Using Literature To Help Troubled Teenagers Cope With Societal Issues

Overview

Teachers, media specialists, parents, and other adults who work with adolescents must recognize that our society influences who teenagers are and how they develop as language users. This unique resource provides guidance to these professionals by pairing literacy specialists with counselors who introduce information about social issues important to today's adolescents. These experts then explore literature in which issues such as: body image, sexuality, and leaving home are addressed in ways likely to interest ...

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Overview

Teachers, media specialists, parents, and other adults who work with adolescents must recognize that our society influences who teenagers are and how they develop as language users. This unique resource provides guidance to these professionals by pairing literacy specialists with counselors who introduce information about social issues important to today's adolescents. These experts then explore literature in which issues such as: body image, sexuality, and leaving home are addressed in ways likely to interest teens. By examining fictional characters, these experts provide guidance to those working with teenagers, so they can encourage adolescents to deal with the conflicts and issues imposed upon them by our society while improving their reading and writing skills.

Eight important social issues are explored each in a separate chapter. While providing in-depth exploration of fictional characters grappling with these societal issues, each chapter also provides a question and answer section in which specialists answer questions many adults have raised regarding social influences on teenagers. Readers are given insight into how they can help teenagers with similar problems, and extensive annotated bibliographies recommend appropriate books to get teenagers reading and addressing these problems. This collaboration across academic specialties provides an innovative approach to attaining the goal of helping adults and adolescents in gaining a better understanding of each other.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
This resource in the Using Literature series provides excellent recommendations of young adult titles for each of the societal issues presented. The topics of youth at risk, body image, sexuality and sexual activity including rape, gang membership, sports, music, and leaving home are discussed within the framework of psychological research on adolescents and literature written for a young adult audience. Some featured titles include Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat series (1989+) on the themes of music and musicians, and Kyoko Mori's Shizuko's Daughter (Holt, 1993/VOYA October 1993) to illustrate the topic of leaving home. Rich Wallace's Wrestling Sturbridge (Knopf, 1996/VOYA June 1997) offers the context of sports, and Rita WilliamsGarcia's Like Sisters on the Homefront (Lodestar, 1995/VOYA April 1996) covers sexuality. Chapters are cowritten by literature and psychology professionals who provide information on adolescent development and how psychological and emotional issues interplay with societal expectations and realities. These issues are then related to characters in YA literature. Each chapter usually discusses one or two novels in depth, followed by a questionandanswer section and an annotated list of fiction and nonfiction titles. Further professional readings also are recommended. Most of the psychological reflections are based on current research except the essay on the moral development of children. This discussion is based on the 1975 work of Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan's 1982 refutation, both of which were reprinted in Adloescent Behavior and Society (McGrawHill, 1990). Certainly more current material is available to tap into here. Nonetheless the editorhaspulled together a fine collection of essays recognizing some of the best literature written for today's teens. Index. Biblio. Further Reading. 1999, Greenwood, Ages Adult, 259p. PLB $39.95. Reviewer: Cynthia Grady
Booknews
Carroll (English education, Florida State U.) has selected literacy specialists and counselors who introduce information about societal matters important to today's adolescents. They also explore literature in which issues are addressed in ways likely to interest teens. By examining fictional characters, they show how to encourage adolescents to deal with the conflicts and problems imposed upon them by our society while at the same time improving their reading and writing skills. Topics include at risk teenagers, society's impact on body image and adolescent sexuality, rape, ethics in athletics, and the impact of sports, music and musicians on adolescents. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

PAMELA S. CARROLL is Associate Professor and Coordinator of English Education at Florida State University.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Introduction: The New Realities of Growing Up Today 1
Ch. 1 Society's "At Risk" Teenagers: What It Means 23
Ch. 2 Body Image and Society's Impact 45
Ch. 3 Society's Impact on Adolescents and Their Sexuality 79
Ch. 4 Adolescent Rape 111
Ch. 5 Sports in the Life of Today's Adolescents 127
Ch. 6 Music and Musicians' Effects on Adolescents 163
Ch. 7 Ethics in Athletics for Adolescents 181
Ch. 8 Leaving Home: Transitions and Independence 205
Index 239
About the Editor and Contributors 255
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