** childhood: depictions in fiction

Childhood: Fiction Depictions

Figure 1.--.

HBC has primarily focused on actual aacounts, personal and published, and period photographs and drawings in assessing clothing trends. Some interesting images of period clothing an associated life-style trends for children, however, for are available in a range of fiction works: novels and stories, plays, and movies. While these sources have to be treated with some caution, they should not be overlooked as valuable sources of information.


A variety of literary works, both adult and children's books, include a wealth of valuable information.

Children's literature

The Newbery list of award winning children's literature is excellent. As are the Coretta Scott King Award books. Any library will have the lists, but a good children's book store has the best resources.

Books like Freaky Friday
"Don't Judge a Book By Its Movie" Aiken, Joan Wolves of Willoughby Chase Alcott Little Women Alexander, Lloyd Black Caldron (Walt Disney animated film based on parts of the Prydain Novels Andrews, V.C. Flowers In The Attic Austen Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice Benchley Jaws Blume, Judy Forever (T.V.) Childress, Alice A Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich Cooney, Caroline B.Rear View Mirror (T.V.) Cormier, Robert I Am The Cheese The Chocolate War Crichton Jurassic Park Sphere Duncan I Know What You Did Last Summer Strangers In Our House (Based on Summer of Fear) Gallows Hill (I don't remember the T.V. movie title. Fine Alias Madame Doubtfire Greene, Bette Summer of My German Soldier (T.V.) Groom Forrest Gump Hamilton, Virginia House Of Die Drear (T.V.) Hawthorne Scarlet Letter Heinlein Starship Troopers Hinton,S.E. Outsiders Tex That Was Then This Is Now Holland The Man Without A Face King, Stephan Carrie (New Movie is out) Lots of his are movies Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe (T.V.) London, Jack Call of the Wild Martin Mary Reilly Mazer, Harry Snowbound (T.V.) Mitchell Gone with the Wind Montgomery Anne of Green Gables Naylor, Phyllis My Dad Can't Be Crazy Can He (T.V.) Based on the book The Keeper O'Dell, Scott Island of the Blue Dophins The Black Pearl Peck, Richard Are You In The House Alone (T.V.) Philbrick Freak the Mighty Sagan Contact Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet (with Leo) Hamlet (with Mel Gibson) Strasser, Todd Can A Guy Say No? (T.V.) Based on book A Very Touchy Subject Steinbeck Of Mice and Men Stoker Dracula Taylor, Theodore The Cay Tolkien The Hobbit >Alcott. Little Women >Ames. Anna to the infinite power >Armstrong. Sounder >Bethancourt. Dog days of Arthur Cane >Bishop. Ten and Twenty >Brink. Caddie Woodlawn >Bulla. Pocahontas and the Strangers >Burnett. A Little Princess >Burnford. Incredible Journey (video: Incredible Journey; Homeward Bound) >Cather. My Antonia >Childress. A Hero ain't nothin' but a sandwich >Cleaver. Where the lilies bloom. >Cormier. Chocolate War. >Dana. Necessary Parties >Ende. Neverending story >Farley. Black Stallion >Forbes. Johnny Tremain >George. My side of the mountain >Gipson. Old Yeller >Greene. Philip Hall likes me, I reckon maybe >Greene. Beat the turtle drum >Hamilton. House of Dies Drear. >Hamilton. M C Higgins the Great. >Henry. King of the Wind >Hentoff. The day they came to arrest the book >Hinton. Outsiders; Tex; Rumblefish; That was then, this is now. >Holman. Slake's limbo >Irwin. Abby my love >Kipling. Jungle book. >Kleinbaum. Dead Poets' society >Konigsburg. From the Mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler. >London. Call of the Wild; White Fang. >Lowry. Taking care of Terrific >Marshall. Walkabout >Marshall. Christy >Miklowitz. The day the senior class got married; Did you hear what >Happened to Andrea? (Andrea's story) >Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea. >Montgomery. Jane of Lantern Hill. >Mowat. Lost in the Barrens. >Murphy. Ace hits the big time >Myers. Scorpions. >O'Dell. Island of the Blue Dolphins >Orwell. animal farm >Paulsen. Dogsong; Hatchet; Nightjohn. >Paterson. Jacob have I loved; Bridge to Terabithia. >Philbrick. Freak the Mighty (video: The mighty) >Porter. Girl of the Limberlost >Rawlings. The Yearling. >Rawls. Where the red fern grows. >Rogers. Freaky Friday. >Saint Exupery. The Little prince. >Sebestyen. Words by heart. >Snyder. First step. >Speare. Sign of the Beaver. >Steinbeck. The red pony. >Stevenson. Treasure Island. >Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin. >Strasser. The wave. >Swarthout. Bless the beasts and children. >Taylor. Roll of thunder, hear my cry. >Tolkien. Hobbit. >Van der post. Farr off place. >Verne. 20,000 leagues under the sea. >Voigt. Homecoming. >Yorgason. Windwalker

Adult literature

19th century fiction is full of young people -- _Jane Eyre_, _Wuthering Heights_, _Hard Times_ (Dickens), etc.Twain Adventures of Huckleberry FinnDumas Man in the Iron Mask Dumas Three Musketeers

Lee To Kill a Mockingbird


In terms of plays, some of the best are: (The) Good Times are Killing Me by Lynda Barry, Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon and Falsettos.


In terms of TV shows, there is a gold mine of sources. The New York Times magazine for September 5, 1999, had a cover article called "Teenseltown," and talks about the number of youth oriented shows on the air. Some classics are Brookland Bridge Dawson's Creek DeGrassi High I'll Fly Away Seventh Heaven


Producers vary greatly in the accuracy with which fashions are portrayed, some, however, take great pains for accuracy and detail. Important studios can finance enormous budgets for major films, permitting considerable attention to detail. Some of the child actors have been known to object to some of the styles they had to wear.

Valuable films include, Au Revoir les Enfants (France)_ _Big_ (Tom Hanks) that have adult and child characters trading bodies/places may also be useful for this assignment in terms of the direct adulthood/childhood (The) Breakfast Club, Central Station (Argentina, 1998) (Le) Chemin de Fer/The Highway (France), Children of Heaven (Iran) Cinema Paradiso (Italy). (The) Dollhouse, E.T. (U.S.) Europa, Europa, (loosely autobiographical, not strictly fiction), Empire of the Sun (U.S.) depict the experiences of a British choir boy in a World War II Japanese concentration camp), Fanny and Alexander (Sweden) and other Ingmar Bergman films Ferris Bueller's Day Off (U.S.) Fast Times at Ridgemont High (U.S.) Four Little Girls (U.S.) by Spike Lee (civil rights movement) Hope and Glory (England) depicts children during World War II), Kolya, The Last Emperor (The) Lover (The) Man in the Moon, (Le) Mari de la Coiffeuse/The Hairdresser's husband (France), My Life as a Dog (Sweden) Ponette (French, an extraordinary (The) Outsiders, film of pre-schoolers with one girl who has lost her mother), Radioflyer (U.S.) (The) Red Balloon (France) Stand and Deliver, Stand by Me (U.S.) Can your students use animated t.v. series as well? If so, _Fat Albert_ and _Scooby-Doo_ may make for interesting interpretations, as would an analysis of say, any 10 American Saturday morning t.v. commercials. If one defines "youth" as a state of mind rather than as a chronological measurement, one might look also at _Cocoon_ and part of one of the _Twilight Zone_ films, both of which were about aged people magically "recapturing" youth in physical or spiritual form.


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Created: September 7 1999
Last updated: September 7, 1999