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Consider three young women all transported to a world that is not their own. With no parental figure to guide her, each is forced to make her way through a magical and sometimes eerie world, defeat the various wicked witches, queens and “other" things and find their way back home safely. Do they all grow up in the context of their individual stories? Yes, they do, and that is why they are perfect literary superstars for the sixth- to ninth-grade age group to study as they do some maturing of their own.
Comparing Alice, Coraline & Dorothy
All three of these books and their respective movies follow the same basic plot. Each character is a young girl depicted as fearless, resourceful, curious and able to speak her mind clearly. When we meet each one, she appears to be bored with her life and/or her parents or guardians and is longing for some type of adventure. She feels if she goes away from her normal home routine, she will have more fun.
Each young adventuress finds a way into a magically strange world: carried by a cyclone, transported through a rabbit hole, or by crawling through a door in the wall. Once there, each young woman comes to a point in her journey where she concludes that perhaps this magical place holds some danger and she had better hightail it home for good. How each young woman gets home is how each story unfolds; all rise to the challenge and achieve their happy endings.
Use the downloadable PowerPoint to review each girl’s plight and compare their similarities. This assignment works with both the novels and the films, so you can mix and match your media to use the assignment. You don't have to watch a blockbuster movie to find enchanting, strong female characters--just open a book.
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