Friday, July 10, 2009

Topic: Junior Novels/Young Adult Literature

10-second review: The junior novel/Young Adult literature as a bridge from children’s literature to the classics.

Title: “Journeys: Another look at the Junior Novel.” Journal of Reading (May 1976), 627-634. Aimed at middle school, junior high school and high school. JR was replaced by the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL) by the International Reading Association (IRA).

Summary: Junior novels or, as this type of literature is known today, Young Adult literature, represents a bridge from children’s literature to popular adult books and the classics. The books are attractive to teen-agers, have their own cult classics—The Outsiders—and deal with serious issues in nonfiction and fiction.

“The major goal is to provide a transition novel for young people to read and explore and help them on their journeys to self-definition, maturation, value determination, and an understanding of others. There is a wealth of materials at varying levels of difficulty and literary merit from which to choose.” p. 634.

Comment: G. Robert Carlsen wrote a book in which he suggested that students who enjoy the classics of literature have progressed through a sequence in their reading from picture books, chapter books, children’s literature, Young Adult literature, popular adult books and the classics. I don’t know if that theory holds up. Certainly what we want to make available to students is all types and levels of books that can be read profitably. RayS.

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