9781137274656

Secrets, Lies and Children's Fiction

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781137274656

  • ISBN10:

    1137274654

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-25
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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List Price: $119.99

Summary

Many children learn from a very young age about the importance of always telling the truth. They also learn that telling lies is necessary if they are to survive in a world that paradoxically values the truth but practises deception. Secrets, Lies and Children's Fiction demonstrates how this paradox is played out in texts for children and young adults, how secrets and lies may be a necessary means for survival and adaptation, and how mendacity may have its virtues.

Kerry Mallan examines a wide selection of international texts, spanning several decades, including picture books, novels, and films. By drawing on diverse fields of scholarship, Mallan makes important connections between children's literature, philosophical and moral complexities, and cultural and social tensions. Secrets, Lies and Children's Fiction provokes thinking about what passes as 'the truth', the consequences of truth telling and lying, and the sacrificial arbitrariness of scapegoating.

Author Biography

Kerry Mallan is Professor and Director of the Children and Youth Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Her previous books include Gender Dilemmas in Children's Fiction (2009) and New World Orders in Contemporary Children's Literature: Utopian Transformations (with Clare Bradford, John Stephens, and Robyn McCallum, 2008).

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: THE BURDEN OF TRUTH
PART I: TRUTH, LIES, AND SURVIVAL
1. Unveiling the truth
2. Lies of Necessity
3. The scapegoat
PART II: SECRETS AND SECRECY
4. Secrets of State
5. Secret Societies
6. Our Secret Selves
PART III: TANGLED WEBS
7. Mendacious Animals
8. Artful Deception
Conclusion

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