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What is Young Adult Literature
 

What is Young Adult Literature

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    What is Young Adult Literature What is Young Adult Literature Presentation Transcript

    • What is Young Adult Literature? LIB 617 Research in Young Adult Literature Fall 2008
    • 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. Dillard Jan 26, 2007
    • 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.
    • 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!)
    • 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!)
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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 1997 by Rosemary Chance
    • 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.
    • 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
        • Developing a love of reading
    • 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 Literature Exploring Culturally Diverse Literature
    • A Matrix for Evaluation Diversity Sameness SOMETHING NOTHING Local, specific substantial content General, but still substantial and meaningful Generic, lacking in depth or real meaning Recognizable, but shallow Everywhere Elsewhere Nowhere Somewhere
    • Something?
        • Unique objects, persons, services, etc. that have deep meaning, often created and controlled by people in the local area where they are used or encountered, or have universal significance.
        • Based on Ritzer, George. (2003, September). Rethinking globalization: Glocalization/grobalization and something/nothing . Sociological Theory, 21 , 3: 196 and Ritzer, George (2004). The Globalization of Nothing . Pine Forge Press.
    • Nothing?
        • Objects, persons, services, etc. that are shallow, unoriginal, and created and controlled by impersonal entities far away from where they are used or encountered.
        • Based on Ritzer, George. (2003, September). Rethinking globalization: Glocalization/grobalization and something/nothing . Sociological Theory, 21 , 3: 196 and Ritzer, George (2004). The Globalization of Nothing . Pine Forge Press.
    • Examples of something--nothing
      • SOMETHING NOTHING
        • Place (community bank)------------------Nonplace (credit card co.)
        • Thing (personal loan)----------------------Nothing (credit card loan)
        • Person (personal banker)-----------------Nonperson (telemarketer)
        • Service (individualized assistance)------Nonservice (ATM)
        • Adapted from Ritzer, G. (2003, September). Rethinking globalization: Glocalization/grobalization and something/nothing . Sociological Theory, 21 , 3: 196 .
    • Top Left Sector of Matrix
      • Something---Somewhere
      Diversity SOMETHING Somewhere Folklore : Folklore is the body of expressive culture , including tales , music , dance , legends , oral history , proverbs , jokes , popular beliefs , customs, material culture , and so forth, common to a particular population, comprising the traditions (including oral traditions ) of that culture, subculture , or group . ( Wikipedia )
    • Folktales and Young Adults
    • Bottom Left Sector of Matrix
      • Something----Everywhere
      Diversity SOMETHING Sameness Everywhere Quality literature, sometimes adaptations or else original writing, with universal appeal and meaning
    • Quality “Books with Bite”
      • Appeal of mutants
        • Teen readers are drawn to figures such as the winged changelings Linnet [Laurel Winter’s Growing Wings ] and Owl [Patricia Kindl’s Owl in Love ] and the understandable vampires Chris and Simon, not only because they are resolute in their desire to be themselves, but because they stand as representative of the “lust for life” and the yearning for freedom that youth also feel.
          • Elaine J. O’Quinn, Vampires, Changelings, and Radical Mutant Teens : What the Demons, Freaks, and Other Abominations of Young Adult Literature Can Teach Us About Youth
    • Top Right of the Matrix
      • Nothing---Elsewhere
      Diversity NOTHING Elsewhere Recognizable stories, but less original and some shallowness
    • An example here?
      • Would The Twilight Saga fit?
        • Here’s one opinion:
          • Edward/Bella is an incredibly juvenile, thoughtless portrayal of alleged true love. Sure, on the surface, it hits every mark on the check list – challenged but not stopped by adversity; the sentiment of “I would die without you” being exercised again and again, with each of them to some degree actually attempting suicide at least once; ultimately bound together by the promise of ‘forever.’ Because Edward’s going to make Bella a vampire, and then they’re going to spend eternity together. Until. The end. Of time.
            • Blog “it’s a psychological analogy” by dollsome, 14 November 2007
      See a different view from teenreads.com
    • Bottom Right of the Matrix
      • Nothing-----Nowhere
      Sameness NOTHING Nowhere Generic, unoriginal, impersonal, shallow
    • A Biting Nothing?
      • Vampire Kisses : a “vampire romance novel”
        • Vampire Kisses begins with a chance meeting of our heroine and hero at a college library . . .
        • Our hero is centuries old and doomed by a vampire’s curse . . .
        • The plot thickens . . .
        • But will love conquer all?
        • Remember: You co-author Vampire Kisses
        • NOT to be confused with the Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Scheiber , available both as regular novels and as manga
    • Important to consider!
      • Evaluation is subjective
      • No absolute positioning
        • Some elements of diversity in otherwise texts that otherwise might appear to promote sameness.