Genres for young adult literature
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Genres for Young Adult Literature. Definition of genre Classes of genre How to approach them with young adults Betty Marcoux, Ph.D. Winter Quarter 2004. What is a genre?. Kind or type of literatures that has a common set of characteristics Many differences and variables within a genre

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Genres for Young Adult Literature

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Genres for Young Adult Literature

Definition of genre

Classes of genre

How to approach them with young adults

Betty Marcoux, Ph.D.

Winter Quarter 2004


What is a genre?

  • Kind or type of literatures that has a common set of characteristics

  • Many differences and variables within a genre

  • Classification of literature by genre not always simple

  • Seen often as arbitrary

  • Way of organizing literature for readers

  • Literary elements may vary according to genre and within genre (ie: poetry vs sonnet/lyric poetry) Different genres have different emphases on different elements

  • More of a helpful guide than anything else – reader’s advisory concepts


Genre classes/types

  • Adventure

  • Mystery

  • Fantasy

  • Horror

  • True Stories

  • Romance

  • Sports

  • Science Fiction

  • Autobiographies/Biographies

  • Hobby


Genre classes/types (Carlson, 1984)

  • Sport stories

  • Animal stories

  • Stories of olden times

  • Science fiction

  • Stories of foreign cultures

  • Boys and cars

  • Adventure stories

  • Mystery stories

  • Vocational stories

  • Stories of moral/ethical dilemmas


Genre classes/types (Carter, 2000)

  • Too good to miss

  • Adventure

  • Animals

  • Family

  • Fantasy

  • Friendship

  • Historical fiction

  • Holocaust

  • Humor

  • Mtstery

  • Not quite human

  • Other lives

  • Quest

  • Romance

  • Short takes

  • Sports

  • Starting over

  • Survival

  • Suspense

  • War

  • Westerns

  • The writing life

  • Youth in trouble


Text classifications of YA Lit.

  • Realism

    • Life

    • Problems

  • Romanticism

  • Adventure

  • Mysteries

  • Supernatural

  • Humor

  • Fantasy

  • Science Fiction

  • Utopias and Dystopias

  • History

    • People

    • Places

  • Non-fiction

    • Information

    • Poetry

    • Drama


Top 10 Types of Characters 2002

  • Characters like reader

  • Characters different from reader

  • Characters do or have done amazing things

  • Fantasy characters

  • Characters face tough issues

  • Animal characters

  • Sports figures

  • Musicians

  • Historical figures

  • Detectives


Harry Potter series

Lord of the Rings series

A child called it

Holes

Chicken soup for the teenage soul

A walk to remember

Left behind series

Artemis Fowl

His dark materials series

The Giver

Harry Potter series

Lord of the Rings series

Where the red fern grows

A child called it

The Outsiders

To kill a mockingbird

The Giver

A walk to remember

Hatchet

Bible

Top 10 Books-2002 Read for funEver


YA statistical evidence

  • 1997-2007: 13% increase of secondary school enrollment

  • YAs say they mostly like reading a lot and are advanced readers

  • 58% of YAs believe they “always read things that they are passionate about”

  • 54% read constantly for their own pleasure

  • 26% read what they are supposed to for school

  • 21% basically don’t read much at all

  • 55% read for fun

  • 54% read to learn new things

  • 42% read for school lessons

  • 30% read due to boredom/not anything else to do

  • 21% read and talk about books with friends

  • 19% don’t read because it is “boring”

  • 19% don’t read because they don’t have the time

  • 7% don’t read because it isn’t “cool”

  • 54% indicate they were read to a lot as a child

  • 34% indicate they were read to sometimes

  • 10% indicate they hardly ever were read to

  • 5% indicate they were never read to


Approaches to genres with YAs

  • Be aware that genre similarities/differences may or may not be helpful with reader’s advisory work

  • Works are popular for a time and then fade as they are replaced with more timely material

  • Some works become icons

  • A classic is “news that stays news”(Ezra Pound)


Librarian competencies for YA work

  • Leadership and professionalism

  • Knowledge of client group

  • Communication

  • Administration

    • Planning

    • Managing

  • Knowledge of materials

  • Access to information

  • Services


Magazine appeal to YAs

  • Capitalize on fads

  • Self-help

  • Social relevance

  • Special interests

  • Time commitment

  • Universal interest

  • Visual appeal


The Chocolate War

  • Author – Robert Cormier 1925-2000

    • Often took news stories/life experiences and put them into a novel

    • Wrote from early in life to death

    • Often censored due to uncompromising depiction of real YA life

    • Books read by all ages

  • History of publications 1940-2000

    • The Chocolate War – 1974

    • I Am the Cheese – 1977

    • After the First Death - 1979


Issues of the Chocolate War

  • Still a bestseller

  • Has been censored

  • Has won many awards/honors

  • Translated into 12+ languages

  • Treats evil and intimidation of YAs unlike many others since

  • Has a voice that comes through even though dark and foreboding

  • Moral focus – leads teen to consider their own feelings/ethics

  • Considered icon of YA literature


Graphic novels/comic books

  • Misunderstood medium

  • Close relatives – graphic novel usually larger version of comic book (long short story)

  • Story more visual than textual

  • Usually less substantive than regular novel format

  • Considered “a self-contained story that uses a combination of text and art to articulate the plot” ( K. Decandido, LJ 90)

  • Can be a single story or set of stories

  • Format is appealing to YAs as is visually oriented

  • Nonlinear format to the text – not unlike hypertext

  • Seen as more like real conversations

  • Develops characters through dialogue rather than narrative

  • Usually in paperback format

  • Usually in a series

  • Tend to tackle on the edge issues


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