Young Adult Literature Pathfinder Finding fun young adult reads just for you!This pathfinder will help you find the perfect book just for you when you have no idea what recreational read to tackle next.
What is young adult literature anyway? Many people have preconceived notions about what kinds of books make up young adult literature. Ideas such as pre- World War I classics being taught in junior high schools and high schools and a bookstores showcasing of pre-teen series aimed at girls pop into everyones minds. Yet, the true depth of young adult literature seems to be overlooked to the point where individuals like Chris Crowe (the author of “Young Adult Literature: What Is Young Adult Literature?” in the September 1998 The English Journal ) try to look into the complicated issues of these simplistic thoughts coming to mind instead of anything really demonstrating the mass variety of young adult literature.
What is young adult literature anyway? definition However, a direct and simple can be found in the Nebraska Department of Educations Reading-Writing Framework Glossary. It states that young adult literature consists of books for young adults (people between the ages of 13-18) to read with a main character that is usually a teenager, whether published specifically for them or actually written for an adult audience but turns into a popular young adult selection.
You just scared me! With so many different aspects and facets of young adult literature its easy to get lost very quickly when on the hunt for a new book. Therefore, its a great idea to begin your expedition with this pathfinder adapted for the Germantown Community Library resources. The databases listed in some of the following slides will need special access that you can get on the Reference page at: http://www.germantown-library.org/reference.htm
The Wide World of Genre Looking into different genres can be the greatest place to start when looking for a good book as they can help narrow down what kind of books you might want to read. However, it is probably best to know an exact definition and short explanation for each different type of genre before trying to find books that fall under those categories. Some of the books around the library that exactly define literary genres you might want or need to know are...
The Wide World of Genre Shaw, H. (1972). Dic tio na ry o f Lite ra ry Te rm s . New York: McGraw-Hill. This is a general dictionary of all types of literary terms. It doesnt go into too much detail, but its simple, straightforward language gets all the basics across for any genre you might want to take a closer look at. It is located in the reference section in the library under the call number 803 S534D.
The Wide World of Genre Baldick, C. (1990). The Co nc is e O x fo rd Dic tio na ry o f Lite ra ry Te rm s . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oxford is the top name in literature. It most certainly goes into more depth in its definitions than the Shaw book but can sometimes be a little heavy-handed with words geared more toward college level English students. However, this book is actually in the adult nonfiction section under the call number 803 B177C2 which means that it can be checked out instead of being restricted to library use only.
The Wide World of Genre Mohler, G. (2007). Re c o m m e nd e d Lite ra ture : K-1 2 Lite ra ry G e nre s . Retrieved on November 5, 2008 from http://www.cde.ca.gov/CI/rl/ll/litrlgenres.asp. While websites on the Internet, especially where definitions are concerned, can be sometimes unreliable, solid information is still available. The California Department of Education has a website that lists both fiction and nonfiction genres with a short description of each one. This site was originally made to be a quick resource for K-12 literature teachers, but its easy language and the fact that all the genres are in one column for the reader to peruse makes it ideal for anyone looking to find a new, fun read!
The Wide World of Genre Herald, D. (1997). Te e n G e nre fle c ting . Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited. This book is super special and important if you are trying to find a new book based on the genre you enjoy. It gives in depth information and facts about major genres. Also, it lists several classic selections for every genre with a detailed summary of each book. All of the books are considered to be young adult since it is aimed specifically at teens. It can be found in the adult nonfiction under 016.813009 H531T, meaning it can be checked out to browse through. The only draw back is the fact that it is an actual book, which creates a problem when searching for current books. This reading guide is updated every few years; but with the explosion in young adult literature lately, some great
The Wide World of Genre Once you find a genre that appeals to you, its time to head to the librarys catalog! Using a subject search is going to be very helpful. You can perform a subject search in the catalog with subject headings of the genre of your choice as broad or specific as you wish, using the Library of Congress Subject Heading books. Some examples of useful subject headings are: Science fiction-> a general subject that will include a great number of results to peruse Heroes—Juvenile fiction-> slightly more specific by looking directly for young adult results that concern heroes United States—History—Revolution, 1775-1783—Juvenile fiction-> very particular subject that will provide few results but those few will be exactly what you are looking for
Genre Schm-enre! Many people already have an inkling for what they are searching. Looking up new books by an author that you know and love is a great way to find something to read. When searching for works by a specific author though, the Internet is probably going to be your best bet; and there are tons of places to fund such information.
Genre Schm-enre! There are many ways to find works by your favorite authors in the library. An author search on the on-line catalog is the simplest and easiest way to see what other books are available in the library by the author of your choice. However, it doesnt go into too much detail. If you merely want a quick overview of the title and subject heading of the books, this is the perfect way to search; but if you want more information, you will need to try another technique.
Genre Schm-enre! Using the librarys access to the Gale Literature Resource Center database is a nice place to look when you want information about every aspect of an author and their works. It has bibliographies, reviews, summaries, and even biography material for whatever author you type in the search bar. The only down side is that little known authors and very recently published ones may not be included in the database.
Genre Schm-enre! The librarys access to the Twaynes Author Series is a really wonderful place to look. It is comprised of 600 full-text titles with issues about particular texts and possible paper topics should you need a book for school. It has an A to Z author list that you can browse and a cool search engine you can use to find a particular book through such aspects as genre, time period, or even an authors gender or nationality. It is not specifically for young adults, and it isnt updated frequently. However, it still has many usable resources.
Online Author Expeditions Information from online can sometimes be shaky, but its the best way to find current author knowledge since new books are published all the time. Yahoos Author Listing is a fabulous collection of material concerning certain authors, such as critical essays, bibliographies, and individual websites. However, it doesnt necessarily have up to date lists of literary works and only popular authors are included. http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Humanities/Literature/Auth ors/Young_Adult
Online Author Expeditions While Wikipedia is a resource that is to be avoided when looking for strictly academic information, it is still a good way to get a general overview of a topic. The fact that it is updated so often and has outside links to other Wikipedia pages for a number of authors in addition to lists of major works beside their names makes this resource one of the best when trying to discover works by a particular author. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_young_a dult_writers
I just want something thats good... When looking for a work of merit, there are a few key places to look. You need to simply decide if you wish to find a book that is award winning or if you already have a book in mind that you would like to investigate.
Award-Winning Books There are tons of awards just for young adult books even though the specifics in the books may vary. The best place to find these awards and their winners is on the Young Adult Library Services Associations website.
YALSA! www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists This website has winners lists as well as descriptions of thirteen awards from the Alex Awards that focus in adult books that have special appeal for young adults ages 12 through 18 to Margaret A. Edwards Award which is awarded to an author for his or her lifetime contributions to young adult literature to the incredible top ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. 2008 Alex Award Winner Margaret A Edwards Recipient Reluctant Readers Pick
YALSA! www.ala.org/teenstopten One of the best resources on the YALSA website is the Teens Top Ten. Every year the YALSA takes nominations from through mailed- in forms for the favorite reads of teens like you all over the United States. The archived lists on the site goes back to 2003, meaning there are plenty of books to check out. Also, you can simply see what teens just like you are reading—just like this picture of the 2008 top book!
Reviews! Reviews Found Here! Just like the Teens Top Ten list, you may opt for books that are reviewed by your peers if you already have one you want to read. Reviews can truly be found anywhere, but two websites come to mind over the others for the fact that they are monitored so that you dont have random people advertising on the comments that should strictly be about books.
Reviews! Reviews Found great place Searching through www.barnesandnoble.com is a Here! to look for reviews for any books you wish to read. Also, you can use their searching tools to browse genres through their website. Typing in a title or author through www.amazon.com is also a wonderful place to find reviews for a particular book. The site also tries to link readers with authors by having authors post blogs or videos to keep readers up to date on publications and any book signings. Barnes and Noble VERSUS Amazon Amazon has a much wider selection than Barnes and Noble. Also, Amazon reaches a much wider range of people—meaning there are many more reviews to browse. However, it must be noted that no matter what these two sites are trying to sell you something. If you are there to simply look at reviews, keep your blinders on and try not to be diverted to low prices or special gifts.
But Im Still So Confused! Ifyou are still at a loss for ideas on what to read, you still have options. Do not despair! For the next pathway all you need to know is what you have read in the past.
Reader AdvisoryA reader advisory database is one that helps a reader by performing a search for different books based on favorite reads in the past through means of identifying common content. Basically, it is your own personal super computer to tell you what you will like based on the books you input or certain things you specifically search for.
What Do I Read Next? Yes, there is an actual reader advisory database called What Do I Read Next to which the library has access. It can search by specific author, genre, time period for the story, reader age or grade, series, or story setting. The Catch: The database does an excellent job of having a huge number of books in its collection. You can search for any age group that you want. It even keeps a pretty close watch over major book releases. Being very straight forward in its use makes it easy to navigate as well. However, just like with any search engine, terms must be input exactly before certain results will be produced when you use the Help Me Find A Book search. The same comparison can be made by you searching for a topic in an online catalog and actually being shown the book by a librarian. A person can judge what you “mean” to say when a computer cannot. It is still a great place to look when you have nowhere else to turn.
Excitement Excitement! It is still important to note that the best books come from the excitement of the reader. Many popular young adult books have even been given the honor of being made into “trailers” and placed on YouTube, which are a great way to get a look at the books and build excitement about reading just as one would get excited about watching a movie—such as this video for Frank Beddors The Looking Glass Wars that can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqab6c6VHIk
A Journey Ends While Another BeginsThe end of this pathfinder is upon you; but hopefully, you learned enough to help you in your next expedition where you will seek out the buried treasure of the bookshelves. PLEASE—ask your librarians if you have any questions! We love talking about books so much that we made it our profession!