Examines representative works of science fiction, children's literature, and popular culture to explore the experience of growing up in contemporary society.
In a constantly changing world, individuals are forever growing to meet the challenges and developments that emerge around them. In contemporary society, technology is at the heart of change. Literature, too, reflects the evolution of culture and increasingly represents and considers technology. And as children become young adults, their reading helps shape their understanding of the world. This book examines representative works of science fiction, children's literature, and popular culture to show how these works reflect the process of growing up in a technological world.
The volume looks at the simple picture books and comic books that appeal to small children; the formulaic adventures that fascinate older children; the films and television programs that are watched by children and young adolescents; the music videos and programming that appeal to young adults; and the popular novels that interest older readers. Included are discussions of Superman, the Hardy Boys, Star Trek, science fiction films, and music videos. The book points to similarities among popular culture, science fiction, and children's literature and demonstrates the relevance of these works to contemporary society.
Introduction How Charlie Made Children Hate Him: Fantasy and Reality in Stories for Small Children The Three Lives of Superman--and Everybody Else Mystery of the Amateur Detectives: The Early Days of the Hardy Boys Giving Horatio Alger Goosebumps, or, from Hardy Boys to Hapless Boys: The Changing Ethos of Juvenile Series Fiction From the Back of the Head to Beyond the Moon: The Novel and Film This Island Earth Opposing War, Exploiting War: The Troubled Pacifism of Star Trek Even Better than the Real Think: Advertising, Music Videos, Postmodernism, and (Eventually) Science Fiction Legends of the Fall: Going Not Particularly Far Behind the Music Hollywood Strikes a Pose: Seven Tales of Triumph, Treachery, and Travail in Old Tinseltown In Defense of Stone Tablets: Isaac Asimov Explains Why Science Fiction is Skeptical about "New Information Technologies" Partial Derivatives: Popular Misinterpretations of H. G. Well's The Time Machine Bibliography Index
Reviews This title presents some interesting insights into an important area of children's culture. Undergraduates, in particular, will find this book a useful introduction to the subject.—Choice
Westfahl's playfulness gives rise to many intriguing speculations, conncecting popular culture phenomena in convincing but previously unarticulated ways.—The Midwest Book Review