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Disabling Characters

Representations of Disability in Young Adult Literature

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Patricia A. Dunn

Disabling Characters provides detailed analyses of selected young adult (YA) novels and short stories. It looks at the relative agency of the disabled character, the behavior of the other characters, the environment in which the character must live, the assumptions that seem to be underlying certain scenes, and the extent to which the book challenges or perpetuates an unsatisfactory status quo. Class discussions about disability-themed literature, however well intentioned, have the potential to reinforce harmful myths or stereotypes about disability. In contrast, discussions informed by a critical disability studies perspective can help readers develop more sophisticated views of disability and contribute to a more just and inclusive society. The book examines discussion questions, lesson plans, study guides, and other supplemental materials aimed at students studying these texts, and it suggests more critical questions to pose about these texts and the positive and/or negative work they do, perhaps subliminally, in our culture. This book is a much-needed addition to college classes in YA literature, literary analysis, methods of teaching literature, disability studies, cultural studies, contemporary criticism, special education, and adolescent literacy.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDunn, Patricia A.Disabling characters: representations of disability in young adult literature / Patricia A. Dunn. pages cm. — (Disability studies in education; Vol. 18)Includes bibliographical references and index.1. People with disabilities in literature. 2. Characters and characteristics in literature. 3. Young adult literature—History and criticism. I. Title.PN56.5.H35D86 809’.933561—dc23     2014048950ISBN 978-1-4331-2623-9 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2622-2 (paperback)ISBN 978-1-4539-1508-0 (e-book)ISSN 1548-7210Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

© 2015 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006www.peterlang.comAll rights reserved.Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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