Becoming a modern hero: the search for identity in Cynthia Voigt's novels
The purpose of this study is to explore the novels of a highly respected author of young adult literature and to summarize the plots, analyze the themes, and examine the motivations of the characters in a format that would be accessible and useful to the classroom teachers and students who read her novels. The bulk of the document will follow the format of the Twayne Series of Young Adult Writers, a serial publication of biographical information, plot summary, and critical commentary that is standard in many school libraries.
Cynthia Voigt's novels are both popular with teachers and students and well-acclaimed by literary critics and scholars of young adult literature. The first chapter outlines Voigt's professional career and the events in her life that affected her writing. The four chapters that follow treat individual novels grouped as they relate to themes of defining a self, balancing commitment to self and family, learning to recognize and value individual differences, and finding the courage to challenge socially conventional expectations. The sixth chapter summarizes Voigt's philosophy of personal development as it is reflected in her writing, and the last chapter suggest strategies which could be applied to Voigt's novels in the classroom.
Throughout the analyses of Voigt's novels, critical Opinions and scholarly commentary have been summarized to provide a perspective that is informed by a variety of sources of information about this author's work in particular and about young adult novels in general.