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a genre study. Fantasy. Jessica Wolf-Golbach Young Adult Literature. What is fantasy? . a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting

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    1. a genre study Fantasy Jessica Wolf-Golbach Young Adult Literature

    2. What is fantasy? • a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting • generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by the expectation that it avoids scientific and macabre themes, respectively, although there is a lot of overlap among the three(4)

    3. Fantasy is… • a world we can use as a model of experience, “in which commonsense expectations don’t always apply, in which cause and effect feel right but are twisted in impossible ways” • a way for us readers to “burrow beneath the norms of daytime reality into levels of experience just as real, though not as accessible,” to examine our lives in a fresh way via magical context (1)

    4. History of Fantasy • Has inspired many composers such as Stravinsky (Firebird) and Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake) (2) • The fantasy genre, per the modern definition, is only about two hundred years old • Began with texts in which the sorcery was only half-believed; included European romances of chivalry and tales of the Arabian Nights • One of the first true fantasy writers was George McDonald (1824-1905, Scotland); was a mentor to Lewis Carroll as he wrote Alice; was an inspiration for several 20th century fantasy authors • The popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the 1960’s brought fantasy into the mainstream (4) • In recent years, worldwide adoration of the Harry Potter series has led to an increase in publication of other fantasy manuscripts • Has often been attacked as being simple, escapist, and sparking youth interest in magic (2)

    5. Modern Fantasy Suggests a different reality, either a fantasy world separate from ours or a side of our real world that is ruled by hidden fantasy The supernatural elements are understood to be fictitious Created by author or group of authors Traditional Fantastic Tales Took place in our world but often in the past or in a far off and unknown place (e.g. “long ago and far away”) Cultural interpretations of the supernatural ran the gamut, from legends taken to be true to myths which simply represented complex real-life issues Used familiar myths and folklore; any deviations were simply considered variations and were not meant to be separate from local folklore and supernatural tales (3) Modern Fantasy versus Traditional Fantastic Tales

    6. Traits of Fantasy • explores themes of moral conflict and ambiguities between opposites, such as good and evil, heroism and cowardice, order and anarchy, light and dark, or innocence and guilt • often includes elements of horror, supernatural, mythology, and folklore • typically based on a dangerous quest that takes the central figure through magical, symbolic, and allegorical experiences and rites of passage • the hero character grows in fortitude and stature throughout journey • the hero’s world is one of war, turmoil, or other transformative events • the hero’s quest is one of critical, often global, importance and can affect the lives of many (2)

    7. Subgroups of Fantasy • Epic fantasy (Lord of the Rings trilogy established this sub-genre) • King Arthur and related myths (e.g. The Once and Future King, The Mists of Avalon) • Animal fantasies (e.g. Charlotte’s Web, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Warriors series) • The Mabinogion, a collection of medieval Welsh tales based on Celtic legends, myths, and personalities • Other worlds and dragon lore

    8. Notable Authors & Works of Fantasy J.K. Rowling: The Harry Potter series (Books 1-7) - The Sorcerer’s Stone (1998) - The Chamber of Secrets (1999) - The Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) - The Goblet of Fire (2000) - The Order of the Phoenix (2003) - The Half-Blood Prince (2005) - The Deathly Hallows (2007)

    9. Tamora PierceTerrier (The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book 1)Random House, 2007 Orphaned Beka Cooper, 16, is a trainee- a "Puppy"-in the Provost's Guard. Having spent the first half of her life in Tortall's slums, she is driven by the need to do what is right and see justice done. Paired with two of the best Guards, or "Dogs," in the organization and aided by her own gifts of magic, Beka learns her job, makes friends with two mages and a thief, and uncovers two serial killers who prey on the poor and unnoticed. With Terrier, Pierce tries out a new style of storytelling and succeeds admirably. Beka, the ancestor of George Cooper from the "Song of the Lioness" series (S & S), tells her story through journal entries, making for a thoroughly engaging read. The characters are recognizable types, but all have their own personalities . http://www.amazon.com/Terrier-Legend-Beka-Cooper-Book/dp/0375838163/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247437641&sr=1-4

    10. Christopher PaoliniEragon (Inheritance Book I)Laurel Leaf, 2003 Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a marvelous blue stone in a mystical mountain place. Before he can trade it for food to get his family through the hard winter, it hatches a beautiful sapphire-blue dragon, a race thought to be extinct. Eragon bonds with the dragon, and when his family is killed by the marauding Ra'zac, he discovers that he is the last of the Dragon Riders, fated to play a decisive part in the coming war between the human but hidden Varden, dwarves, elves, the diabolical Shades and their neanderthal Urgalls, all pitted against and allied with each other and the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon Saphira set out to find their role, growing in magic power and understanding of the complex political situation as they endure perilous travels and sudden battles, dire wounds, capture and escape. http://www.amazon.com/Eragon-Inhertitance-Christopher-Paolini/dp/0440240735/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247438823&sr=1-2

    11. This is the first of Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall of Pern trilogy which focuses on Menolly. In this first story, Menolly is the youngest child and daughter of Yanus, Sea Holder at Half-Cirlce Sea Hold in Benden Hold. Although she displays astounding musical talents, Menolly's father will have none of it. After the death of Petiron, the old Harper, Menolly is allowed to sign only to give the children their teaching songs. But when Elgion, the new Harper, arrives at Half-Circle Sea Hold, Menolly is forbidden to play ever again. But just as it looks at if life could not get any worse for Menolly, a wonderful thing happens. She impresses a clutch of nine fire lizards. Meanwhile, Harper Elgion is having a problem, because he has been ordered by Master Harper Robinton to discover the prodigal talent Petrion has discovered. In his last message the Old Harper had sent two of the loveliest melodies Robinton had ever heard. But clearly none of the young lads at Half-Circle Sea Hold has a whit of musical talent and Yanus makes up some story about a foundling sent back to his own hold. Eventually Robinton himself comes to solve the mystery of the missing musical talent. http://www.amazon.com/Dragonsong-Harper-Hall-Triology-McCaffrey/dp/1416964886/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247439248&sr=1-7 Anne McCaffreyDragonsong (The Harper Hall Trilogy, Volume I)Simon Pulse Publishers, 2001

    12. Golden Compass follows the fortunes of Lyra, a brave, loyal, and determined adolescent raised in one of the colleges of Oxford in a universe similar to but not identical to our own. Lyra's Oxford contains Gyptians, a migratory culture of people living on boats and in fens; they are in a sense Lyra's family. Lyra's uncle goes on a journey to study the Dust falling between the worlds. The Magisterium, apparently an arm of the Church, does not want Dust investigated. As the novel progresses, we realize the Magisterium has its own agenda where Dust is concerned. The kidnapping of children in Lyra's Oxford end up sending her in the same direction as her uncle(one of her closest friends is kidnapped and she vows to save him). She meets witches, armored bears, an aeronaut, and other bright and unusual figures during her quest for answers. Most of them become her allies. There is magic in this world. Lyra is in possession of a golden compass that can help her understand what is going on around her (as well as what has gone on in the past). Others want her compass in order to obtain that information themselves. http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Compass-Philip-Pullman/dp/B000NVO2JQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247440528&sr=1-4 Phillip PullmanThe Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book I)Del Rey, 1996

    13. This is the legendary saga of King Arthur and his companions at Camelot, their battles, love, and devotion, told this time from the perspective of the women involved. Viviane is "The Lady of the Lake," the magical priestess of the Isle of Avalon, a special mist-shrouded place which becomes more difficult to reach as people turn away from its nature- and Goddess-oriented religion. Viviane's quest is to find a king who will be loyal to Avalon as well as to Christianity. This king will be Arthur. Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's Queen, is an overly pious, fearful woman who successfully sways her husband into betraying his allegiance to Avalon. Set against her is Morgaine of the Fairies, Arthur's sister, love, and enemy - and the most powerfully believable person in the book - who manipulates the characters like threads in a tapestry to achieve her tragic and heroic goals. http://www.amazon.com/Mists-Avalon-Marion-Zimmer-Bradley/dp/0002249510/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247442700&sr=8-1 Marion Zimmer BradleyThe Mists of AvalonBallantine Books, 1987

    14. Robin McKinleyThe Hero and the CrownGreenwillow Books, 1985 From childhood, Aerin had been haunted by the story of her mother - a "witchwoman" who enspelled the king and then died in childbirth, leaving behind a newborn daughter and an heirless land. Left to her own devices, Aerin grew up wild, doing her best to live up to her reputation as the disappointment of the realm. But little did the young princess know the long-dormant powers of her mother would wield their own destiny, and leave Aerin with a duty to her scornful homeland that she couldn't refuse. http://www.amazon.com/Hero-Crown-Robin-McKinley/dp/0441013058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247443134&sr=1-1

    15. Diana Wynn JonesHowl’s Moving CastleHarper Teen, 1988 Sophie Hatter reads a great deal and soon realizes that as the eldest of three daughters she is doomed to an uninteresting future. She resigns herself to making a living as a hatter and helping her younger sisters prepare to make their fortunes. But adventure seeks her out in the shop where she sits alone, dreaming over her hats. The wicked Witch of the Waste, angered by "competition" in the area, turns her into anold woman, so she seeks refuge inside the strange moving castle of the wizard Howl. Howl, advertised by his apprentice as an eater of souls, lives a mad, frantic life trying to escape the curse the witch has placed on him, find the perfect girl of his dreams and end the contract he and his fire demon have entered. Sophie, against her best instincts and at first unaware of her own powers, falls in love. So goes this intricate, humorous and puzzling tale of fantasy and adventure which should both challenge and involve readers. http://www.amazon.com/Howls-Moving-Castle-Diana-Wynne/dp/0061478784/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247443767&sr=1-1#

    16. Ursula K. LeGuinA Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1)Spectra, 2004 Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle--a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard's apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk's true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible. In this first book: Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea,  but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless  youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered  with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow  upon the world. This is the tale of his testing,  how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an  ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to  restore the balance. http://www.amazon.com/Wizard-Earthsea-Cycle-Book/dp/0553383043/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247446286&sr=1-2

    17. Peter DickinsonThe RopemakerDelacorte Books, 2003 For 19 generations, the comfortably prosperous Valley has been tucked away from the outside world kept safe by powerful enchantments. When these powers begin to weaken, however, it's up to Tilja and her grandmother Meena, along with their companions, Tahl and his grandfather Alnor, to journey forth in search of a magician powerful enough to protect their home once again. In the course of this pilgrimage, Tilja ,who has recently and heartbreakingly learned that she possesses not a jot of the hereditary magic that would entitle her to inherit her beloved family homestead, comes to understand more about the unique and valuable gift she does possess. Eerily, the novel is sprinkled with images that take on an unforeseen resonance: a rebel magician be-turbaned and lanky and collapsing towers that crush their proud builders. A challenging magical adventure for the thinking reader. Ages 12-up. http://www.amazon.com/Ropemaker-Peter-Dickinson/dp/0385730632/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247447306&sr=1-1

    18. Other titles of interest Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin Square Fish, 2005 After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to “live.” (Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data) • Intriguing plot • Life after death issues presented in non- religious context • Middle school-level vocabulary The Darkangel (Book One of the Darkangel Trilogy), by Meredith Ann Pierce; Little, Brown, 1982 The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying the vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him. (Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data) • Challenging, other-world vocabulary • Strong female protagonist • Follows classical quest plot structure

    19. Other titles of interest The Angel Factory, by Terence Blacker; Simon & Schuster, 2001 Spurred on by his best friend, 12-year-old Tom Wisdom uncovers two major family secrets: that he was adopted , and that his perfect-seeming family is part of an other-worldly organization. (Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data) • Quick pace, high-interest • Middle school-level vocabulary • Thematically similar to The Giver London Calling, by Edward Bloor Random House, 2006 Seventh-grader Martin Conway believes that his life is monotonous and dull until the night the antique radio he uses as a night-light transports him to the bombing of London in 1940. This leads Martin on a quest of historical and personal importance. (Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data) • Highly recommended • Strong male protagonist • Strong theme of father- son relationships • Great tie-in with WWII battle and politics

    20. References • Heath introduction to fiction. 3rd ed. Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath, 1988. • Nilsen, Alleen Pace, and Kenneth L. Donelson. Literature for Today's Young Adults (8th Edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2008. • Wikipedia. 5 July 2009. Wikimedia Foundation. 12 July 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_fantasy>. • Wikipedia. 11 July 2009. Wikimedia Foundation. 11 July 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy>.