10-second review: The junior novel or Young Adult literature is “transitional” between children’s literature and adult literature. As a result, topics in the novels have become, according to this author, more “sophisticated,” by which he is referring to “premarital sex, death, drugs, street life, and so on.” The result of using these “sophisticated” topics is also an increase in “artistic sophistication,” or literary techniques.
Title: “New Reading Material: The Junior Novel.” A Muller. Journal of Reading (April 1975), 531-534.
Comment: If we plan to use these newly sophisticated novels with questionable topics and with more sophisticated literary techniques, then teachers are going to need to prepare rationales for teaching them, The National Council of Teachers of English suggests rationales to prepare for possible censorship challenges. These rationales require the following:
A brief summary of the book.
Brief description of the controversial parts of the book.
Appropriate grade and maturity level of the students who will be reading the book.
A detailed plot summary.
Values of the book to the students who will read it.
Literary qualities of the book.
Summary of reviews of the book.
Objectives for using the book.
Teaching methods to be used in reading the book.
Assignments to be completed by the students while reading the book.
Possible objections to the book.
Comment: In other words, the NCTE is suggesting careful preparation for using the book in the literature program. RayS.