Linguistics, University of Nottingham
My thesis primarily considers postmodern and metafictive strategies in relation to children’s literature, specifically in popular junior fiction (for readers aged 8-12). These techniques – such as a visibly inventing narrator who is seen writing the book as we go, the involvement of the real reader in the construction of the story, typographic experiments, games or riddles, and so on – are commonplace in mainstream contemporary children’s literature, yet the corresponding academic awareness remains severely limited. My thesis addresses this gap by analysing a range of example texts using stylistic and narratological frameworks. I also intend to combine empirical research with this study, running focus groups with low-attaining Key Stage 3 students to ascertain whether a) postmodern strategies might be considered more engaging for so-called ‘reluctant readers’, and b) there is enough stylistic complexity in such texts to warrant popular children’s literature being more readily used in the classroom to help bridge the gap for low-attaining students.