Contemporary Realistic Fiction Essay

The genre that I will be presenting is Contemporary Realistic Fiction. The project idea that I chose for my genre was the topic of the sensitive issue of death and how it is treated and written in literature. To discuss the issue about death and dying the paper will include books that focus on the following subjects. The first being what the understanding or impression of the child be after reading or having the books read to them. The next being how the stories treat the issue of death and what lessons they could have learned in helping them cope.

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Another would be the question of if the books treat the subject the same way and if not, I will compare the viewpoints amongst the books. The books will be discussed both in individual and collective form so as to provide a true and fair view of the information which are presented in these books. Thus far, I have found a few titles that I believe will help me to present my topic.

The first being Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, which is the story of depressed and angry fifth grader Jess Aarons, who becomes friends with his new outgoing, tomboy neighbor Leslie Burke.

The two lonely children create a magical forest kingdom together that they call Terabithia. The book comes to a tragic end when Leslie falls into a creek and drowns. The lesson that I got out of reading this book was that Jesse could only overcome his grief with the strength and courage that his friendship with Leslie had given him. The next book I chose was a picture book called Jim’s Dog Muffins by Miriam Cohen. Jim is a first grader who has been having a hard time since his dog Muffins died. At school, he becomes angry when his classmates don’t seem to understand how he feels.

Until his new friend Paul comes along and helps him feel better. This could show the aspect of how having people around to help you get through a loved one’s, or in this case a loved dog’s, death is very crucial and can have very positive effects. The next book I have chosen to include thus far is called Moon Pie by Mason Simon. Moon Pie has a cute and fun cover that would lead you to believe it is a humorous and light book. However, this little book actually has a bit of a serious story line. That said, it is a tender little book about a family going through hard times.

Martha’s mother has died prior to the story’s beginning. Her sweet father has always been eccentric, but his oddities are increasing. Martha wonders if he might be going a little bit crazy due to his grief over the loss of her mother, and it turns out she is partially correct. In fact, she learns that he is an alcoholic. She and her brother are taken away from their dad and given to their grandparents, where they are well cared for, but miss their dad terribly. This book’s ending is realistic, but a happy one overall which can show children that are currently in the grieving stage that things can get better.

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