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EDU 31ACL – Australian Children’s LiteratureAustralian Family Stories No Guns for Asmir Christobel Mattingley Hitler’s Daughter Jackie French © La Trobe University, David Beagley, 2005
Focus – Lecture 2 • Jackie French • Background to Hitler’s Daughter • Structural and critical aspects • Distinctive features of this story as a ‘family story’ • Role of ‘Talking books’
Jackie French • Born Sydney in 1953, grew up in Brisbane,moved to her present home in the bush near Canberra in her early twenties. • Is an active campaigner for environmental awareness and attitude change - Burke's Backyard, radio programmes, gardening columns in Women's Weekly, Burke's Backyard, Earth-garden. • Has written over 100 books in many styles – children’s picture books and novels, gardening and lifestyle, realist, historical, fantasy, mystery, thematic, humour • Has won many awards across these genres
Jackie French - Awards • Flesh and Blood 2004 Aurealis Award: shortlisted for Young Adult novel • Ride the Wild Wind 2003 Patricia Wrightson Award: shortlisted • Diary of a Wombat2003 CBCA Picture BotY: Honour book • In the Blood 2002 ACT BotY • Lady Dance 2001 Notable Book: CBCA • Stamp, Stomp,Whomp2001 Notable Book: CBCA • Missing You, Love Sara 2002 Notable Book: CBCA • Hitler’s Daughter 2000 Winner, CBCA BotY : Younger Readers • How to Guzzle Your Garden 2000 Shortlisted, Eve Pownall CBCA BotY • Daughter of the Regiment 1999 Shortlisted, CBCA BotY : Younger Readers • Somewhere Around the Corner1995 Honour Book, CBCA BotY : Younger Readers, 1995 Family Therapists Award • Walking the Boundaries1994 Notable Book, CBCA BotY : Younger Readers • The Roo that Won the Melbourne Cup1992 Notable Book, CBCA BotY : Younger Readers • Beyond the World of Light 1988 Golden Dagger Mystery Award
Background to Hitler’s Daughter • Style • Characters • Setting
Background to Hitler’s DaughterStyle • Told in two time frames, one within the other • Use of flash back to distinguish historical/present • Use of Child’s voice and perspective • Non judgemental – analysis is from characters, not authorial voice • Problem looking for a Solution • Ending left open
Background to Hitler’s Daughter Characters (story 1) • Children : • Mark • Anna • Little Tracey • Ben • Adults : parents and parent figures • Mum & Dad • Mrs Latter (bus driver) • Mr McDonald (Teacher)
Background to Hitler’s DaughterCharacters (story 2) • Heidi • Fräulein Gelber • Frau Mundt • Duffi • Frau Lieb • It may be a coincidence but … • Gelb = yellow, Mund = mouth, Lieb = love
Background to Hitler’s DaughterSetting • Story 1 - Country Australia • Wallaby Creek – bus stop, bus, home, school • Rain, ‘waiting’ time • Story 2 - Germany • Country house, farmhouse, Berlin • War, ‘waiting’ for Duffi
Structural and critical aspects • Voice • Plot development • Theme/s • Story type – sub genres
Structural and critical aspectsVoice • Omniscient authorial point of view • But two stories told: • Mark’s story of the Game • Anna’s story about Heidi • Each story has a questioning voice • Mark in story 1 • Heidi in story 2
Structural and critical aspectsPlot development • Little action – i.e. activity and consequence as sequence of events • Focus is on situation and re-action of characters • Structure is gradual (guided) discovery and enlightenment • Historic aspects may need scaffolding for less experienced reader
Structural and critical aspectsTheme • Nature vs Nurture ? Are we: • the product of our genetics • shaped by our environment • or do we develop as a combination of many factors. • Can a person be born ‘evil’? • The sins of the fathers • Choices and consequences • War and Social Violence – should they be topics for children’s books?
Structural and critical aspectsStory type/sub genre • Multiple genres • Family story: Domestic adventure • Historic realism • Story within a story - a technique often used in fantasy/epic stories though this story does not have other characteristics of fantasy fiction • Asks a ‘What If . . .’ question - conjectural
Distinctive features of this story as a ‘family story” • Main protagonists in both stories are all the ‘only child’ – relationship with ‘parent’ is key • Domestic settings – several, but each is important to its thematic situation • Little interaction with parents (and parent figures) who are not ‘all knowing’ • Child left to solve problem without adult intervention
Role of ‘Talking books’ • Advantages and disadvantages of this format • Action – talk • Immediacy – distance • Comparison - confusion • Appeal to child reader • Place in literature