Date Approved

5-31-1996

Embargo Period

9-2-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Pauly, Regina

Subject(s)

Runaway children--Bibliography; Young adult fiction, American--History and criticism--Bibliography

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to compare causes and consequences for runaways in real life with those in young adult fiction, in order to ascertain whether any similarity exists between the two. The thesis also provides an annotated bibliography of young adult books about runaways.

Research was carried out to obtain information about what real runaways must face, and various guides to young adult literature were consulted in order to evaluate fictional runaway lifestyles.

With few exceptions, real lives of runaway children bear very little resemblance to those of their fictional counterparts. In fiction, happy endings (or at least resolution of the major conflicts) are the rule, even it the protagonist must face hard truths. But real runaways with few choice-making skills often face problems which offer equally harmful choices. For the most part, real runaways live lives of unspeakable distress and danger.

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