a Master’s student, studying Children’s Literature, I was asked to write a
critical reading autobiography that considered the texts that had shaped my
early reading identity. Through this process I realized that, as a young
reader, the most influential texts in my experience were ones where the pages of the book could be made
meaningful on a personal level, usually through identification with a character’s sense of place, or by perceiving the place as
somewhere I had been, or as a reflection of the
rural world that I lived and breathed in.
For my doctoral project, I decided to work with sixteen— and seventeen-year old adolescent readers living in two geographically diverse regions of Canada: a rural town (renamed Lakeside) in Northern Ontario, and in a neighbourhood of Toronto (renamed Kirkville). I worked with the two cases separately; due to the geographical distance between the sites, the two groups never met. Prior to meeting as a group, I gave each participant two texts: Tim Wynne-Jones’ Blink and Caution (2011) and Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest (2010).
Mackey, M., Nahachewsky, J., & Banser, J. (2008). Home page: translating scholarly discourses for young people. In M. Reimer (Ed.), Home words: discourses on children’s literature in Canada (pp. 195-225). Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Spring, E. (2015). “Where are you from?: locating the young adult self within and beyond the text”. Journal of Children’s Geographies, 1-16.
Wynne-Jones, T. (2011). Blink and caution. Boston, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.
Vanderpool, C. (2010). Moon over manifest. New York City, New York: Random House.