Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Young Adult Fiction

Question: What is one way to solve the problem of reluctant readers in the middle school?

Answer/Quote: “ ‘When I encountered reluctant readers, it was that they were reluctant to read classics because those books didn’t speak to them,’ says Lesene, who taught middle school for a dozen years and has taught at Sam Houston State University in the Department of Library Sciences since 1989.

“I continue to hear it, Why do we read The Scarlet Letter? It has nothing to do with us.’ You’ve got to know how to get kids to where that kind of literature is accessible and I think the way you do that is through young adult literature.” P. 23.

However, Teri Lesesne makes the point that young adult literature is one way to build the students’ readiness for the classics.

Comment: There are two sides to this issue. People shy away from the controversial topics found in young adult novels. The kids might find these issues relevant, but many well-meaning adults don’t. Young adult novels are too controversial and graphic. Requiring their reading could well invite censorship incidents.

On the other hand, many young adult nonfiction books contain excellent explanations of topics in science, medicine, biographies in all subject areas, etc. These young adult books are wonderful for introducing middle-school students to otherwise dry-as-dust topics, topics killed by textbook treatments that bore. I highly recommend young adult nonfiction. RayS.

Title: “Right Book, Right Reader, Right Time: Teri Lesesne: The Woman Who Loves YA Literature.” Deb Aronson. Council Chronicle (March 2012), 23-25.

No comments:

Post a Comment