Virginia Euwer Wolff: Capturing the Music of Young Voices (Studies in Young Adult Literature)
- Publish Date: 2003-09-16
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Suzanne Elizabeth Reid
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Virginia Euwer Wolff 's profoundly moving young adult literature includes the explorations of mental slowness in Probably Nick Swansen, musical giftedness in The Mozart Season, racial prejudice against the Japanese in Bat 6, and culminating in her Make Lemonade Trilogy Make Lemonade, True Believer, and a work yet in progress, about the compassionate persistence of a young teen struggling to escape inner city poverty.
The first chapter introduces author Virginia Euwer Wolff, an Oregonian by birth, and, after several years on the East Coast to attend Smith College, then following her husband's theatrical career, by choice. Her knowledge of and interest in both music and theater are evident in her writing, as she explores various aspects of language to catch the rhythms and tones of her characters and to present their stories with the immediacy of dramatic performances. Her writing also reflects her literary expertise, honed by years of teaching and critical reading.
The five following chapters each provides a literary and/or cultural context for each of Wolff's novels for young people, discusses the characters in terms of the plot and style, analyzes particularly literary elements as appropriate, and summarizes critical response. The point of each chapter is to attract readers and enrich their experience of each work. Reid has not only analyzed each novel and researched salient aspects independently, but also submitted a draft to the critical response of Virginia Euwer Wolff, which results in a more accurate book than many similar critiques.
Young readers, teachers, and professionals in the field of young adult literature should find this survey and analysis of Wolff's books useful in their work and valuable as an aid to thoughtful reading. Readers of ALL ages will enjoy Wolff's work and benefit from this literary analysis.