I’ve learned a lot about Young Adult Literature by reading the articles, and by teaching my students. Students need literature they can relate to in order to engage with a book. It’s essential that we strive to find and help facilitate those connections with books for our students. That facilitation is what it’s going to take to get some of our reluctant readers to become true readers. They may never LOVE reading, but they can at least improve at it and perhaps not hate it quite so much.
In “A Crash Course in YA Lit,”by Gretchen Kolderup, I learned a lot about the history of the Young Adult Literature. The intent of those early books was to help morally instruct young adults. This made me smile, as I am named after a character in Little Women. (I may have to reread that classic in order to learn more about that character.)
It is no wonder that some literature professionals see Young Adult Literature as simplistic and repetitive. Perhaps these people have forgotten what it was like to be a young adult. The challenges this young adults face are not simplistic to them. In addition, they are faced with an increased frequency of bullying, etc., because of the new technologies that are readily available to most people. This adds to the frustration for these young adults.
It is pleasing to see more “main stream” authors jumping into the Young Adult realm. Personally, I really enjoy reading most Young Adult Literature. I am anxious to look into the various areas of young adult literature. I am trying to familiarize myself with topics and experiences that make me uncomfortable.
I feel incredibly comfortable with the books about relationships. When tragedy occurs, I feel slightly less comfortable, but embrace the need to get more comfortable discussing these tough topics. I am looking forward to looking into graphic novels and more fantasy writing, as I tend to shy away from those types of books. (Except for Harry Potter…. I was late to jump on that train, but I LOVED those books!) I am trying hard to keep my eye out for books that boys will enjoy. In my classes, it seems we have a larger number of male reluctant readers than female. Across the age spectrum of school-aged children, it seems difficult to find books that male students can really embrace. I look forward to this amazing adventure! Happy reading!