Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 5, 2008

Loving Lesesne

Filed under: Articles for Class — Mandy @ 1:59 am

As I was reading chapter one of this text, it struck me how loosely many people, including myself, use the term “young adult” and so I was so glad that Lesesne tackled this issue. Although she considers ages 10-20 to be young adults, I was thinking that sometimes I still think of myself as a young adult, even at 22. I’ll be the first to admit that while I can be incredibly mature most of the time, I have moments where I revert back to my rebellious adolescent days. While on this topic, I also wanted to mention that I was at Barnes and Noble this week and for the first time I realized that there are two young adult sections. The teen section has some more mature content, such as Crank and Tamar, among others. The younger adult section has books that would typically seem more appropriate for younger adolescents, such as The Giver and Sarah Plain and Tall. I also thought the questions presented on page 16 are awesome. I can imagine starting off every school year with a survey like this, or having discussions that would hit on some of these questions.

Chapter three was very “Atwellian” in my opinion. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, I am talking about Nancie Atwell, a huge advocate of the reading/writing workshop. If you haven’t read anything by her, you definitely should. Atwell talks about many of the same things presented in this book and I think both women are essentially saying that adolescents want and need a variety of texts, since there is no mold for a young adult reader. Reverting back to my earlier discussion about still being a young adult at times, I could relate to the fact that kids judge a book by it’s cover, which Lesesne also mentions in this chapter. I still do this unconsciously sometimes, but I have gotten better over the years. But I love the idea of having kids make new book covers! What an interesting project that would require them to read, while also being authentically creative, something we want in all our classrooms. Further, one of the most important quotes that I took from this chapter was when Lesesne quite simply stated “unmotivated readers want a personal introduction to books” (35). I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I think more and more of students are reluctant readers, so the implications of NOT introducing our kids to texts could be even more disastrous in the future.



1 Comment »

  1. I’m so glad you admitted to occasionally judging a book by its cover, Mandy, because at times I do the same thing and I was thinking that as I read the chapter. I know that my kids do too. I have many great books in my room that have been read several times and are no longer looking new and crisp, and most of the kids won’t even look at them. I love the idea of kids making new covers for a project. I have had some kids do this as a independent project, but never with such a practical application like putting it on an book that is not so aesthetically pleasing!

    Comment by katefrazer — February 5, 2008 @ 11:31 pm

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