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Donna Jo Napoli has received acclaim for her young adult works and is especially known for her historical novels and her retellings of myth and fairy tales. In this full-length critical study, Hilary S. Crew integrates criticism and biographical information to illuminate Napoli's many novels, as well as other writings by Napoli such as her essays on writing for young people and her book, Language Matters.

A comprehensive critical analysis of 19 novels,
Donna Jo Napoli: Writing with Passion provides an understanding of how Napoli's life and profession as a professor of linguistics influences her writing for young adults. The novels analyzed in this study include Napoli's retellings of such fairy tales and myths as The Magic Circle, Zel, Bound, Beast, and Sirena; novels whose stories are drawn from religious and traditional sources such as Song of the Magdalene, Breath, and Hush; such historical works as The Smile, Daughter of Venice, and two novels set during WWII, Stones in Water and Fire in the Hills; and her most recent book for young adults, Alligator Bayo. An interview with Napoli concludes this significant resource for those working with young adults.

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