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Academic Article

Travel, Teens, and Tethering: The Impact of Mobile Phones on Childhood Journeys in Ostrich Boys and Unhooking the Moon

Author:

Leanne Hooper

About Leanne

Leanne Hooper holds an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University. She currently works for the Calgary Public Library as a Library Assistant with a focus on early literacy and community outreach. Her research interests include literacy acquisition and development, childhood development, alphabet books, and diversity in children’s literature.

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Abstract

The contemporary novels Ostrich Boys (2008) by Keith Gray and Unhooking the Moon (2010) by Gregory Hughes take up the journey trope often found within children’s literature. This paper examines the impact of mobile phones on the journeys of the child protagonists in these novels. What is the function of mobile phones within these contemporary childhood journeys and what might these examples suggest about contemporary versions of the journey trope? Drawing on research by sociologist Sherry Turkle Hooper argues that the mobile phone can be seen as both a positive point of connection and a ‘tethering’ device that restricts independence. Drawing on Maria Nikolajeva and Peter Applebaum, Hooper argues that mobile phones can be considered ‘magical objects’ allowing the child protagonist to metaphorically travel through time and receive information unavailable to their peers. Hooper explores how the protagonists make use of the knowledge they receive via their mobile phones and how the process of growth and change is impacted by the presence of mobile phones.

How to Cite: Hooper, L. (2017). Travel, Teens, and Tethering: The Impact of Mobile Phones on Childhood Journeys in Ostrich Boys and Unhooking the Moon. RoundTable, 1(1), 5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.24877/rt.18
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Published on 24 May 2017.
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