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Young Adult Literature, Libraries, and Conservative Activism - Beta Phi Mu Scholars Series (Hardback)
  • Young Adult Literature, Libraries, and Conservative Activism - Beta Phi Mu Scholars Series (Hardback)

Young Adult Literature, Libraries, and Conservative Activism - Beta Phi Mu Scholars Series (Hardback)

Hardback 162 Pages / Published: 01/02/2017
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Young Adult Literature, Libraries, and Conservative Activism analyzes young adult (YA) literature as a cultural phenomenon, explaining why this explosion of books written for and marketed to teen readers has important consequences for proponents of teen literacy. It explains how YA literature has become a lightning rod for a variety of aesthetic, pedagogical, and popular literature controversies and illustrates why teachers and librarians have a stake in promoting and defending it. Noted scholar Loretta Gaffney not only examines how YA literature is defended and critiqued within the context of rapid cultural and technological changes, but also highlights how struggles about teen reading matter to-and matter in-the future of librarianship and education.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442264083
Number of pages: 162
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 237 x 160 x 18 mm

Independent scholar Gaffney looks at how teachers, librarians, and literary critics have engaged with complex issues and the various censorship challenges surrounding teen reading and literature. Acknowledging young adult literature's great impact on the field of conservative activism, the author deftly analyzes how history and critical viewpoints have shaped these conversations. Delving into complex topics that pit aesthetics against reading for pleasure or instruction, Gaffney offers an analysis of how a professional view of readers' needs influences one's whole approach to books. The commentary provides insight into the myriad conversations among proponents of social movements and political perspectives that are shaping the field, and emphasizes how young adult literature is a cultural force that not only shapes the lives of readers but also defines the way librarians and teachers go about their work. Strongly connecting with the classics in the field-Margaret Edwards, Michael Cart, Alleen Nilson, Kenneth Donnelson, and others-Gaffney's vision of why teen reading matters is engaging and thoughtfully presented, and she takes the conversation about young-adult literature to thought-provoking new heights. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates through professionals/practitioners. * CHOICE *
Gaffney, a former school librarian who teaches on topics such as intellectual freedom and youth services librarianship, takes a broad look at YA literature, examining its history, its readership, censorship, and more. Structured as a series of essays, with subheadings that help avoid the textbooklike monotony of a typical reference work, this title will be extremely helpful to library school students and first-time young adult librarians. Librarians who have been interacting with teenagers for years will find the later sections-such as those dealing with the pro-family movement, which has called out novels with sexual or fantastical themes as offensive or even pornographic-particularly relevant and insightful. Gaffney provides numerous examples of materials that have been challenged, including the often contentious "Harry Potter" series, and instances of how different libraries have dealt with book challenges.... [T]he text is...succinct and generally avoids overly academic language. VERDICT A highly recommended volume for library professionals who work with or are thinking about working with young adults. * School Library Journal *
This book would be useful not only to youth librarians but also to any professionals interested in young adult literature, especially those who work with young adults themselves. While Gaffney advocates on the side of the supporters of this literature, rather than scorning and dismissing critics' concerns she outlines them and responds with constructive and insightful comments. This is not just a defense of youth literature; it is a call to examine more critically the way in which we think and write about its novels and readers. One of the most significant things that this book does, however, is to take teen readers themselves into account. * Children's Literature Association Quarterly *
Gaffney's new book is substantive contribution to the scholarship of Young Adult literature, acting as an overview of not only Young Adult literature but of Young Adult library services. Her synthesis of the underlying issues that affect both the aesthetics of the literature as well as the practicalities of service takes a cohesive approach that makes this an exceptional choice for a classroom text as well as solid grounding for further research. -- Janice M. Del Negro, Associate Professor, GSLIS/Dominican University
Excellent in both style and substance, Gaffney's wise and insightful book dares to disturb the universe of conservative library activism and the politics of reading. In its exemplary scholarship and accessibility, it is an indispensable contribution to the literature of and about young adult literature and libraries. -- Michael Cart, author of Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism
Providing guidance on how to read, teach, and understand the cultural landscape of young adult literature (YAL), Loretta Gaffney has written a necessary book for librarians and educators today. A timely look at the strategies for understanding YAL and its surrounding criticism, Gaffney's book explores both the contexts YAL literature and the discourse and cultural practices around it. At its heart, Young Adult Literature, Libraries, and Conservative Activism is engaged in a conversation about the politics of literature, the role of activism, and the continually evolving responsibilities of librarians today. -- Antero Garcia, Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education

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