Kelly's Writing

Queens College

Annotated Bibliography

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kelly Santana at 3:23 am on Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DeMinco, Sandrea. “Young Adult Reactions To Death In Literature And Life.” Adolescence 30.117 (1995): 179-185. PsycINFO. Web.

DeMinco’s article focuses on how young adults grieve and how it is very different from the way adults grieve when someone dies. She writes that death and how young adults deal with it can have a severe impact on their still developing minds and identities, so it is important to understand what are some normal and typical characteristics of coping with death in young adults. DeMinco goes on to discuss the importance of the theme of death in Y/A literature and how it serves as an example for how young adults will normally react to deaths in their personal lives. Deminco uses literature to understand how young adults react to death and the ways in which others (i.e. adults) can help during the grieving process. I will most likely piggyback from this article and agree that death in Y/A literature is helpful to the development of a young adult.

Dickson, Randi. “Horror: To Gratify, Not Edify.” Language Arts, vol. 76, no. 2, 1998, pp. 115–122. JSTOR. Web.

This article focuses on the rising appeal of horror in Young Adult literature. Although the books I’ll be working with don’t necessarily fall under the category of horror, they do deal with something dark (death) which is a topic most people normally try to stay away from. Dickson uses interviews with children of different age groups and other scholars in order to discuss why there is an attraction to reading dark literature. Dickson writes that there is an interest in being provoked and scared by these books in the comfort of one’s own space that would otherwise be repelled. Dickson also writes that adolescents enjoy reading about scary things that elicit fear and curiosity which provides them with a form of both safety and entertainment. Dickson uses the interviews conducted to tell the reader why adolescents so much and why it’s become so popular, but I would leapfrog this article because I would discuss the effects reading horror has on  adolescents. A small portion is used to discuss how adolescents may feel sympathy for characters in dark novels, so I would expand on that and discuss why dark literature can actually be edifying.

Gillespie, Margaret. “Death, Youth And Literature.” Child & Youth Services 7.1-2 (1985): 101-108. PsycINFO. Web.

This article takes on a more psychological approach. The author uses research and interviews to discuss how young adults deal with death and the difficulties of finding a balance between childhood and adulthood when it comes to grief. Gillespie includes interviews with psychologists and sociologists to get a better understanding of the healthy and unhealthy ways a young adult can react to death, which she then relates to with characters who deal with death in Y/A fiction. I don’t have full access to the article yet but based on what I’ve read I think I may either piggyback or leapfrog this article.

Hintz, Carrie and Eric L Tribunella. Reading Children’s Literature. 1st ed., Boston, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

I will be using this text to help me understand and discuss the development of adolescents. Hintz adds the voices of other scholars such as Freud to discuss the importance of child development and how it can impact adulthood. Hintz writes that children’s books depicts and development and maturation through its characters. I wish to piggyback from this text to discuss the importance of death in Y/A novels and how it can serve as a form of development as Hintz states.

Nilsen, Alleen Pace. “Books for Young Adults: Death and Dying: Facts, Folklore.” The English Journal, vol. 62, no. 8, 1973, pp. 1187–1189. JSTOR. Web.

This article focuses on the impact of media and how it has shined a light on death and has made it much more personal and intimate, which in turn, has created a large interest in death among readers. Young adults especially, probably having very little experience with the topic, are curious to understand the mystery of death and how it impacts the life of those affected by it. Nilsen mentions different works throughout his article to suggest that death in novels has allowed readers to feel sympathy and learn about death in their own personal lives. I plan to use this article to discuss a possible reason behind the rising popularity of death in Y/A literature.


At the bottom of my ballroom, I put the two primary sources I’ll be working with. Right above them, I added Hintz, because I feel I’ll be using her in order to have a better understanding of Children’s literature and it’s uses. I tried to keep Gillespie, Deminco, and Nilsen close together because their ideas seem to be in agreement with one another. I put Dickson on the left because the article doesn’t really discuss the effects of reading a novel about death in Y/A literature, and only really discusses why there’s such an appeal on a more superficial level.

I noticed the only strategy of the 8 that I’ll be using is piggybacking, which I don’t think will be very helpful. My sources really talk about or agree with pretty much the same ideas. I wanted to find articles that focus on the negative aspects of having death as a theme in Y/A literature so I can start some sort of discussion between scholars and their opposing views, but it’s been extremely hard to find. I haven’t found any other articles that offer different ideas with the topic of death in Y/A yet, which I think will help me with my argument and discussion a lot more. Hopefully I can find some more articles that will make my ballroom a lot more diverse.




December 7, 2016 @ 2:27 am

Hey! I really like the development of your project! You found some really great secondary sources, Gillespie’s work especially excites me because that seems like it might be relevant to my paper. If you decide to explore the horror genre a little further, I have a couple books on that, and if I find something that seems like it may relate to your project I’ll let you know. I don’t think the fact that you’re only piggybacking is a problem because you’re bringing together so many sources, so it’s still innovative and new. However, if you’re concerned with your lack of opposition, try playing devil’s advocate and thinking what the other side might argue, then research those topics as if you’re writing your paper on that topic instead of trying to find opposition embedded in your realm of articles. But overall, I think your sources cover a wide array of disciplines and are really interesting.


   Chani Rubenstein

December 7, 2016 @ 7:39 am

Hi Kelly! I’m glad that you are branching into horror a bit. The similarities are fascinating, and I don’t think I would have noticed it myself. I understand your concerns about having only one type of strategy. I found that I was using a lot of piggy-backing as well. I think once you read more views, especially in Hintz, you’ll have a better idea of where you stand in all of this!
I think that your topic encompasses a lot, which is a good thing, but I do think that you might need more sources on children’s psychology and literature. I reccomend ERIC, the educational database, as well as any psychology databases our school gets. Sorry to state the obvious and unnecessary! I’m impressed by your clarity, and hope that your sources serve you well! I’m glad that you have an anchor text. Do you plan on going into Freudian analysis much? I think an untapped resource here might be book reviews and interviews of the authors. What do they have to say about the morbidity of their works? I’m sure there are a lot of reviews and interviews of TFIOS, as it was made into a movie. You can probably transfer these ideas to other works as well. I think that you chose your sources strategically, and cast a wide net, so to speak (or write)! I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll bring in an educational psychology book for you and Zahava to browse for tomorrow’s class, if my back will permit it! Hoping you’re well!

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