SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: Judith on May 12, 2010, 11:47 PM

Title: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Judith on May 12, 2010, 11:47 PM
I'm writing an article about folklore and want to include some current MG novels that are based on a folktale or use a reference to a folktale within the content.  I've researched in the libraries and found a few older books, but want some current books that I can reference.  I'm hoping that I can highlight some of our blueboarder's books.  Any suggestions are appreciated.
Judith
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: ecb on May 13, 2010, 06:27 AM
Deva Fagan's FORTUNE'S FOLLY (2009) has some great folklore in it, including a wonderful spin on "The Elves and the Shoemaker."  I'm sure I could come up with more examples, but I'm running off to a book fair in about ten seconds... but I'm looking forward to what others say!
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Kurtis on May 13, 2010, 06:40 AM
 I'm not sure where the overlap is of folktales and fairy tales, but there are loads of books that retell fairy tales -- it is its own (& very popular) genre. My second book (out in sixty days!) has an element of African folklore to it.
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Judith on May 13, 2010, 12:30 PM
Thanks for your input.  ecb: I will check out Fortune's Folly and see if it fits what I need.  Kurits, can you tell me the name of the African tale and its origin?  If you don't want it public, you can send me a personal message.

I know that there are hundreds of wonderful retellings of many folk stories, but what I am looking for is a novel that uses the plot line or theme of a particular folk story.  (Like Shakespeare did by using the Devils Bet when writing Taming of the Shrew).

Folklore includes folk tales, fairy tales, myths, legends, etc. that were passed down orally.  They are similar but have some different elements.

Again, thanks for your help.  I hope to hear from others.
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: KDuBayGillis on May 13, 2010, 12:42 PM
Does this fit what you are looking for? Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book uses The Jungle Book as its basis. 
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Kurtis on May 13, 2010, 04:53 PM
Really? How so?
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: HaroldU on May 13, 2010, 05:29 PM
The stories aren't based on folklore, but the Sisters Grimm series, which is a lot of fun, is absolutely packed with characters from folklore--and from classic stories.

Maybe Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is more the kind of book you want?
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: pattyjohnson on May 13, 2010, 07:21 PM
The Lightning thief series by Rick Riordan has alot of greek mythology in it.  Fabelhaven is all about faires and other magical creatures.  the sisters grimm is about fairytale characters.  all three series are good reads too. 
PJ :snoopy
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: KDuBayGillis on May 13, 2010, 08:22 PM
Kurtis. . . I read threads here that made the comparison.  Here is a link that also draws this comparison.  http://boingboing.net/2008/10/10/gaimans-graveyard-bo-1.html
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Judith on May 13, 2010, 11:38 PM
More great ideas.  Thank you all.  I should have thought of some of those myself.  Keep them coming.

An aside about folklore.  I've been rereading The Uses of Enchantment and it talks about how stories can affect us all differently.  I remember loving these stories from the time I first started reading.  As a kid, my favorite was East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Now that we have so many stories from different cultures available in the library, my favorites change.

Judith
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: ecb on May 14, 2010, 06:51 AM
Ok, I'm also going to suggest Sarah Beth Durst's INTO THE WILD and OUT OF THE WILD. They're not retellings, but the premise is that fairy tale characters have all escaped their stories, and the Wild (or the dark wood where all the tales always seem to take place) wants them back. So it's a great mix of contemporary fantasy with a really solid understanding of fairy tale tropes.

But I have to admit I'm not sure what the difference is between a retelling (like CURSE) and what you say here:
Quote
I know that there are hundreds of wonderful retellings of many folk stories, but what I am looking for is a novel that uses the plot line or theme of a particular folk story.  (Like Shakespeare did by using the Devils Bet when writing Taming of the Shrew).

To me, that kind of is the definition of a retelling. Can you clarify?
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Judith on May 14, 2010, 04:44 PM
To me a retelling is where the author stays pretty true to the characters and events in the original tale, but of course the teller/author will make a few changes to make it their own  In fact, I would consider all the picture books of folktales are retellings.  I haven't read the Curse to know how to compare it.
Judith
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: mswatkins on May 14, 2010, 05:47 PM
It's an older series but the Chronicles of Prydain (The Black Cauldron) is full of folk lore, primarily Welsh. 
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: clockworkfoundry on May 23, 2010, 08:45 PM
Mine's very folklore-driven--makes particular use of the devil-at-the-crossroads and the Jack tales. It's not a retelling, though, if that's what you're looking for. http://clockworkfoundry.com/limberleg/
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: ecb on May 24, 2010, 04:51 PM
Kate, I am so glad you posted to this thread, because I have suddenly put all your IDs together with your book! Happy book birthday!!
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: RJ_Anderson on May 24, 2010, 05:26 PM
John Claude Bemis's THE NINE POUND HAMMER uses American folk tales -- particularly the legend of John Henry -- as part of its backstory. MG novel, with special appeal for boys -- my 9 year old son adored it.
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: clockworkfoundry on May 26, 2010, 06:51 PM
Thanks, Elizabeth!  :bicycle
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Judith on May 26, 2010, 11:22 PM
Thank you for the additional books.  I've been perusing the books you have all mentioned and they are just what I needed.  I will also include Kate's and RJ's suggestions.  Will be sending the article off soon.  I'll let you know if it gets accepted.
Judith
Title: Re: Folklore references in MG books
Post by: Judith on June 09, 2010, 10:48 PM
Well, my fellow blueboarders, you will find your books referenced in my article "Stories for the Ages" in the December 2010 issue of LibrarySparks Magazine.  Hope it brings a little more exposure to your fine books.
Judith