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ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Identity Issues

Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Identity Issues

by Jeffrey S. Kaplan Ed.


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The search for one's identity is an ancient quest reflected throughout history in stories where human glory and conquest are often layered with great pain and self doubt, meant to help people discover themselves and who they are. Today, this quest is found prevalently in young adult novels, where characters wrestle with modern dilemmas in order to find themselves. This reference resource provides a link for teachers, media specialists, parents, and other adults to those novels and how to use them effectively. Educators and therapists explore the literature where common identity issues are addressed in ways intriguing to teens. Using fictional characters, these experts provide guidance on how to encourage adolescents to cope while improving their reading and writing skills.

Twelve novels are examined from both a literary and psychological perspective, allowing the readers to meet the central figures as if they were living human beings. Each chapter is written by a literature specialist who has teamed up with a therapist and confronts a different identity issue, examining such dilemmas as body image, the father/son relationship, bigotry, and peer relations. This pair of experts tries to define the central character's struggle in each novel to discover who they are and to become self-actualized individuals. Each chapter also provides an annotated bibliography of other works, both fiction and nonfiction, that explore these same issues to give readers not only the insight into helping teenagers with similar problems, but also the tools with which to get teenagers reading and addressing these problems. This innovative approach is meant to provide the opportunity for adults and adolescents to better understand each other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313305320
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/30/1999
Series: The Greenwood Press Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Series
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 1180L (what's this?)

About the Author

JEFFREY S. KAPLAN is Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Central Florida and Area Education Coordinator for the UCF Daytona Beach Campus./e He is the recipient of the State of Florida Teaching Incentive Program award (1996-1997) and has contributed to three textbooks.

Table of Contents


Prologue by Joan Bauer

Identity within the Family: Phyllis Reynold Naylor's The Year of the Gopher by Lois Stover and J. Roy Hopkins

Identity through Body Image: Chris Crutcher's Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Patricia L. Daniel and Vicki J. McEntire

Sexual Identity: M. E. Kerr's Deliver Us From Evie by Rita G. Drapkin and Lynn Alvine

Identity through Intimacy: Jenny Davis' Sex Education by Marie Hardenbrook, et al.

Identity through Self-Awareness: Kathryn Lasky's Memoirs of a Bookbat by Patricia Crawford and Rosaria Upchurch

Identity within the Father-Son Relationship: Robert Newton Peck's A Day No Pigs Would Die by Charles R. Duke and Jon L. Winek

Identity within Societal Expectations: S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders by Mary E. Little and Mary Alice Meyers

Identity Confusion: Zibby O'Neal's The Language of Goldfish by Marcia F. Nash and David Daniel

Identity through the Realization of Prejudice: Carolyn Meyer's Drummers of Jericho by Tania Gartside and Kristen Sternberg

Identity from Destruction: Robert Cormier's Tunes for Bears to Dance to by Janet E. Kaufman and Lynn Kaufman

Identity through Peers: Paul Zindel's Harry and Hortense at Hormone High by Michael L. Angelotti and Terry Pace

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