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Reviews: (by author)
Brown, Joanne and Nancy St. Clair. Declarations of Independence: Empowered Girls in Young Adult Literature, 1990-2001. Scarecrow Studies in Young Adult Literature, No. 7. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2002. $32.50. ISBN 0-8108-4290-4.
Declarations of Independence is organized in a very clear and effective manner. The book begins with an overview of the female protagonist of the past, serving as a sharp point of contrast to today's contemporary adolescent female, which is the book's main focus. Authors Joanne Brown and Nancy St. Clair define this new hero and her road to empowerment through detailed examples of books dealing with the transition into independence. The remainder of the book is dedicated to following the various roads of empowerment through a detailed look at the genres of historical and multicultural fiction, social realism, romance, adventure, fantasy, and memoir. Close examinations of various titles within these genres are provided, as well as annotated lists of suggested books for further reading.
This book is a wonderful tool for those working with adolescent girls, particularly teachers of English Literature. The detailed essays serve as guides for teachers interested in closing the gap between the all too common male hero and the new female heroine. Although it only deals with female protagonists, the book offers a welcome perspective to adolescent development and empowerment. Those working with adolescent females will find the book useful for finding books that will inspire and communicate to today's young girl.
A.G. Sp '03