chapter  6
‘YOU WOULD IF YOU LOVED ME’
Language and desire in the teen novel
ByMurray Knowles
Pages 18

One of the most significant developments in children’s fiction in the last thirty years has been the publication of books focusing on what were previously taboo subjects. Often referred to as ‘realistic fiction’, this genre, aimed at the teenage reader, professes to ‘tell it as it is’. Thus, families are no longer regarded as sacrosanct and sex and violence are no longer topics to be avoided. The three extracts above illustrate well the departure from the cosy, middle-class world of Enid Blyton.