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Urban landscapes feature iconic symbols from the past and contemporary times. These noticings and remembrances from literature and life contribute to the formation of readers’ identities, as well as their sense of being anchored in worlds both real and fictional. As taken for granted as the geographic, cultural, and economic distinctions of cities are, there are broader implications for readers, teachers, and critics of adolescent literature. In this article, the author proposes that the virtual nature of many of today’s communication modes has inspired a return to that which is tangible, local, and immediate. The urban geographies imagined and described in twenty-first century fiction for young adults provide orientations and grounding in specific places. These story places are as diverse and interconnected as that of any natural biome.


Education | Secondary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


This is the publisher's (University of Virginia, Digital Library and Archives) PDF Version of the article, previously appearing as:

Thomas, E.E. (January 2011). Landscapes of City and Self: Place and Identity in Urban Young Adult Literature. The ALAN Review 38(2), 13-22.

Copyright 2011 Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.