyclopaedic categorization of knowledge represented by this volume. At the same time, it is committed to the global dissemination of information also represented by this volume. MORE
  • New Criticism
    From Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought: New criticism shifts attention from the author of a work to the work itself. It treats a literary text (any text, but usually a poem) as a freestanding entity with its own style and structure. MORE
  • Postcolonial Theory
    From Key Concepts in Postcolonial Literature: By distinguishing between manifest and latent Orientalism, Edward Said’s Orientalism allowed the process of constituting European culture from the margin to be a partially unconscious one MORE
  • Post-structuralism
    From The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature: At first glance, the term post-structuralism seems to imply that the post-structuralists came after the structuralists and that post-structuralism was the heir of structuralism. MORE
  • Postmodernism: Topic Page
    Term used to designate a multitude of trends that come after and deviate from the many 20th-cent. movements that constituted modernism. MORE
  • Psychoanalytic Criticism
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A loose label for the various methods or theories of criticism ultimately derived from Freud's therapeutic technique for uncovering the unconscious repressions of childhood emotions. MORE
  • Semiotics
    From Dictionary of Italian Literature: Originally the branch of medical science concerned with the interpretation of symptoms, semiotics has become known in the last two centuries as the doctrine of signs, the general science of signs referring to the study of all meaning systems, and a possible meeting point of other disciplines that deal with the so-called human sciences. MORE
  • Structuralism
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English: A movement of thought affecting a number of intellectual disciplines, including anthropology, philosophy, history and literary criticism. MORE

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