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Interpreting Young Adult Literature

Interpreting Young Adult Literature

Literary Theory in the Secondary Classroom

By John N Moore

    This well-written book will broaden one's thinking and enrich the secondary curriculum.
    —Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

In Interpreting Young Adult Literature, John Moore does something new: he explores the complex interpretive possibilities of young adult novels in the classroom. He crosses the borders of English studies and methods, examining new ways to know literature, new understandings of literary interpretation, and new literatures to teach.

Moore's book presents intriguing ways of thinking about how language works, how we read books, and how we teach them. The theory chapters...

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Full Description

    This well-written book will broaden one's thinking and enrich the secondary curriculum.
    —Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

In Interpreting Young Adult Literature, John Moore does something new: he explores the complex interpretive possibilities of young adult novels in the classroom. He crosses the borders of English studies and methods, examining new ways to know literature, new understandings of literary interpretation, and new literatures to teach.

Moore's book presents intriguing ways of thinking about how language works, how we read books, and how we teach them. The theory chapters are presented according to the reading and interpretive issues they address, examining formalism, archetypal criticism, structuralism/semiotics, deconstruction, reader-response, feminism, black aesthetics, and cultural studies. Each of these chapters covers key concepts and basic terms of the theory, introduces and interprets a young adult text from that perspective, and invites readers to join the conversation. The concluding section of each chapter discusses other young adult texts that can be approached from that theory and suggests additional critical studies appropriate for teaching these texts. In the last chapter, Moore draws on theoretical ideas and practices from earlier chapters to demonstrate how a young adult novel may be interpreted from multiple perspectives.

Interpreting Young Adult Literature provides such a solid grounding in applied theory that it will enrich the teaching of any work of fiction. It has much to offer middle and high school language arts teachers as well as English methods instructors.

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Contents

Contents:
1. Inviting Theory: From Formalism to Cultural Studies
2. Formalism: Structure and Idea in M.C. Higgins, the Great
3. Archetypes: The Monomyth in Dogsong
4. Structuralism: Decoding Signs in The Moves Make the Man
5. Deconstruction: Unraveling The Giver
6. Reader-Response: Identity Themes in Fallen Angels
7. Feminism: Mother/Daughter Transformations in "The Leaving"
8. Black Aesthetics: Signifyin(g) in A Lesson Before Dying
9. Cultural Studies: Social Construction and AIDS in Night Kites
10. Theory as Prims: Multiple Readings in Jacob Have I Loved
End Thoughts: Inviting Theory