Life Is Tough: Guys, Growing Up, and Young Adult Literature (Studies in Young Adult Literature)

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9780810850552: Life Is Tough: Guys, Growing Up, and Young Adult Literature (Studies in Young Adult Literature)

Much has been written about the fact that teenage boys do not like to read, but reading is key to academic success. Sports, video games, television, computers, and movies draw boys away from time that could be spent reading. Young adult males need to be made aware of novels that can help them to navigate their coming-of-age. They need to know that they are not alone.

In order to provide librarians, educators, and parents with the information they need to recognize the different kinds of young adult fiction available for boys, this book delineates the types of male protagonists found in the various genres of contemporary young adult fiction. Showing how these fictional characters can help teenage boys on their journey to adulthood, novels are examined thematically, based on adolescent issues such as coming-of-age, sexuality, and making choices. These books can then be suggested to young menas aids in navigating adolescence, pleasure (or free reading assignments) reading, and tools to imporve literacy. The annotated bibliographies are helpful to young adults looking for a good read.

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About the Author:

Rachelle Lasky Bilz is head librarian at Lake Ridge Academy in North Ridgeville. She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Wilson College and a master's degree in library science from Kent State University. She has been a book reviewer for Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) since 1995 and has published several articles on young adult literature. An avid bibliophile, she lives in Oberlin with her husband, John. They have two daughters.

Review:

Bilz provides an important tool for teachers, librarians, parents, and anyone working with male teens who wish to offer this population books that speak to their needs and interests. Not only is the discussion of the various protagonist types informative, the annotated bibliography included supplies exactly the information needed for those who seek to match readers to books successfully. (VOYA)

Bilz focuses on books that can help boys mature into resourceful, well-adjusted young men. She begins with an overview of classic tales of heroism in which strong male protagonists like Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Robinson Crusoe not only exhibit their steely strengths, but share, too, their fears and doubts along the way. Her lists of contemporary treatments and read-alikes of each of these tales will be particularly helpful to educators seeking thematic bridges between old and new....there's no doubt that the author is passionate about the value that relevant books can have in the lives of boys. It's an important message. This is a useful bibliography for anyone who wants to place books in the paths of boys as beacons toward meaningful manhood. (School Library Journal)

...describes contemporary young adult literature with male protagonists and shows how these characters can help teenage boys on their journey to adulthood. Novels are dealt with thematically, based on issues such as coming-of-age, sexuality, and decision making. Various genres, such as realistic fiction and fantasy, [are] explored in the context of themes. Annotated book lists conclude each chapter. (Reference and Research Book News)

The discussion of each title is thorough and interesting and provides insight for librarians to share the book with students through booktalks and individual book recommendations...I understand the titles more deeply after reading the entries, and I have a better understanding of the reasons why boys buy books...will be useful for young adult librarians. (Sarah Applegate, NBCT Teacher Librarian)

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