Irregular Readers. Arthur Conan Doyle’s “six dirty scoundrels”, Boyhood and Literacy in Contemporary Sherlockian Children’s Literature
Young adult (YA) literature is a socialising genre that encourages young readers to take up particular ways of relating to historical or cultural materials. The first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed a boom in Sherlockian YA fiction using the Conan Doyle canon as a context and vocabulary for stories focused on the Baker Street Irregulars as figures of identification. This paper reads YA fiction’s deployment of Conan Doyle’s fictional universe as a strategy for negotiating anxieties of adolescent masculinity, particularly in relation to literacy and social agency.
Keywords: Young adult literature; detective fiction; masculinity; literacy;
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