Literature Concepts<br /><ul><li> Range of Literary Genres</li></ul>There is a significant range of literary genres available to teens. The genres include selections from both non-fiction and fiction. Non-fiction material includes informational books, histories, and all topics included in Melvil Dewey’s Dewey Decimal Classification System. Fiction literature includes, but is not limited to: adventure, graphic novels, series books, short stories, poetry, realistic fiction, and fantasy. Sometimes a particular genre may captivate teen readers, such as the craze with horror/vampires in 2010. The exciting part of the expansive range of literary genres is that there is something for everyone.<br />I consider my knowledge of the range of literary genres a strength. Dr. Chance introduced me to a wide range of fiction in LS 585, Young Adult Literature. Discussing these books with others in my cohort was professionally fulfilling and enlightening. I look forward to sharing my views of different genres and listening to student views when I am a school librarian. My weakness is Manga. I continue to be challenged with accepting this genre of fiction as worthwhile reading. However, my views of graphic novels have been broadened and I consider Maus to be among the best books I have read.<br /><ul><li>Variety in Reading Promotion
Librarians, in concert with teachers, must promote reading to sometimes reluctant teen readers. There are excellent strategies to employ to make reading fun. An excellent starting place is hosting an annual book fair. Seeing new books on display is a visually stimulating experience, fostering a desire to read in teens. Book talks are also a good strategy. “Book talking can be a bit of advertising to intrigue readers.” (Chance, p.70) Another strategy is sharing reading blogs with teen readers. Blogs can open new opportunities to readers and can captivate their imagination with the incredible world of teen literature. There are many strategies to promote reading, but the most important is to be passionate about books and be willing to share that passion with potential teen readers.
I consider this a strength because I enjoy doing it so much. I had the opportunity to host book fairs and conduct booktalks during my internship. I am passionate about the books I read, and enjoy discussing and sharing ideas with both students and staff. I plan to have an annual bookfair and booktalks over award winning books. I still need more training on the logistics of how to plan the bookfair, but the Follettt representative that I worked with during my internship was very helpful.
There are multiple strategies for advising teen readers. On a small scale, discussing a book or theme with one or two teens would be an excellent start. Ask teens what they enjoy reading and why that particular genre is interesting. On a larger scale, book talking is a good strategy. Sharing one book with a group of twenty five to thirty readers is important. Book talking different genres of literature is a good way to gauge the reader’s level of interest. On the largest scale, share a book site such a goodreads.com. Posters and flyers with information about utilizing this important resource is a great way to reach engaged readers. Often by motivating the engaged.readers to read and share reviews on a blog website, we can spark reluctant readers to become more engaged in the reading and writing process.
I consider advising teen readers a strength. I had multiple opportunities during my internship and was successful. I also produced some book flyers that were successful in getting reluctant readers to read some books (ex. Hunger Games). I also have a goodreads.com site that I will share with my students. I plan to begin a book club and bring in reluctant readers to share their ideas. I understand the challenges involved in reaching out to reluctant readers, but I think that the effort expended to get them involved is well worth the expended energy.
Significance of book illustration</li></ul>“(Book) illustrations help create the mood of the story, as well as the pacing and tension from page to page.” (Vardell, p.60) The librarian will enhance storytime by both reading the pages and discussing the illustrations before turning the page. Illustrations often capture feelings visually, that are difficult to explain in writing. This can be especially true for younger readers, but all readers benefit by careful examination of the illustration. Sometimes it is the tiniest detail that can convey the most powerful meaning. “ Hornung asks ‘Do they (illustrations) complement, extend, or highlight the text. Do they provide crucial details…?” (Vardell, p.60) The best illustrators create pictures that vividly portray the written descriptions of the author. Children’s classics by Dr. Seuss and Stan and Jan Berenstain would not provide the same memorable experience without the artwork. Illustrations and text complement each other providing the reader an unforgettable experience.<br />On October 2, 2010 I had the pleasure of receiving instruction on book illustrations with the renowned children’s illustrator Emily Arnold McCully. She broadened my understanding of how illustration supports the main theme of the book. I had the opportunity to create my own illustration. Although, I need more opportunities to practice, I consider the experience invaluable, and hope to have my students attempt some book illustrations of their own.<br /><ul><li> Challenges of Controversial Young Adult Books</li></ul> Each community must decide what books are appropriate or inappropriate for students in the school district. Older students at the middle schools and high schools are capable of engaging in more controversial topics. It is the role of the librarian to understand which books meet the guidelines of “appropriate standards” set by the school board. The librarian should articulate why they believe a certain book should be made available to students. A school librarian can be the voice for students to bring controversial books into the academic debate. Controversial books challenge us to examine issues that can oftentimes be uncomfortable to confront. Lively debate should be encouraged when considering controversial books. Ultimately the representatives of the community, the local school board, should determine what topics are too controversial, and it is the role of the school librarian to implement these decisions. <br />Dr. Chance provided many opportunities to discuss controversial books in her LS 585 Young Adult Liter. Literature class. By discussing the books with my classmates, I was amazed with the diverse views shared on the discussion boards. The more I shared and read, the more I learned. However, I am sure that the first time a book is challenged, it will be a difficult situation. I believe that my instruction has prepared me to perform this important role as a librarian if the need arises.<br /><ul><li>Importance of Literary Awards
Literary awards are the stamp of approval by the literary community. These awards identify books which exemplify excellence in writing. Literary awards such as the Margaret A. Edwards Award, Michael L. Printz Award, and the Robert F. Siebert Award identify the best books available for young adult readers in a wide range of genres. A librarian should strive to provide readers access to books that are chosen as award winning books or receive honorable mention. Having a list of books awarded literary awards prepares a librarian to stock these books, in the event that funds are made available to purchase new books. Undoubtedly award winning books are not the only good books available to teens. Of course, what better place to start reluctant teen readers than with the best books a particular literary genre has to offer.
Literary awards and getting these books into the hands of readers is very important. Dr. Chance presented multiple opportunities to read award winning books in LS 560; Children’s Literature. My top three favorites were : The Hello Goodbye Window, the 2006 Caldecott Medal winner, Copper Sun, the 2007 Coretta Scott King winner, and Esperanza Rising, the 2002 Pura Belpre award winner. The Caldecott Medal is given annually to the most distinguished American picture book for children. The Coretta Scott King award is given annually to an African American author and illustrator that reflects the African American experience. The Pura Belpre award is presented annually to a latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays , affirms, and celebrates the Latino experience. One weakness I have is that I don’t always agree with the quality of award winning books. However, I firmly believe that all award winning books should be made available to our students and let them decide how good is the book.
Diversity in literature for youth</li></ul>“In fact, I dream of a world where children grow up reading all kinds of books about all kinds of people. They will become grown-ups that are more tolerant, open, and compassionate because of these experiences.” (Vardell, p.3) Ms. Vardell eloquently states the desires of most parents, teachers, and librarians concerning the positive benefits derived from diversity in literature. Diversity can have multiple meanings. One definition for diversity is a mixture of cultural and ethnic background. All children should be exposed to characters of diverse cultures. African American characters can be superheroes or villains. Jewish characters can be kind and humble or vain and mean spirited. Caucasian characters can be loving and generous or cruel and greedy. Children need to be exposed beyond stereotype, and understand that each culture is comprised of people with both positive and negative characteristics. Another definition for diversity in literature would be a wide range of genres. A library should not consist solely of high fantasy fiction. Boys in particular enjoy non fiction. Many students enjoy adventure, mystery, manga, sports and other genres. To paraphrase S. R. Ranganathan, the founder of library science, every reader has his/her book. A diverse collection will meet the needs of the reader.<br />Dr. Chance provided many opportunities for reading diverse literature in her Chikdren’s literature class. It is important that the school librarian provide diverse books to meet the needs of a diverse population. I plan to evaluate my collection when I become a librarian and insure it is diverse. Quality literature is available to produce a diverse selection. My weakness is that I am not fond of some literature that is diverse, but perpetuates negative stereotypes. It is important to give students choice, but I will insure that I provide the award winning books.<br />Works Cited<br />Chance, Rosemary. Young Adult Literature in Action: a Librarian's Guide. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. Print.<br />Vardell, Sylvia M. Children's Literature in Action: a Librarian's Guide. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. Print<br />