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Seymour, JL 2015, 'Phoenixes, mockingjays and chameleons : youth re-empowerment in contemporary fantasy and speculative young adult literature', PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright JL Seymour 2015


Children’s literature tends to invite controversy among academics because children rarely produce the literature they read. This apparent passivity within a child-centred discourse has led some theorists to argue that children lack agency because they internalise whatever morals the adults, or power-holders, wish to impart. This thesis examines three YA book series as case studies in an evidence-based, exploratory approach to textual analysis: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and The Hunchback Assignments. I examine how each protagonist engages with the constructed social hierarchy of the narrative, which generally privileges adult power, in order to exercise as much autonomy as possible.