Why read young adultliterature? Literature transports readers to unknown places and understand what others experience Enhances process of discovery Help Young Adults (YAs) understand self Help YAs see themselves in broader context of their society, culture, world Help YAs fit into their world
What is young adult literature? Basically written for young adults from 11 to 18 years YAL written for and about young adult YAL focuses on youthful characters and explores their sense of identity, adventures, dreams and trials YA readers still searching for ideas, values for self identity Young protagonists in books for YA serve as models Teacher is to encourage positive identification
YAL provides opportunities for reader exploration Heightened self knowledge & personal understanding Broadens sense of YA’s world Expands knowledge of events, situations & human interactions Major themes: rites of passage, search for identity, familial relationships, need for independence, interpersonal relationships
Definition of YAL “Young-adult literature is literature wherein the protagonist is either a teenager or one who approaches problems from a teenage perspective. Such novels are generally of moderate length and told from the first person. Typically, they describe initiation into the adult world, or the surmounting of a contemporary problem forced upon the protagonist(s) by the adult world. Though generally written for a teenage reader, such novels-like all fine literature-address the entire spectrum of life” -G. Robert Carlson
When is a novel about young adult is not YA novel? Depends on perspective Apprenticeship novel- recounts the struggle of protagonist to come of age and gains awareness of the world (Adult novel- perspective of adult looking back) YA novel- perspective of youthful characters as they explore their world(in real time) BUT IT IS A QUESTION OF INTEREST
“Any book that holds a young person’s interest, that portrays the human condition with care and is well crafted, could and should be a young adult novel. The categories of books are more a marketing device than a limit to the appeal a book might have. If the characters and situations in a novel are relevant and meaningful to the teenager, that’s the book he or she will read.” -Sue Ellen Bridges
YAL as transitional literature YAL can serve as bridge to more mature novels YAL shorter, less complex but well-written YAL introduces YA to forms and elements of fiction
Pairing and core methods Method for introducing YAL as “holding ground” before reading adult literature Pairing- one YA novel to an adult novel Pairing system can be used to match books or authors Core method- one adult novel and a number of young adult novels that can relate to it
Core method YA Novel YA Adult YANovel Novel Novel YA Novel
Students move through three reading stages BuildingFluency State Reading for Pleasure/Reading to Learn Mature Reading With this knowledge teacher is able to find challenging and entertaining reading materials
Describing adolescents Physical Physical changes are rapid and visually apparent Diversity in physical developmental rates Distinct gender differences (girls 12, boys 14) Health risks due to behavioral issues- eating disorders, sexual experimentation, drug use
Psychosocial Friendships formed and social interaction increases Distinct gender differences in socialisation patterns (girls have smaller circle of close friends, boys larger) Affiliation shifts from parents to friends Social tasks and situations handled w/o adult supervision/advice Self-esteem changes due to home and school lives Preoccupations with self lead to critical self- examination and to self-perception Argumentative and aggressive behaviours
Cognitive Higher level of cognitive functioning develops (reasoning/higher level thought processes) Moral/ethical choices guide behavior Developmental diversity leads to varying abilities to think and reason Cognitive ability often affected by overall socialization Perspectives about past, present, future develop allowing enhanced perspectives of time Increase in language and verbalization skills allowing improved communication
Summary YA literature focuses on lives, experiences, problems, and aspirations of young people Vital addition to literature curriculum YA literature provides role models for young people to identify with Has potential to help them expand their knowledge and understanding of themselves, others, and the world
DISCUSSION TOPICS Describe a rationale for using young adult literature How would you define young adult literature to someone who is unaware of its existence?
Looking at fictionHistorical Realistic Science fiction fantasyfiction fiction • past • present • future • imaginary
Realistic fiction Reflects contemporary world Believable plot an lifelike characters Familiar settings Realism-reflects writer’s perspective in creating characters and situations as if they existed Characters developed with reasonable and believable conflicts cont…
Realistic fiction Most important aspect is effectiveness of characters Characters- fully developed, believable Part of credibility is their fallibility but ability to learn from mistakes Impetus for growth and change Themes: alienation, search for identity, importance of friendship, dealing and accepting change, changing roles of family Example: Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
Humour Realistic works but humorous But humour is not confined to realism only Authors inject humour in other genres as well
Mystery Depends on carefully crafted plots with surprises, twists and turns, and clues Mystery can be set in any time- historical, science fiction, fantasy Characteristics: fast-moving and suspenseful plots, realistic dialogue, perplexing incidents
Relationship of Mystery to Other Types of Fiction fantasy Historical Science fiction mystery fiction Realistic fiction
fantasy Combines realistic fiction with realm of make- believe Basic sense of believability with well-constructed plot, well-developed characters, and setting from which characters may logically move into imaginary world (The Chronicles of Narnia) High fantasy-mythology with imaginary creatures (Lord of the Rings) cont…
fantasy Concept of “fight a good fight” Hero against villain Quest for truth Classic confrontations with strange, imaginary beasts
Science fiction Definition: combination of characters and their relationships with plausible accounts of science, technology and futurism May present moral or ethical dilemmas to explore (involves use of technology on humans/animals, conflicts between competing interests, ecological disasters) Always set in the future with characters as pioneers exploring new worlds Also depends on logical, plausible explanations for scientific details and inventions cont….
Science fiction Other major themes: Creation of utopian communities Threats to existence of our planet Science fiction presents adventure, excitement, entertainment, conflict, and a look at what future might bring
Historical fiction Provides factual framework for a story Characteristics: Authenticity of detail about period Historical figures consistent with documented actions and words Accuracy of chronology of events Believable characters Relevance of story to current times, attitudes, and beliefs as well as to the historical period Vivid and accurate sense of history cont….
Historical fiction Themes: Character confronting himself/herself Character confronting society Opportunities to reflect upon values, problems, moral dilemmas and issues of the novel’s time
Nonfiction Biography and autobiography Nonfiction accounts of lives of individuals Reveal vital relationship between individual and time period he/she lives Frequent presentation of conflicts character must overcome Informational books Two primary reason Gain satisfaction of learning new information Satisfaction of reaffirming what is already known Virtually every topic
Other Types of Literature Poetry Normally receives negative reaction from students (why?) Poems should be accessible to students- they could understand, experience and enjoy Short stories Most short stories not meant for YA Teacher should be able to evaluate short stories suitable for YA cont….
Other Types of Literature Drama Neglected field for YA Teacher has to be able to evaluate and choose for YA Picture Books/Comics/Graphics Strongvisual content May cover any topic and concern Appeal to YA due to visuals and easy readibility
BOOKS: The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks Millie and the Night Heron by Catherine Bateson Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling High School Musical by Peter Barsocchini Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman The Fifth Quest by Debra Oswald
Looking at characters in YALiterature Dealing with issues of identity Seeking a sense of independence Increasing reliance on the peer group Accepting psychological changes and emerging sexuality Learning to relate appropriately to members of the opposite sex Planning for future careers Making decisions about education
Determining values, ethics, morals, and political views Renegotiating relationship with parents Conditions facing students Differing opportunities and roles for women Changing family structures Increasing awareness and sensitivity to ethnic and cultural diversity Addressing use of drugs and alcohol
Summary The genre of YA literature comprises a range of types of works Teachers need to continue to explore the field and to read widely to incorporate YA to meet students’ needs
DISCUSSION TOPICS Discuss what type of literature you enjoy the most and why? What type of you enjoyed when you were an adolescent? What are the differences in your reading selection?