This book shows how authors of young adult literature use the creation of names for people, places, events, inventions, animals, and imaginary concepts as one of their most important literary techniques. Chapters address how authors use names to stretch readers' emotions, to reveal ethnic values and differences, to create "other worlds," and to establish tone. Other chapters focus on how authors use names to help readers remember who is who, such as J. K. Rowling in the Harry Potter books, or to communicate separate messages to adults and to young readers, as exemplified by Richard Handler in the Lemony Snicket books. Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature equips readers with the interest and the skill to make similar observations about names and naming when they read other books. Looking at the names an author has chosen to use is a wonderful first step in introducing readers to the concept of literary criticism as something to help readers get more pleasure and information from their reading. Public and school librarians, college instructors of young adult literature, teachers of creative writing, high school English teachers, and anyone else who is interested in young adult literature will find this book extremely interesting.
Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen are professors of English at Arizona State University, where Alleen specializes in English education and Don specializes in linguistics. They are longtime members of the American Name Society and are co-presidents of the organization through 2008. Alleen is a founding member of ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English).
Part 1 Introduction: Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature Part 2 Chapter 1: Names for Fun: M. E. Kerr, Gary Paulsen, Louis Sachar, and Polly Horvath Part 3 Chapter 2: Names to Establish Tone and Mode: Robert Cormier and Francesca Lia Block Part 4 Chapter 3: Names to Establish Time Periods: Karen Cushman and Her Historical Fiction Part 5 Chapter 4: Names to Establish Realistic Settings: Gary Soto, Adam Rapp, Meg Rosoff, and Nancy Farmer Part 6 Chapter 5: Names to Establish Imagined Settings: Yann Martel, Orson Scott Card, and Ursula K. Le Guin Part 7 Chapter 6: Names to Reveal Ethnic Values: Amy Tan, Sandra Cisernos, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Kadohata, Sherman Alexie, and Others Part 8 Chapter 7: Names to Build a Dual Audience: Daniel Handler and the Lemony Snicket Books Part 9 Chapter 8: Names as Memory Hooks: J. K. Rowling and the Harry Potter Books Part 10 Bibliography Part 11 Index Part 12 About the Authors