Why we should care about YA Literature as Teachers & Librarians

It’s funny how things morph as you are creating/writing.  I outlined my storify last night and had a totally different bend on my “story”.   Then I started this morning with this one quote from Hayn & Kaplan that just stuck with me…”Books can make a difference in dispelling prejudice and building community: not with role models and literal recipes, not with noble messages about the human family, but with enthralling stories that make us imagine the lives of others. A good story lets you know people as individuals in all their particularity and conflict; and once you see someone as a person-flawed, complex, striving-then you’ve reached beyond stereotype.  Stories, writing them, telling them, sharing them, transforming them, enrich us and connect us and help us know each other (Hayn & Kaplan, 2012, p. 149).   This quote lead to another quote I had underlined during my reading of the book, and low and behold, I had a whole new outline which surrounds censoring YAL in the classroom.  As librarians we are taught to uphold intellectual freedom, and teachers should have the same mantra.  I especially loved the quote I found from Laurie Halse Anderson, the author of Speak.  Take a look at my Storify to see that!

Additionally,  I think this subject from the Hayn & Kaplan book touches upon why we are reading about YAL in the first place, “if reading is truly about thinking, we must continue to defuse either/or argument and focus on developing informed approaches to instruction, in which teachers and students select from the wide range of adolescent literature available (i.e. both classics and YAL) in order to meet the instructional purposes at hand” (Hayn & Kaplan, 2012, p. 53)   Penny Kittle and Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer) also touch upon this same issue.  We have read about youth having choice about what they read; censorship gets in the way of that.




2 thoughts on “Why we should care about YA Literature as Teachers & Librarians

  1. Hey Laura, it’s definitely strange how our plans can transform in the process of completing a goal. Working as a craft teacher for kids taught me the great value of a loose plan because flexibility is a welcome cushion to the impact of a lesson that isn’t working. I read Hayn & Kaplan (2012) as an ebook which made going back through my highlights and notes easy but I found that I missed out on reviewing pages and passages where I hadn’t marked it up. I wonder how my Storify could have been different if I’d reread those pages I didn’t return to.

    • I know. Even going back now and rereading things we read in the beginning of class…they just hit you differently with more info under your belt, so to speak!!

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