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Gatty’s Tale; or virtue restored

Smith, Vivienne (2008) Gatty’s Tale; or virtue restored. English in Education, 42 (1). pp. 24-36. ISSN 0425-0494

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Abstract

Most children’s books assume a moral framework in which their characters live and grow, but in most cases, morality remains extrinsic to the characters themselves: it is what happens to them and what they do, rather than what they believe and who they become. Kevin Crossley-Holland’s novel Gatty’s Tale, is unusual in that it presents a protagonist for whom being good matters for its own sake. This article explores Gatty’s developing goodness, and shows how Crossley-Holland helps young readers understand what virtue is.