Well-dressed Role Models: The Portrayal of Women in Biographies for Children

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Scarecrow Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 277 pages
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This study provides a qualitative exploration of juvenile biographies of women, a genre defined here as a book dealing with the whole or partial life of an individual and reviewed as nonfiction for readers in elementary, middle, or junior high school. Beginning with a survey of juvenile material on Elizabeth Tudor published in England and the United States between 1852 and 2002, author Gale Eaton scrutinizes thirty-four books juvenile biographies, histories, and collected biographies for trends in both content and rhetoric. Well-Dressed Role Models: The Portrayal of Women in Biographies for Children then goes on to look at close readings of books published in the United States in the years 1946, 1971, and 1996 and presents a penetrating analysis of a genre that serves the needs of youth. The findings of this study include the fact that juvenile biographies make role models out of women who, in many cases, never would have become famous by following all the rules for good girls. By choice of subject and emphasis, their authors dress the life stories of real women in the appropriate values of new generations. Three appendixes providing annotated book lists for each of the three years analyzed conclude this study."

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Rediscovering Elizabeth
Four Political Fictions
Dressing the Role Models

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About the author (2006)

Gale Eaton is Associate Professor of library and information studies and Assistant Director and Coordinator of Distance Learning at the University of Rhode Island.

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