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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 Grasping the Unimaginable : Recent Holocaust Novels for Children by Morris Gleitzman and John Boyne
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'This discussion explores the role that storytelling and stories might have in leading children towards an awareness of uncertainty and ambiguity in relation to Holocaust representation. It focuses on Morris Gleitzman’s Once (2006), its sequel Then (2008), and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2006) to consider the narrative techniques used to draw young readers into an understanding of the Holocaust. In particular, the discussion examines the role of silence within these narratives to suggest that a meaningful dialogue with silence is a crucial aspect in communicating the fractured nature of Holocaust history. Literature aimed at a young audience engages explicitly with the oft-cited injunction not to forget the Holocaust by setting out to inform a new generation of readers about the horrors of the Nazi genocide. In my analysis of these texts, however, I want to consider whether we should assume that such works do necessarily perform a progressive educative role. The article argues that the blunt didacticism of Boyne’s text might close down possibilities for the child reader’s imaginative engagement with the ungraspable nature of the Holocaust. In contrast, Gleitzman’s novels confront the child reader with a complex set of ideas about the relationship between narrative and subjectivity.'

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Last amended 19 Dec 2018 14:52:06
355-366 Grasping the Unimaginable : Recent Holocaust Novels for Children by Morris Gleitzman and John Boynesmall AustLit logo Children's Literature in Education
  • Once Morris Gleitzman , 2005 single work children's fiction
  • Then Morris Gleitzman , 2008 single work children's fiction
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