Presenting the Past: How the Novels of A.S. King Provide Temporality to the Teenage Experience

  • Adam Van Buren Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education The University of Oklahoma


This article examines the works of young adult literature author A.S. King through youth and temporal lenses.  It argues that King’s works refute the images of teenagers as atemporal beings uninterested by and uninvolved in the past, present, and future.  The analysis attempts to link King’s characters with real-life events – the Vietnam War, the current student-debt crisis, etc. – and to show teenagers as active participants in society, regardless of time period.  Furthermore, the article links each book to a particular temporal period (past, present, future), and it uses these temporal periods to show how teenagers, rather than being isolated, share the same temporal struggles – the influence of past struggles, the present quest to survive, planning for the future – that plague their adult counterparts. 


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