Readers' Advisory Guide To Street Literature, The

Readers' Advisory Guide To Street Literature, The

by Vanessa Irvin Morris
     
 

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Street lit, also known as urban fiction, addresses with unflinching grit the concerns and problems of city living. Controversial in some quarters, it is also wildly popular, and this readers' advisory by street lit expert Morris

• Sketches out the rich history of the genre, shwoing why it appeals so strongly to readers and providing a quick way for street lit

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Overview

Street lit, also known as urban fiction, addresses with unflinching grit the concerns and problems of city living. Controversial in some quarters, it is also wildly popular, and this readers' advisory by street lit expert Morris

• Sketches out the rich history of the genre, shwoing why it appeals so strongly to readers and providing a quick way for street lit novices to get up to speed

• Covers a variety of subgenres in terms of scope, popularity, style, major authors and works, and suggestions for readers' advisory

• Serves as a tool to improve library customer service by strengthening the relationship between library staff and patrons who may be new to using public librarise Emphasing an appreciation for street lit as a way to promote reading and library use, Morris' book helps library staff establish their "street cred" by giving them the information they need to provide knowledgeable guidance.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Joanna Lima
The term "urban fiction" is often applied to "street lit," but Morris carefully unpacks these classifications, revealing that street lit is actually about survival. The streets permeate the narrative as an antagonistic character; poverty and low-income city neighborhoods are prevailing characteristics. Citing historical examples of street lit—Maggie by Stephen Crane and Oliver Twist! by Charles Dickens—Morris explains that "urban fiction" is an umbrella term under which street lit falls, alongside chick lit like Sex and the City or the Gossip Girl series. Within the street lit genre, there is a great deal of diversity—men's, women's, and LGBTQ stories are equally represented. Street lit is neither race nor culture specific, but rather location and setting specific. Nonfiction street lit may be poetry, memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies if the content addresses themes of street life. In addition to offering extensive lists of street lit titles, authors, and publishers, Morris suggests a variety of alternative search terms for locating additional resources online: gangsta or ghetto lit, hip-hop fiction, and more. Morris also provides collection development strategies, ways of coping with potential censorship issues, and ideas for promoting street lit and related programs. Street lit, Morris feels, is especially important for reluctant readers, as it is a genre that appeals to the underserved populations that many librarians seek to serve. The success of street lit depends heavily on reader response and has the potential to build the habit of reading in those who may not read otherwise. This book is an excellent, accessible, and comprehensive introduction to street lit for anyone who, like this reviewer, is unfamiliar with the genre. Of particular interest is the epilogue, which presents an e-mail discussion between Morris and Zetta Elliott, a literature teacher and author of the young adult novel, A Wish After Midnight (Amazon Encore, 2010). This dialogue highlights the relevance of street lit to general readers, as well as literature scholars and teachers. Reviewer: Joanna Lima
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Morris sets out to help public and school librarians gain an understanding of the content and history of street lit. In her introduction, she reiterates the need for this literature wherever there is demand, whether the collection is for teen or adult readers. She calls for librarians to be both knowledgeable about the genre and to be readers of it, and advocates for them not to judge or dismiss its fans. Morris sets the record straight that street lit is about more than drug dealers and domestic violence. It focuses primarily on African American characters and is about life and survival in inner-city, lower-income areas. She compares the genre to other early survival-story novels such as Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders and Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. She suggests series titles, individual titles, both fiction and nonfiction, and lists a few Christian teen-friendly series. The book discusses the appeal, characteristics, the structure of the genre, and mentions themes and subgenres, YA recommendations, and tips for selection and readers' advisory. In this comprehensive book, Morris provides excellent input to aid in collection development and includes a list of publishers.—Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780838911105
Publisher:
ALA Editions
Publication date:
09/26/2011
Pages:
158
Product dimensions:
0.34(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

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