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Book cover of Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource of Story

Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource of Story

by Sue Ellen Bridgers

Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
Pages: 336
Paperback
ISBN: 9780810854307






Available to Buy

Overview of Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource of Story

As is painfully evident from the reports of school shootings, gang violence, dysfunctional family life, and from statistics on adolescent suicide, many teens live troubled lives. Even those who live a "normal" life still face the challenges adults face, but teens are also engaged in establishing independence and finding their identity. However, few adolescents have the same resources as adults for surviving life challenges. Building from the idea that story is a powerful source of meaning, particularly those stories that resonate with our own lives, this book suggests that the stories of other young adults offer a resource yet to be fully tapped. Adolescents in the Search for Meaning begins from the perspective of young adults by sharing the results of a survey of over 1400 teens and also includes the insights of authors of Young Adult Literature. The book presents over 120 novels that teens have identified as meaningful as well as books recommended by YA authors and experts in the field of YA literature. For any teacher, librarian, parent or counselor wanting to reach young adults, this book is ideal.

Synopsis of Adolescents in the Search for Meaning: Tapping the Powerful Resource of Story

The teenage years are the most formative years, and in this day and age where reports of school shootings, gang violence, dysfunctional family life, and adolescent suicide are seen all too often, resources designed to help young adults survive life challenges are sorely needed. Building from the idea that story is a powerful source of meaning, particularly those stories that resonate with our own lives, this book suggests that the stories of other young adults offer a resource yet to be fully tapped. Adolescents in the Search for Meaning begins from the perspective of young adults by sharing the results of a survey of over 1400 teens and also includes the insights of authors of Young Adult Literature.

Jan Chapman - VOYA

This professional resource documents a research study conducted by the author to discover whether young adult literature has a positive and meaningful impact on teens by providing them with stories that can "heal, teach, motivate, and transform" their lives. The author surveyed approximately 1,400 teens to ascertain the major issues that affected their lives and whether books were helpful in coping with these issues. In addition, the author contacted seventeen authors of young adult literature to query them as to why they felt young adult literature was important and what their experiences have been as both readers and authors of young adult literature. The book is divided into two parts. The first documents the research findings, and the second compiles lists of recommended books under five different subject themes that teens identified as important to them, including real life experiences and exploration of identity. There is a brief annotation for each suggested book, a list of teaching ideas and resources, and the author's rationale for recommending the book to teens. Warner offers an important study documenting the power of young adult literature to provide assistance to teens coping with the myriad issues related to adolescence. The author would have done well to summarize her research findings rather than documenting them so extensively-busy librarians are hardly likely to wade through all this material. The book is more an academic text than a practical readers' advisory resource, although educators and school librarians will find the teaching ideas and resources useful. 2006, Scarecrow Press, 336p.; Index. Charts. Biblio. Appendix., $45 pb. Ages adult professional.

About the Author, Sue Ellen Bridgers

Mary Warner teaches Young Adult and Children¬° s Literature at San Jose State University, where she also works with the English Credential Programs and serves as an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project. She has published numerous articles on literature as a source of meaning for teens and adults and is the editor (and author of two chapters) of Winning Ways of Teaching Writing: A Practical Guide for Teaching Writing Grades 7-12.

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Editorials

Teacher Librarian

Bottom line: Recommended.

VOYA

This professional resource documents a research study conducted by the author to discover whether young adult literature has a positive and meaningful impact on teens by providing them with stories that can "heal, teach, motivate, and transform" their lives. The author surveyed approximately 1,400 teens to ascertain the major issues that affected their lives and whether books were helpful in coping with these issues. In addition, the author contacted seventeen authors of young adult literature to query them as to why they felt young adult literature was important and what their experiences have been as both readers and authors of young adult literature. The book is divided into two parts. The first documents the research findings, and the second compiles lists of recommended books under five different subject themes that teens identified as important to them, including real life experiences and exploration of identity. There is a brief annotation for each suggested book, a list of teaching ideas and resources, and the author's rationale for recommending the book to teens. Warner offers an important study documenting the power of young adult literature to provide assistance to teens coping with the myriad issues related to adolescence. The author would have done well to summarize her research findings rather than documenting them so extensively-busy librarians are hardly likely to wade through all this material. The book is more an academic text than a practical readers' advisory resource, although educators and school librarians will find the teaching ideas and resources useful. 2006, Scarecrow Press, 336p.; Index. Charts. Biblio. Appendix., $45 pb. Ages adult professional.
¬óJan Chapman

School Library Journal

Warner argues that adolescent literature can act as a means of support for young people as they face what she calls the "major issues" of teen life. This is not a new argument, but she goes further with her claim as she attempts to solicit information from young people about the issues they face and connect these findings with similarly themed fiction. While this subject-related correspondence seems to be the primary criteria she uses for recommending powerful literature for teens, she also draws from the literary recommendations of teens themselves. According to Warner's findings, teens look first to parents, siblings, grandparents, or relatives, then to friends and peers. Very few report seeking guidance from books, journaling, or magazines. Roughly 50 percent of her respondents report that no book has helped them. In spite of this disheartening response, the author takes pains to include teens' own recommendations within the second half of her book, which annotates titles by category. While the bibliographic component does, to some degree, reinvent the wheel, Warner's research findings could inform and direct youth services librarians and teachers.-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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