EDU11GCL - Genres in Children’s Literature. Historical Realism. Week 9 Lecture 1 The events of the past and the readers of the present. Definition.
In historical fiction the events of the past are told as the stories of people who seem real to us. As History becomes a story about someone that we know, it gives us the opportunity to vicariously experience life in the past, and to consider historical events as issues that had real consequences for the people who lived them, rather than as abstract concepts.
Cullinan and Galda, (2002) Literature and the child. ch. 8 Historical Fiction
Criteria to evaluate Historical Fiction
1. Does the book tell a good story, blending fact with fiction in such a way that the background does not overwhelm to the story? (Lit Crit)
2. Is the story accurate and authentic in every detail, including the setting and the known events of history? (History)
3. Does the story adequately reflect the values and spirit of the times, or is it written from the point of view of today? (History)
4. Is the authenticity of the language preserved in both the spoken word and in the description and comparisons of the written word? (History)
5. Does the theme provide insight and understanding for today’s living as well as in the past? (Lit Crit)
1. What historic era is the setting for the story?
2. Can you visualise the daily life of the characters?
3. Who is telling the story?
4. What values are expressed ?
5. Do the themes illuminate the problems of today by examining those of yesteryear.
These themes may include: