Literature for Today's Young Adults9th Edition
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Long respected as the number one book in the field, Literature for Today’s Young Adults gives teachers, librarians, parents, counselors, and other group leaders—as well as instructors and students in college courses in Adolescent/Young Adult Literature—a comprehensive look at YA literature framed within a literary, historical, and social context as a means to motivating teens to become life-long readers. Included is helpful information on evaluating YA books of all genres, using YA literature effectively with English Language Learners, incorporating digital and other new literacies into classroom teaching, and dealing with today’s increasingly diverse and challenging censorship issues.
Part One: Understanding Young Adults and Books
Chapter 1 Young Adults and Their Reading
Chapter 2 A Brief History of Young Adult Literature
Chapter 3 Digital and Other New Literacies for Teachers and Librarians
Part Two: Modern Young Adult Reading
Chapter 4 Contemporary Realistic Fiction: From Romances to Tragedies to Magical Realism
Chapter 5 Fantasy, Supernatural, Science Fiction, Utopias, and Dystopias
Chapter 6 Poetry, Drama, Humor, and New Media
Chapter 7 Adventure, Westerns, Sports, and Mysteries
Chapter 8 Historical Fiction: Of People and Places
Chapter 9 Nonfiction: Information, Literary Nonfiction, Biographies, and Self-Help Books
Part Three: Adults and the Literature of Young Adults
Chapter 10 Evaluating, Promoting, and Using Young Adult Books
Chapter 11 Young Adult Literature in the English ClassChapter 12 Censorship: Of Worrying and Wondering
Pre- and in-service teachers see how to motivate teenagers to become life-long readers. The book presents a current look at Young Adult Literature framed within a literary, historical, and social context.
Readers see how to evaluate books of all genres, from poetry and nonfiction to fantasies, drama, the supernatural, adventure, sports, mysteries, science fiction, graphic novels, and more.
The challenges and opportunities of using Young Adult Literature with English Language Learners are explored throughout the book.
Readers are brought up to date on using computers and the latest digital technologies and literacies in their classrooms.
The issues of censorship in today’s young adult scene are explored and made clear for teachers.
Wide-ranging pedagogy helps teachers improve student learning, including
- An Honor List highlighting the best books of each year since 1980
- Focus Boxes providing annotated bibliographies on such important new topics as “Bullies in All Their Disguises,” “Going Beyond Dick and Jane,” and “Literal Journeys/Figurative Quests.”
- Additional Focus Boxes organized by time periods, e.g. “A Sampling of Good Books from the Seventies” and “100 Years of Accessible Adult Mysteries"
- Issues and concerns about ethnicity worked into practically every chapter
- Nonfiction books incorporated in many chapters
- A glossary of literary terms, recommended Internet resources, and charts and tables to help with evaluation.
- Recommended readings of scholarly work allowing students–ranging from beginners in the field to doctoral students–to move beyond the text and further explore the concepts being presented
Alleen Pace Nilsen has been a co-author of Literature for Today’s Young Adults since the very first edition in 1980. She and Ken Donelson were also co-editors of the English Journal and founding editors of The ALAN Review. They both served as Presidents of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) and as Directors of English Education at Arizona State University. Dr. Donelson retired from ASU in 2002 and Alleen retired in 2011. She is the author of two editions of Presenting M. E. Kerr as part of the Twayne United States Authors Series, 1986 and 1997, and of Joan Bauer: Teen Reads: Student Companions to Young Adult Literature, Greenwillow, 2007. She edited Living Language: Reading, Thinking, and Writing, Allyn and Bacon, 1999, and with her colleague and husband, Don L. F. Nilsen, she co-authored the Encyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor, Greenwood Press, 2000, and Vocabulary Plus: A Source Based Approach: K through 8 and High School and Up, Pearson, 2004. She has published widely in such journals as School Library Journal, English Journal, The ALAN Review, College English, and Humor.
James Blasingame is an associate professor of English at Arizona State University and Director of the English Education program. He is Past-President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English and was the editor of The ALAN Review, a professional journal devoted to young adult literature, from 2003-2009. He is the editor of the Books for Adolescents pages of the International Reading Association’s Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and winner of the International Reading Association’s Arbuthnot Award for the 2008 outstanding university professor of young adult literature. He was named the ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year in 2008. He has published over 100 interviews with authors of young adult literature and over 300 book reviews. Dr. Blasingame was a high school English teacher, coach, and administrator for 21 years in Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, and Kansas before completing his doctorate at the University of Kansas in 2000. He has been at ASU for 12 years, teaching courses in young adult literature and methods of teaching writing, as well as supervising student teachers. He is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Don L. F. Nilsen is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at Arizona State University, but as an “extra” to his regular job, he also worked with young adult literature and with English Education students. With his wife, Alleen, he is the co-founder of the International Society for Humor Studies. The two of them also were co-presidents in 2009 of the American Name Society. Together they wrote Pronunciation Contrasts in English, which recently came out in a new edition (Waveland Press, 2010) and the Encyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor, (Greenwood) which was chosen by the American Library Association as an “Outstanding Reference Book for 2000.” Both his interest in humor and in the teaching of English as a second language are reflected in his contributions to the ninth edition of Literature for Today’s Young Adults. He and Alleen have also been co-presidents of the American Name Society and in 2007 they published the well-received Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature, Scarecrow Studies in YA Literature No. 27.
I have used the text Literature for Today's Young Adults again and again; the book was very thorough, and the background it gave about young adult literature helped me to understand the importance of using this genre in my classroom. I have used the booklists to find books that fit into certain genres or help students find a great book about a certain topic. For example, when my colleague and I prepared a unit on bullying, we used the list on "Buddies and Bullies" in Chapter 4. I have also used many of the ideas about using YA literature to create stronger reading and writing assignments. Notes I have made in the margins include: "Good book questions to ask..."; "Good quote, could use when writing short stories or narratives"; and "NOTE TO ME: Don’t forget to look at humor in literary analysis."
-- Shelly Shaffer, Brimhall Junior High School, Mesa, Arizona
Literature for Today's Young Adults has served as a wonderfully useful resource in my role as both a practicing teacher and teacher educator. During my first year of teaching, I dedicated myself to reading every title listed on the Honor List to enhance my familiarity with texts available to teen readers. In the university classroom, I regularly draw upon the censorship materials to help students engage in preemptive behaviors to ward off the likeliness of such attacks and know how to best respond should they arise.
-- Wendy Glenn, University of Connecticut
My field is ESL and I took Dr. Nilsen's course in an effort to learn new ways of engaging international students in the world of literature as I aimed to develop their reading and writing skills in English. I found that Nilsen's Literature for Today's Young Adults serves me well not only as a guide and reference but as a rich source of insight into American culture and modern English literature for young people.
--Thomas Washington, American English and Culture Program, Arizona State University
Teachers need a good resource library which will enable them to teach to all students across varied interests and literacies. I use VideoHound to find films, and Literature for Today's Young Adults to find YA books.
--Stacy Graber, Desert Vista High School, Tempe
I purchased the 7th edition of Literature for Today's Young Adults in 2007, and I still refer to it four years later, as I prepare for my English methods courses and as I write and review articles. The pages are bookmarked, dog-eared, highlighted, and annotated, and the book itself holds a prominent place on my shelf so that it is easily accessible to me and my students.
-- Katie Mason, Wichita State University
All librarians working with teens should have Literature for Today's Young Adults on their reference shelf. As a middle school librarian, I relied on the Honor List to build a collection of the best reading material for my students. When I moved to a university library, I used the book as a guide in the creation of a collection of young adult e-books for future English teachers. Literature for Today's Young Adults continues to be my number one resource for young adult literature collection development.
-- Ann Dutton Ewbank,Arizona State University
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