The benefits of reading go beyond entertainment and into therapeutic tools when focusing on loss and grief in young adult literature. This year, the practice of bibliotherapy celebrates 100 years* in assisting mental health professionals and readers cope with many issues through informed choices about reading material. It is especially relevant to young adult readers in understanding loss and the grief process.
Teenagers today are said to have higher levels of anxiety and depression and informed readers’ advisory creates an opportunity to help teens by using the comfort and familiarity of reading. However, it is not to be misunderstood or considered as true therapy unless a therapist is involved. Through readers’ advisory, especially in a school setting, adults can both assist in book recommendations and also listen to teenagers (and possibly notice when teens need to speak to a school counselor). Just as librarians do not parent or restrict readers, we also do not assume any professional opinion about therapy or mental illness. See this article on the difference between bibliotherapy and readers’ advisory. The actual practice of bibliotherapy includes a skilled therapist, but adults who are familiar with stories of loss can assist with recommendations. After all, we already know the interest of our readers (and reading levels) and can offer novels that address grief and coping. Continue reading Readers’ Advisory, Bibliotherapy, and Grief in YA Literature
It’s difficult to talk about gender definitions and not talk about labels, double standards, and stereotypes. There is a fine line between narrowing the focus in a book search based on gender and narrowing topics or experiences. How do you recommend books? Do you begin by asking questions or immediately name a title? While understanding gender roles is necessary to form one’s identity, should gender be a significant role in choosing reading material? There is a place for gendered booklists, but it should not be the deciding factor and it does not remain the focus of reader’s advisory. After all, how often have you asked an adult “Are you reading a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’ book?”
Some Background on Gender Roles
As adolescents begin to form their own identity we encourage curiosity through learning, yet topics are restricted once labels are introduced. The preteen and teen years are the years when adolescents broaden their views. Therefore, a variety of sources is required to shape a full image of gender to prepare them to enter the adult world. Continue reading Gendered Booklists and Their Place in Reader’s Advisory
While not every reader of The Hub is a librarian, we know a lot of you are going to be interested in this new product from YALSA– so if you’re looking for a fast, easy way to promote reading to teens, well… read on!
Reads 4 Teens is a collection of the best in the latest teen literature and includes 37 ready-to-use pamphlets and 8 bookmarks, each featuring a different theme or genre, including STEM. It’s now available for purchase as a digital download through the ALA Store for $26.10 for members & $29 for others. Just in time for summer reading and end-of the-school year visits!
All titles featured in this resource appeared on YALSA’s 2014 lists of recommended reading or were honored by a 2014 YALSA book award. Themes that are sure to get your teens reading include â€œSTEM â€ â€œAll the World’s a Stage,â€ â€œWhere in the World Isâ€¦,â€ â€œTickle Your Funny Bone,â€ and â€œScares, Spirits, and the Supernatural.”
If you choose, the pamphlets can be customized to include library information, hours or teen specific programming before making unlimited copies available to patrons. All 45 resources included in this digital download can easily be printed in both color and black/white on 8.5â€ x 11â€ paper.
Just in time for summer reading!