Teaching Young Adult Literature Today: Insights, Considerations, and Perspectives for the Classroom Teacher

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9781442207196: Teaching Young Adult Literature Today: Insights, Considerations, and Perspectives for the Classroom Teacher
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Teaching Young Adult Literature Today introduces the reader to what is current and relevant in the plethora of good books available for adolescents. More importantly, literary experts illustrate how teachers everywhere can help their students become lifelong readers by simply introducing them to great reads—smart, insightful, and engaging books that are specifically written for adolescents. Hayn, Kaplan, and their contributors address a wide range of topics: how to avoid common obstacles to using YAL; selecting quality YAL for classrooms while balancing these with curriculum requirements; engaging disenfranchised readers; pairing YAL with technology as an innovative way to teach curriculum standards across all content areas. Contributors also discuss more theoretical subjects, such as the absence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young adult literature in secondary classrooms; and contemporary YAL that responds to the changing expectations of digital generation readers who want to blur the boundaries between page and screen.

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About the Author:

Judith A. Hayn is associate professor of English education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is the chair of the NCTE Conference on English Education Commission on the Study and Teaching of Adolescent Literature and of SIGNAL, the Special Interest Group Network on Adolescent Literature for the International Reading Association. Hayn began her career in education as a middle and high school English language arts.
Jeffrey S. Kaplan is associate professor of English education at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Kaplan is President-Elect for ALAN, the Assembly for the Study of Literature for Adolescents. He is also the Research Connections Editor for the ALAN Review, a leading peer-reviewed journal on the study and teaching of young adult literature. Kaplan is a former middle and high school English Language Arts teacher.

Both Hayn and Kaplan have published widely in the field and recently coedited a themed issue on Young Adult Literature for Theory Into Practice.

Review:

English education scholars Hayn (Univ. of Arkansas, Little Rock) and Kaplan (Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando) have created a small gem: a book on young adult literature (YAL) that offers a solid introduction to major pedagogical issues of the field and a taste of a YAL survey course. Readers unfamiliar with YAL texts and issues would do well to begin with the first section. Hayn begins with a call for empirical research studies, especially concerning assessment. Kaplan follows with "The Changing Face of Young Adult Literature," which defines, grounds, and surveys YAL, including genres such as series romance and books with religious overtones. This section concludes with an examination of YAL teacher prep: Susan Elliott-Johns observes that more research and better training is key. Concerns raised in part 1 are taken up in part 2, "Where Is YAL Now?," in which contributors, most of whom are or have been middle and high school English teachers, offer practical and scholarly methods on how to build student access to and interest in YAL, work around rigid curricula expectations and censorship threats, and embrace multiple literacies by using postmodern YAL and digital technologies in meaningful ways. A concluding section looks at where YAL is going. Summing Up: Highly recommended. (CHOICE)

Intended for language arts teachers in middle and secondary schools, this volume consists of fourteen chapters covering such topics as dystopian novels, LGBTQ young adult literature, and genre-blurring literature. In addition to discussing various examples of works for young adults, the contributors provide practical advice for teachers on how to incorporate such literature into classroom activities. (Children's Literature Association Quarterly)

The first word that comes to mind is 'refreshing.' Using research and best practices, these editors have created a great companion text to the classic YA methods texts currently available. This text fills in the gaps previously unaddressed in other texts. (Joan Kaywell, professor of English education, University of South Florida; senior executive director, Florida Council of Teachers of English, 2010-2011; membership secretary, Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English; and author of Dear Author: Letters of Hope (NCSS Notable Book and 2007 VOYA Nonfiction Honor List))

This book covers the ground in YA literature up to the present moment, and then plows new ground. The sections on research issues in YA literature fill a new niche in the professional literature, and one that sorely needed filling. More than anything, this book shows why teaching YA lit matters, and how to pursue it so it matters most. It also explores why researching its instructional use also matters. The connections of YA lit to 21st century literacy are astute and timely. Several chapters, on their own, are worth the price of the book. (Jeffrey Wilhelm, professor of English education, Boise State University)

A much needed addition to the field of young adult literature. Respected young adult scholars address the changing face of young adult literature. Covering such topics as the role of research in the study of young adult literature, enhancing practice and inquiry, motivating young readers, identifying obstacles to teaching young adult literature, and the myriad emerging themes and topics, this text is a cutting edge addition to the field. A must for the young adult literature library! (Pam B. Cole, author, Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century)

There are 'few' worthwhile books for teachers using YA literature. I am delighted to have this book. (Phyllis Fantauzzo, Rider University)

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