About Me

My photo
Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I like to write about children's literature, fandom studies, video games, feminism, and pop culture in general. I've recently earned my Ph.D. in children's literature ( Fall 2012) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I also teach English (composition, British literature, and women's literature) at Sowela Technical Community College. Oh, and I like cats! [Banner image artwork by Yuki Midorikawa]

Monday, September 6, 2010

Metafiction in Children's Literature

Just wanted to quickly share a great video that I came across via child_lit:

Metafiction for Children (4 minute video by Philip Nel)

I've honestly never thought of children's metafiction, and yet I grew up with it. Think of all those "pat the soft bunny" style books we read as children (and now continue to read to our own children)! I'm also thinking of books like The Monster at the End of This Book: books that actually confront young readers by saying, "Hey! Yes, that's right! I'm a BOOK!"

It's harder (but not impossible) to find metafiction in intermediate and young adult fiction. Would Dianne Wynne Jone's The Dark Lord of Derkholm count? How often do characters in a book reveal the fact that they know they are characters? And how do young readers respond to this revelation?

Surprisingly (or perhaps surprisingly not), it happens quite frequently in anime and manga. Hideaki Sorachi's Gintama is the example that comes most readily to mind. "That sounds like something out of a manga," quips the main character at one point. And, well, he should know. He's an avid reader of Shounen Jump -- the serial magazine in which Gintama is published each week.