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VOYAThe preface of this textbook states that it is "[s]lim enough to guarantee that you have the opportunity to read the books themselves, and comprehensive enough to ensure that you understand adolescents, their literature, and how to connect the two." With the authors' intent in mind, it is an excellent text for use in an undergraduate-level young adult literature course offering basic exposure to teens and their literature. It lacks, however, as a text for use in graduate level courses or for those readers who are seeking a deeper understanding of adolescents and their literature, the depth of Donelson's and Nilsen's Literature for Today's Young Adults (7th Ed., Pearson, Allyn & Bacon, 2005/VOYA June 2005). The greatest strength of Bucher and Manning's text can be found in the extensive annotated bibliographies of young adult titles at the end of the genre-related chapters. Also useful are the many tables and charts, such as those listing evaluation criteria for each genre and the suggested Internet resources. The authors have also set up a companion Web site for the text at http://www.prenhall.com/bucher. It is quite clear that they have a strong background in intellectual freedom, as the final chapter includes excellent coverage of the topic, raising both questions and offering answers for those who work with teens and their literature. Although it is directed more toward secondary English and reading teacher education programs, both public and school librarians will find this text useful, especially when creating genre-related bookmarks or bibliographies. The Historical Fiction chapter alone includes 146 titles, from the 1970s to as recent as 2003. 2006, Merrill/Prentice Hall, 395p.;Illus. Charts. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading., $48 pb. Ages adult professional.
—Ruth E. Cox