This examination of the literary effectiveness of young adult literature from a critical, research-oriented perspective answers two key questions asked by many teachers and scholars in the field: Does young adult literature stand up on its own as literature? Is it worthy of close study?

The treatment is both conceptual and pragmatic. Each chapter discusses a topical text set of YA novels in a conceptual framework—how these novels contribute to or deconstruct conventional wisdom about key topics from identity formation to awareness of world issues, while also providing a springboard in secondary and college classrooms for critical discussion of these novels. Uncloaking many of the issues that have been essentially invisible in discussions of YA literature, these essays can then guide the design of curriculum through which adolescent readers hone the necessary skills to unpack the ideologies embedded in YA narratives. The annotated bibliography provides supplementary articles and books germane to all the issues discussed. Closing "End Points" highlight and reinforce cross-cutting themes throughout the book and tie the essays together.

chapter |24 pages


Young Adult Literature and Scholarship Come of Age
ByCrag Hill

chapter |13 pages

More Than a “Time of Storm and Stress”

The Complex Depiction of Adolescent Identity in Contemporary Young Adult Novels
ByJanet Alsup

chapter |17 pages

Sexuality as Risk and Resistance in Young Adult Literature

ByMark A. Lewis, E. Sybil Durand

chapter |18 pages

Hungry Like the Wolf

Gender Non-conformity in YAL
Bysj Miller

chapter |19 pages

“The Worst Form of Violence”

Unpacking Portrayals of Poverty in Young Adult Novels
ByJanine Darragh, Crag Hill

chapter |23 pages

“I was Carrying the Burden of My Race”

Reading Matters of Race and Hope in YA Literature by Walter Dean Myers and Sherman Alexie
ByKaaVonia Hinton, Rodrigo Josep Rodŕiguez

chapter |15 pages

Creating an Eco-Warrior

Wilderness and Identity in the Dystopian World of Scott Wes terfeld's Uglies Series
ByChristopher Arigo

chapter |27 pages

The Emigrant, Immigrant, and Trafficked Experiences of Adolescents

Young Adult Literature as Window and Mirror
ByLinda T. Parsons, Angela Rietschlin

chapter |31 pages

Annotated Bibliography

ByLaura Powers

chapter |3 pages

End Points

ByCrag Hill