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  • 1.
    Yarova, Aliona
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    Constructing Adolescence in Fantastic Realism. Alison Waller. London: Routledge, 2009. 220 pages.2013In: International Research Society for Children's Literature, ISSN 1755-6201, p. 1-Article, review/survey (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Yarova, Aliona
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    Haunted by Humans: Inverting the Reality of the Holocaust in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief2016In: Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, ISSN 1034-9243, E-ISSN 1837-4530, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 54-81Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines how the magic realist strategy of inversion facilitates the representation of the reality of the Holocaust in Markus Zusak’s YA novel The Book Thief. Inversion is achieved by representing the events from the perspective of the other-worldly character, Death. Death provides the child reader with a means to unfold historical events by gradually opening up the layers of inverted reality. The layers examined are supernatural as natural, humans as ghosts, the real as surreal, and finally, on the deepest level of inversion, readers interpret life during the Holocaust as death. It is not the fantastic that causes fear or horror, but the real: war, violence and human hatred. The technique of inversion overturns beliefs about reality, normalcy and humanity. Focusing on the reversal of the real and the magical this paper explores the ways in which Death’s inverted narrative helps the young reader to discover the humanity of the humans who were dehumanized by the war, while still pointing to the inhumanity of genocide.

  • 3.
    Yarova, Aliona
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    “I Am the Eternal Green Man”: Holistic Ecology in Reading Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls2019In: Children's Literature in Education, ISSN 0045-6713, E-ISSN 1573-1693, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Holistic ecology considers nature and society as a whole, viewing humans and the environment as interdependent and interconnected. This article takes the lens of holistic ecology to examine the representation of human–nature relationships in Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls (2011) and explores how the novel guides the child reader to an environmental mind-set beyond overt didacticism. The article focuses on two aspects of the bond between the magical tree and the human characters in the novel: how the powerful tree empowers humans and how the human characters contribute to the tree’s expressions of power. The eternal Green Man—as the tree introduces itself—embodies this bond by being simultaneously tree-like and human-like, a complex merger of “the Green” (nature) and “the Man” (humanity). The monster-tree fulfils several powerful and empowering roles, such as monster and storyteller, destructive force and powerful healer, savage and philosopher, nightmare and escape. Importantly, it always keeps the shape of a yew tree. As such, A Monster Calls can contribute to children’s environmental education by illustrating the connection between the natural environment and humans: the eternal bond between “the Green” and “the Man.”

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  • 4.
    Yarova, Aliona
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    “You Are a Mysterious Animal, You Know”: Eco-philosophy in Sonya Hartnett’s The Midnight Zoo2016In: Barnboken, ISSN 0347-772X, E-ISSN 2000-4389, Vol. 39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In non-realist children’s literature, animals tend to be employed as a means of representing human issues to the extent that the animal qualities of the animal can become invisible. Despite this trend, literary animals can also inform readers about animal issues along with the metaphoric message they supposedly carry. In Sonya Hartnett’s The Midnight Zoo, the role of animals is twofold: firstly, animals metaphorically represent human relationships – more specifically the bigotry towards the Roma as ‘other’ – and, secondly, the animals directly stand for the actual animals who are mistreated according to the same principle: for their ‘otherness’ to humans. This article adopts an eco-philosophical perspective to examine how The Midnight Zoo effectively intertwines human intolerance of other humans (the Roma) with human actions towards animals to suggest that humans treat the (natural) world as the Nazis treated the Roma during World War II.

  • 5.
    Yarova, Aliona
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    Kokkola, Lydia
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    Beyond Human: Escaping the Maze of Anthropocentrism in Peter Dickinson’s Eva2015In: Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature, ISSN 0006-7377, E-ISSN 1918-6983, Vol. 53, no 1, p. 38-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Images of human-animal-machine mergers – “cyborgs” in Donna Haraway’s terminology – are ways of exploring the human/non-human dichotomy and embracing non-human features as empowering: the cyborg supposedly enables humans to achieve their full potential by going beyond anthropocentric boundaries. Alternatively, the cyborg may not result in the empowerment of humans; on the contrary, it may lead to the complete loss of humanity. This article examines the interior conflict of the cyborg-protagonist in Peter Dickinson’s Eva (1988). Eva is subjected to life-saving experimental surgery during which her mind is transplanted into the body of a chimpanzee, and speak only by using a keyboard. Eva-the-cyborg explores the limits of human identity. Although she is expected to move beyond her human identity, perspective and body, Eva rejects these assumptions. Drawing on Judith Halberstam’s notion of “queer failure” (2011), this article argues that Eva’s failure to achieve a balance between her human and non-human selves is a creative act which defeats humankind’s daring attempt to control the universe using scientific and technological achievements.

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