Biography in the Lives of Youth: Culture, Society, and Information

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Overview

Research from psychology and sociology has demonstrated that biography is assuming a powerful role in the sociological and psychological well being of youth. Biographies present role models, and define acceptable behaviors, social expectations, and values. They also demonstrate what is rewarded in society and what is less valued. This book considers selection and programming issues important, but goes beyond that and seeks to relate biography for youth within the larger arena of scholarship and research in terms of its literary, social, and cultural impact and importance. Lukenbill's overall goal is to help librarians, teachers, and youth workers better understand the power of biography, and ways it can be used. The book contrasts the influences of our current celebrity-and-media-driven culture with the role librarians, teachers, and parents can play in the positive development of youth. The use of biography in the school is presented as a fundamental tool of instruction, emphasizing its important role as a vehicle for cultural and information literacy dissemination. The use of biography in the public library centers on its use in programming and its potential for promoting cultural literacy, positive self-identification and healthy recreation. Major topics covered by the book include: biography in life and in learning; biography as used both in school library media center, the public library, and the classroom; biography as literature; biography as contemporary commentary; biography for the very young; biography as it affects attitudes and behaviors; and biography as social dialogue. The book's approach is at once theoretical and practical

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Reflecting on the different and varied uses of biography depending on the age, interests, and developmental needs of students, Lukenbill breaks the genre down into the different types of biographies and how they have changed over time. He includes author and literature suggestions throughout the text and concludes with an extensive bibliography of selection aids, including books and periodicals, for locating recommended titles….[t]he table of contents is extensive and will enable readers to focus on finding age-appropriate material."

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School Library Journal

"Lukenbill seeks to help public librarians and media specialists better use biography in all curriculum areas and as basis for special programming."

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VOYA

VOYA - Arlene Garcia
Biography has long played an important role in the lives of young people. Throughout history, the stories of heroic, tragic, and wicked lives have been used to educate; entertain; impart societal, cultural, and religious values; and set behavioral standards. Lukenbill seeks to help public librarians and media specialists better use biography in all curriculum areas and as basis for special programming. Through titles ranging from picture-book biographies for the very young to the lives of media and sports celebrities for teens, the author stresses that the value of biography in the library and the classroom cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately this dry, pedantic, and overly long volume's main points could have been summed up in a single essay. It lacks bibliographies of titles discussed or offered for suggested further reading. Newer styles and formats of biography, such as photobiographies and those recounted in verse, like Carver, A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson (Front Street, 2001/VOYA August 2001), are barely given a mention. In the chapter called "Biographies, Celebrities, and Modern Life," the pervasiveness of rap and its performers in urban culture is not cited at all. Most offensively, Lukenbill seems to support the twice-mentioned theory that librarianship has been "feminized" to the degree that even modern professionals do not recognize the value of nonfiction and are therefore incapable of making recommendations. Fortunately for today's media specialists and librarians who are more than well aware of the importance and cultural impact of biography in young people's lives, there are better materials to spend limited funds on than this one.
School Library Journal
Reflecting on the different and varied uses of biography depending on the age, interests, and developmental needs of students, Lukenbill breaks the genre down into the different types of biographies and how they have changed over time. He includes author and literature suggestions throughout the text and concludes with an extensive bibliography of selection aids, including books and periodicals, for locating recommended titles. The index is decent, but the table of contents is extensive and will enable readers to focus on finding age-appropriate material.-Delia Carruthers, Sunset Ridge Middle School, West Jordan, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591582847
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

W. BERNARD LUKENBILL is Professor, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin. He has written several other books for Libraries Unlimited.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Biography : its place in life and learning 1
Ch. 2 Biography in the library media center 29
Ch. 3 Biography for the very young 49
Ch. 4 Biography : life in a mirror 79
Ch. 5 Biography and literature 113
Ch. 6 Biography, celebrities, and modern life 129
Ch. 7 Biography as social dialogue 149
Ch. 8 Biography in art 171
Ch. 9 Reflections 205
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