Lonely children

M Elizabeth Parks meparks at mtholyoke.edu
Tue Jan 23 23:46:37 EST 2001

Really, on thinking about it, an awful lot of kids' fantasy is 
written about only or lonely children. Kind of target market for the 

My children's lit prof had a spiel on this.  She says that so many books
are written about orphans because one of the young adolescent's biggest
fears is being alone, esp. in the case of losing parents.  Thus you have
both teh books about orphans who get along well on their own--think Harry
Potter--and the survival books, like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen which I
never liked, which have kids surviving on their own in wilderness.  I
think that if you think about it, most kids books--with teh possible
exception of the baby sitters clubs type--is about kids being on their own
in someway--either because of an alienating physical or persoanl trait or
because they've lost their family or friends to something, be it death or
moving.  At the end of most books, they've found some way of relating to
the world again--and not just in fantasy.



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