What is YA Lit 2007 version
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What is YA Lit 2007 version Presentation Transcript

  • 1. LIB 617 Research in Young Adult Literature
    Fall 2010
    What is Young Adult Literature?
  • 2. What is YA Literature?
    What it is not
    “Young adult literature is not classic literature written by dead white men.”
    Attributed to Dr. Faith A. Wallace, professor in Secondary and Middle Grades Education at Kennesaw State University.
    Intro to Young Adult Literature: Appreciating the Complex World of YAL
    © Mechele R. DillardJan 26, 2007
    2
  • 3. 3
    So, what is YA Lit?
    Young-adult fiction
    Young-adult fiction, whether in the form of novels or short stories, has distinct attributes that distinguish it from the other age categories of fiction: adult fiction, middle grade fiction, and children’s fiction. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent as the protagonist, rather than an adult or a child.
  • 4. 4
    What is YA Literature?
    Definition #1:
    YA literature refers to books written specifically for a teenage audience. The books usually have a young protagonist and present that young person dealing with issues that other young people all face (belonging, falling in love, or deciding what to do in the future, for example) or issues that young people are afraid they may have to face (violence, drug dependency, alcoholism, being alone, death of a loved one, pregnancy, or divorce of parents).
    HIGH SCHOOL CONNECTIONS: YA: FAQ (We're Glad You Asked!)
  • 5. 5
    What is YA Literature?
    Definition #2:
    YA literature is anything young adults are reading of their own free will. Teenagers vary widely in their reading interests.
    Definition #3:
    YA literature is any book marketed as YA by a publisher. Sometimes the classification of a book as YA seems arbitrary.
    YA: FAQ (We're Glad You Asked!)
  • 6. 6
    Derogatory views
    As a genre it has been referred to as:
    ‘Adult Lite’, not a real book
    a genre not in its own right, a step up to adult books (Aronson, p. 19)
    novels for slow learners
    books just about sex and drugs, dysfunctional families and dropping out, and
    a ‘sub-literature’ not worthy of discussion, especially in the class room (England and Mertz, p. 119).
    Developing a love of reading: why young adult literature is important
  • 7. 7
    Carte Blanche
    What Is Young-Adult Literature?
    Does anyone any longer know what we mean by the term young-adult literature? Not so long ago, I would have said, without too much fear of contradiction, that it meant books for readers from 12 to 18 years old. But, over the course of the last several years, the term has grown so restlessly expansive that it now seems to embrace titles for readers as young as 10 and (arguably) as old as 35.
  • 8. 8
    Cart’s evolution of YA Lit
    Books for readers from 12 to 18 years old
    Expansion of YA to include the 10 to14 age range
    • Roots in the middle-school movement of the late 1980s
    Inclusion of the 19 to 35 range, at the other end of the demographic
    • a newer, more market-driven phenomenon that is related, I would argue, to the ongoing shift of the YA market from the institutional to the retail
  • 9
    Content of this evolution?
    The traditional YA literature of the 1970s
    Crossover fiction, novels, that is, with multigenerational appeal
    They’re typically written by young authors, usually in their twenties; they're often first novels or novels presented in the form of the currently fashionable collection of linked stories. Their protagonists may be teens, but just as often they are in their twenties. Coming-of-age or rite-of-passage issues drive their plots. And, perhaps most importantly, they are published as adult novels.
  • 9. 10
    Why define YA Lit, then?
    Selecting books for young adults is difficult.
    [Young adults] read for information and for pleasure. They read to escape the confines of their own lives, and to better understand their world. Gender, age, and personal reading preferences influence young adults’ book selections. Some young adults select books published especially for their age level; others select books published for adults. Young adults may read a novel because of its plot, theme, style, or other literary characteristics.
    A Portrait of Popularity:An Analysis of Characteristics of Novels from Young Adults’ Choices for 1997by Rosemary Chance
  • 10. 11
    Chance’s study
    YA’s tend to choose “character-driven” novels:
    protagonists are round and dynamic, . . . well developed
    the majority of the novels have conflict that centers on people, person-against-self and person-against-person
    protagonists tell their stories from first person point of view
    backdrop settings illuminate character
    the major thematic idea is becoming self-aware and responsible for one's own life.
  • 11. 12
    Characteristics of YA Lit
    YAL involves a teenage protagonist and often reflects and interprets their views
    YAL is fast-paced. Generally, its dialogue is direct and confrontational, and the language is sparse
    YAL includes a variety of genres, themes and subjects
    YAL is basically optimistic, or at least hopeful
  • 12. 13
    A reason for encouraging reading?
    “. . . a thoughtful and concerned teacher can successfully pick good literature and encourage students to independently become compassionate American citizens who read and think about others who are living in worlds very different from their own.”
    In the Beginning: Recognizing Diversity in Children’s and Adolescent LiteratureExploring Culturally Diverse Literature
  • 13. Why do we analyze literature?
    To discover the full spectrum of the content
    Analyzing Multicultural Literature
    14
  • 14. A little Newtonian physics
    • Newton first used the word spectrum (Latin for “appearance” or “apparition”) in print in 1671 in describing his experiments in optics.
    • 15. Newton observed that when a narrow beam of sunlight strikes the face of a glass prism at an angle, some is reflected and some of the beam passes into and through the glass, emerging as different colored bands.
    Visible spectrum From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    15
  • 16. Spectrum requires a prism
    Estonian composer ArvoPärt:
    I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.
    about his music: Alina 
    16
  • 17. Prism as a filter
    Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin:
    The biographer finds that the past is not simply the past, but a prism through which the subject filters his own changing self-image.
    Goodwin, Doris Kearns (1979). ‘‘Angles of Vision’’, in: Mark Pachter (Ed.), Telling Lives: the biographer’s art. Washington, DC: New Republic Books. Cited in Debate and Reflection: How to Write Journalism History
    17
  • 18. A prism to view the full spectrum of literature
    Personal
    18
    Real
    Invented
    SMiley face
  • 19. Personal?
    Do you feel as if you’re involved; part of the action?
    That these are real people we’re dealing with—some identifiable personalities
    September 9, 2010
    Analyzing Multicultural Literature
    19
  • 20. Real?
    Is there something that makes you feel that this could have happened?
    Even when it couldn’t in real life?
    September 9, 2010
    Analyzing Multicultural Literature
    20
  • 21. Invented?
    Is this story invented, created by one or more authors?
    September 9, 2010
    Analyzing Multicultural Literature
    21
  • 22. Smiley Face?
    Does it seem generic, impersonal?
    September 9, 2010
    Analyzing Multicultural Literature
    22
  • 23. Two Continuums
    Real Invented
    Personal SMileyFace
  • 24. Put ‘em together!
    Real
    Per
    so
    n
    a
    l
    SM
    il
    e
    y
    Invented
  • 25. Application to Young Adult Literature???
    . . . and Books with Beat????
  • 26. Top Left Sector of Matrix
    26
    Up close and personal—and real!
    Real
    Folklore: consists of culture, including stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. (Wikipedia)
    Personal
    Invented
  • 27. Folktales and Young Adults
    27
  • 28. Bottom Left Sector of Matrix
    28
    Invented, but Personal
    Real
    Personal
    Quality literature, sometimes adaptations, or else original writing, with universal appeal and meaning for everyman and everywoman
    Invented
  • 29. Quality “Books with Beat”
    Carbon Diaries series
    Sixteen-year-old Brit Laura Brown just wants to rock out with her punk band, the dirty angels. Unfortunately, the environment keeps getting in the way. Due to the violent global warming storms that keep ravaging greater Europe, the England of the near future has decided to lead the way to a greener planet by being the first country to try “carbon rationing.”
    Review of The Carbon Diaries 2015
    See also ALAN’s Picks: June 2010
    29
  • 30. Real Smileys!
    Top Right of the Matrix
    30
    Real
    Recognizable stories, but unoriginal and shallow
    Invented
  • 31. A example by a famous author?
    Kingdom of the Golden Dragon by Isabel Allende
    At best pallid despite large dollops of exotica ranging from the sect of the scorpions to totemic animals and telepathic communication between man and man, man and beats, man and yeti, the book ‘Kingdom of the Golden Dragon’ is like an amateur attempt at cooking bouillabaisse. It straddles too many genres and none are blended competently and with flair.
    Review by Anita Nair
    See also review on
    31
  • 32. Invented smileys[perhaps contrived?]
    Bottom Right of the Matrix
    32
    Generic, unoriginal, impersonal, shallow
    Invented
  • 33. An example here?
    Fat Boy Swim
    There are a number of plot elements with the potential to be interesting and have a strong impact on Jimmy and the story, but none of them are fully realized, and the book feels as if it’s trying too hard to cram too much into Jimmy’s life.
    Unfortunately, FAT BOY SWIM falls down on its promises and delivers nothing that hasn’t been done already in other novels.   --- Reviewed by CarlieWebber on
    33
    See also some varied reviews on
  • 34. 34
    Important to consider!
    Evaluation is subjective
    Your mileage may vary!
    See, for example, the variety of reviews of Kingdom of the Golden Dragon on