Gatty’s Tale; or virtue restored

Vivienne Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalEnglish in Education
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Gatty’s Tale
  • virtue
  • faith
  • Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • morality in children’s literature
  • reading


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