Writing about the Holocaust and writing for young readers evoke two quite separate sets of concerns which are not always mutually compatible. The first half of "Representing the Holocaust" focuses on how literary material can present historically verifiable material. The second half examines how such materials will be perceived by young readers; whether they will be able to determine any boundaries between fictionality and factuality, and what motivates young readers to keep reading. The work concludes by placing the study in the context of Holocaust education.
"Kokkola is committed to ethical criticism. She asks repeatedly how literature affects children's thinking and beliefs about the Holocaust and fascism. This is a welcome approach, which is at its best, in my view...when it urges us to think seriously about the profound impact that literature can have on young readers...Kokkola combines theory and criticism of children's literature with Holocaust studies in productive and knowledgeable ways." --The Lion and the Unicorn
"Lydia Kokkola's study...is keenly narratological, and she often draws on formalist and structuralist approaches as she explicates texts. Like many before her, she is concerned with narratives that simultaneously reveal and conceal as they deal with horrific events, but the kinds of questions she asks focus specifically on how information can be withheld of divulged...Kokkola's approach also brings new dimensions to previous discussions of children's literature and the Holocaust." --Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History
Introduction 1. Non-Representation 2. Writing History: Creating Fictions 3. Crossing Borders: Autobiographical Fiction? 4. Responses to Representation Conclusion: Understanding the Holocaust? Literature in Education Select Bibliography