<b>The Mentor</b>: The City as a Liminal Site in Children's Literature: Enchanted Realism with an Urban Twist

  • Naomi Hamer University of British Columbia


Diverse images of "the city" in art and literature offer a range of literal and metaphoric implications: the city as metaphor for modernization; the Old World European city as romantic or nostalgic setting; the futuristic city as cautionary comment on technology; the city as centre of consumer and corporate culture; the city as a symbol of anonymous and empty (post)modern life; the city as emblem of the disrupted relationship between humans and nature; the city as a site for criminalization, drug use, prostitution, gang violence and poverty. In the context of this artistic and literary commentary over the last century, the image of the city has also become an integral and dynamic element in children's literature.

Author Biography

Naomi Hamer, University of British Columbia
Navid Beagley is Lecturer in Children's Literature and Literacy at La Trobe University's Bendigo campus, Victoria, Australia, where he teaches units in Genres, History, Australian and Post-colonial children's literature. He has previously taught in secondary schools, and has been a school and university librarian.
Emerging Voices