Characters with Disabilities in Contemporary Novels for Children: A Portrait of Three Authors in a Framework of Canadian Texts

Beverley A. Brenna


A study of 50 contemporary Canadian novels for children and young adults explores patterns and trends regarding the construction of characters with disabilities, becoming a frame for the portraits of three Canadian authors, including a self-portrait. An adaptation of the Bakhtinian notion of the chronotope, applied to literary theory, provides a lens within which aspects of time and space are identified in relation to the internal chronotope of these characterizations, as well as in relation to the external chronotope of particular authors’ iterations, within their work, of actual space and time. A conceptual framework of critical literacy is used to highlight implications for including as classroom resources, texts about characters with disabilities.


Children's Literature; Critical Literacy; Chronotope; Author Study

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