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Probably talking about 'The Relevance of Young Adult Literature' Joyce 
Stallworth April 2006 (in Ebsco Prof. Dev database)

A good quote:

"To what extent should teachers use young adult literature with tweens? 
I suggest that teachers must, at a minimum,

    * Read widely and deeply.
    * Involve students in the process of literature selection.
    * Give students choices.
    * Collaborate with colleagues, including library media specialists.

Educators who make the most of young adult literature understand the 
power of this genre not only to teach literary elements but also to 
provide a forum for tweens to talk about common experiences and serious 
life problems, gain confidence as reflective problem solvers, and build 
empathy and values. Inviting young adult literature into the curriculum 
increases the likelihood that young adolescents will turn into avid, 
mature, and lifelong readers."

"Problem novel" is being used in a positive way - referring to " novels 
(that) contain themes and content that mirror problems facing many of 
today's young people..."

There is also a short, but well selected bibliography of new YA novels. 
Part of the list: A Single Shard. Linda Sue Park.,The First Part Last. 
Angela Johnson. , Every Time a Rainbow Dies. Rita Williams-Garcia, The 
Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. Carolyn Mackler, Esperanza 
Rising. Pam Muñoz Ryan Kira-Kira. Cynthia Kadohata.

Thanks for bringing up the topic. Looks like a good article to point the 
LA teachers to AND point out to the administrators.

NOT in EdLeadership, but also using the term "problem novel" as a genre 
and using it negatively is _Welcome to Lizard Motel_ , Barbara Feinberg

""When her son's seventh-grade teacher said a 'good book should make you 
cry,' Feinberg started to wonder. After she noticed her son's reluctance 
to read school-assigned novels — Newbery Award-winning books like 
Creech's Walk Two Moons or Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia — she read 
them herself and discovered the 'problem novel,' a 'subgenre of the 
realistic adolescent novel,' which often features a youngster facing 
horrible difficulties — incest, domestic abuse, rape, death or disease 
of parents, etc. — without the aid of any sympathetic adult, without 
'recourse to fantasy.'" Publishers Weekly cited at Powell's Books 

Lots of discussions on the child_lit and YALSA-BK lists about Lizard also.

My take? Not sure her thesis is valid. Some mis-reading, maybe some 
selective quoting of librarians, some whining about books that make her 
feel "cold and sad", a narrowly focused reading of important books YA 
readers have held near and dear for many years.

Robert Eiffert
Librarian, Pacific MS  Vancouver WA
Librarian in the Middle Blog:

"The state can't give you free speech, and the state can't take it away. You're 
born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then 
you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the 
degree to which you are free..." - Utah Phillips

Clark, Curtis wrote:

>I got the following message from one of my Communcation Arts teachers:
>I was reading an article in Educational Leadership about a new "genre"
>for adolescents.  "Problem novels"
>Anyone have any idea what she or Educational Leadership is talking about
>and an example of this so called new "genre"
>Curtis L. Clark
>Library Media Specialist
>Harrisonville Middle School
>601 South Highland
>Harrisonville, MO 64701
>816 380 7654 #243
>Fax: 816 884 5733

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