By Roberta S. Trites
An exam of feminist subject matters in kid's and younger adult's literature covers such issues as friendship, marriage, and group.
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Extra info for Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children's Novels
Even Townsend's different treatment in giving the women titles but omitting them from the men's names reflects the basic sexism inherent in critically trying to distinguish "girls''' from "boys'" books. However, while these categorizations of what constitutes a "boys'" and what a "girls'" book are fairly superficial for some readers, since the most motivated readers of both genders have usually been willing to read whatever they could get their hands on, the distinction between "girls'" and "boys'" books has been and still is a very real one for publishers.
Since these novels give voice to revisionary feminist ideologies, such presences could, on the one hand, be considered conflicting ideologies. On the other hand, the presence of traditionally depicted females could be used to serve as part of the revision, for it is only against the passive female, the silent female, the objectified female, that the feminist protagonist's achievements can be fully understood. For instance, Harriet the Spy's nanny, Ole Golly, is traditional in her decision to follow the man she loves and give up her career; the peripheral women in McKinley's The Hero and the Crown (1985) serve largely as housekeepers; every character in MacLachlan's Cassie Binegar (1982) and Unclaimed Treasures (1984) has a first name except for the protagonists' mothers, who are also responsible for the housekeeping.
Harry and Dedham also respect the Damarian ruler, Page 13 King Corlath, who comes from the hills seeking an alliance against the evil, nonhuman forces amassing under the wizard Thurra in the North. Corlath ends up kidnapping Harry because of what he later recognizes as her kelar, her magical powers that include the ability to foresee the future and to communicate with ancient spirits. Corlath notes that the gift of kelar is now used only as a battle tool, but it "was once good for other things: healing and calming and taming" (37).