The monster chronicles : the role of children’s stories featuring monsters in managing childhood fears and promoting empowerment

Taylor, Michelle Alison (2010) The monster chronicles : the role of children’s stories featuring monsters in managing childhood fears and promoting empowerment. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Children’s fascination with monsters is a normal part of childhood development. Children’s literature reflects this with a wealth of stories featuring monsters, ranging from fairy tales to picture books to books for independent readers. These stories can raise concerns from educators, parents and other sections of the community such as political and religious institutions on the basis that they could be disturbing or harmful to children. In contrast, there is evidence to indicate the potential for managing fears and enhancing feelings of empowerment in children through the reading of stories featuring monsters. A reappraisal of these stories from a predominantly therapeutic perspective reveals that they may act as agents of positive change in six ways – catharsis, naming, taming, integration, transformation and moral empowerment. Two of these functions, transformation and moral empowerment, are examined further in three case studies of stories for the older reader that feature monsters, Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver, Monster Blood Tattoo, Book One: Foundling by D.M. Cornish and my manuscript, ‘The Monster Chronicles’. The insights from this research have been used to inform the writing and editing of ‘The Monster Chronicles’ and inherent to that, my goal of creating a children’s story featuring monsters that is sensitive to children’s fears and their desire for empowerment.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 37305
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bourke, Nicole & Bolland, Craig
Keywords: monsters, children, children’s stories, fears, empowerment
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Sep 2010 06:20
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:00

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