In this critical study, Pattee examines the series’ content, structure, and reader base, investigating an influential marketing and literary phenomenon, and interrogating the intersecting influences of history, audience positioning, and readability that allowed "Sweet Valley" to flourish, and continues to allow other teen series to enjoy popular acclaim.
Reading the Adolescent Romance provides an exhaustive study of the developments in young adult literature since the 1980s with a focus on Francine Pascal’s "Sweet Valley High" series, which has become a cultural and literary touchstone for both fans and critics of the novels. Pattee carefully examines the series’ content, structure, and readers, allowing her to investigate an influential marketing and literary phenomenon and to interrogate the intersecting influences of history, audience positioning, and readability that allowed "Sweet Valley" and other teen series to flourish. This book demonstrates that, as a series of generic romance novels, "Sweet Valley High" exhibits tropes associated with both adolescent and adult romance and, as a product of the early 1980s, has and continues to espouse the conservative romantic ideologies associated with the time period. While erstwhile readers of the series recall the novels with pleasure, re-readers of Pascal’s novels — who remember reading the series as young people and have re-visted the books as adults — are more critical. Interestingly, both populations continue to value "Sweet Valley High" as an identity touchstone. Amy Pattee is an associate professor of library and information science at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. There, she teaches children’s and young adult literature in both the library school and in a dual degree program affiliated with Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature.
The cultural studies perspective offers interpretations of the appeal of the cultural form of the romance novel and the pleasure of the cultural practice of leisure reading through recognition of meaning and affective processes. Findings from this dissertation's three studies suggest that leisure practices for female and male adolescents are an important way, among others, to allow for management of identity in this important developmental stage--adolescence--preceding college/work/adulthood/marriage expectations. A survey study reveals that leisure reading is a relatively popular leisure pursuit for adolescents, from students who might read a magazine or novel occasionally for fun to those students who are addictive leisure readers, for example, in this study of female adolescent readers of romance novels. A study of female adolescent readers suggests that the leisure practice of reading a romance novel is a means to manage social expectations, manage identity through experiencing the "real" in the symbolism of the romance text, experience momentary empowerment, and experience intense emotional pleasures in the reading practice. A study comparing adolescent and adult readers suggests that both groups utilize leisure reading in similar and different ways, suggesting that meaning is articulated, in one way, through social relations of gender, family, and workplace/ school and, additionally, that reading functions as a channel of communication, shared pleasure, and re-living of the romance texts between daughters and mothers. Findings to research questions of the relative popularity of reading to other leisure options, the ways in which teenage girls read romances, and the comparison of adolescent readers to adult readers, reveal that reading serves in certain ways as an individually centered, identity management practice and, in other ways, as a leisure pursuit embedded in and interacting with other social practices. Reading romance novels holds significant importance to the consistent adolescent reader because it is leisure, it is adolescent leisure, and it is fun.
Popular romance fiction constitutes the largest segment of the global book market. Bringing together an international group of scholars, The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Romance Fiction offers a ground-breaking exploration of this global genre and its remarkable readership. In recognition of the diversity of the form, the Companion provides a history of the genre, an overview of disciplinary approaches to studying romance fiction, and critical analyses of important subgenres, themes, and topics. It also highlights new and understudied avenues of inquiry for future research in this vibrant and still-emerging field. The first systematic, comprehensive resource on romance fiction, this Companion will be invaluable to students and scholars, and accessible to romance readers.
By examining the novels of critically and commercially successful authors such as Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You), Stephenie Meyer (the Twilight series), and Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak), Reading Like a Girl: Narrative Intimacy in Contemporary American Young Adult Literature explores the use of narrative intimacy as a means of reflecting and reinforcing larger, often contradictory, cultural expectations regarding adolescent women, interpersonal relationships, and intimacy. Reading Like a Girl explains the construction of narrator-reader relationships in recent American novels written about adolescent women and marketed to adolescent women. Sara K. Day explains, though, that such levels of imagined friendship lead to contradictory cultural expectations for the young women so deeply obsessed with reading these novels. Day coins the term "narrative intimacy" to refer to the implicit relationship between narrator and reader that depends on an imaginary disclosure and trust between the story's narrator and the reader. Through critical examination, the inherent contradictions between this enclosed, imagined relationship and the real expectations for adolescent women's relations prove to be problematic. In many novels for young women, adolescent female narrators construct conceptions of the adolescent woman reader, constructions that allow the narrator to understand the reader as a confidant, a safe and appropriate location for disclosure. At the same time, such novels offer frequent warnings against the sort of unfettered confession the narrators perform. Friendships are marked as potential sites of betrayal and rejection. Romantic relationships are presented as inherently threatening to physical and emotional health. And so, the narrator turns to the reader for an ally who cannot judge. The reader, in turn, may come to depend upon narrative intimacy in order to vicariously explore her own understanding of human expression and bonds.
As the first encyclopedia solely devoted to the popular romance fiction genre, this resource provides a wealth of information on all aspects of the subject. • Provides the basics about authors, works, themes, and other topics related to romance fiction using alphabetically arranged reference entries • Offers suggestions for further reading and other works of romance fiction via reading list • Written by contributors who are scholars, librarians, and industry experts with broad knowledge of the genre
Publisher: Phi Delta Kappa International Incorporated
Category: Reading interests
Intended to help parents and teachers select books for young people that reflect the actual interests of adolescents, this booklet discusses titles that both appeal to teenagers and help adults gain insight into their needs, their concerns, and their values. A final note from the author as to the "sample" nature of the list of young adult literature titles discussed in this fastback concludes the booklet.
Offering a wide range of critical perspectives, this volume explores the moral, ideological and literary landscapes in fiction and other cultural productions aimed at young adults. Topics examined are adolescence and the natural world, nationhood and identity, the mapping of sexual awakening onto postcolonial awareness, hybridity and trans-racial romance, transgressive sexuality, the sexually abused adolescent body, music as a code for identity formation, representations of adolescent emotion, and what neuroscience research tells us about young adult readers, writers, and young artists. Throughout, the volume explores the ways writers configure their adolescent protagonists as awkward, alienated, rebellious and unhappy, so that the figure of the young adult becomes a symbol of wider political and societal concerns. Examining in depth significant contemporary novels, including those by Julia Alvarez, Stephenie Meyer, Tamora Pierce, Malorie Blackman and Meg Rosoff, among others, Contemporary Adolescent Literature and Culture illuminates the ways in which the cultural constructions 'adolescent' and 'young adult fiction' share some of society's most painful anxieties and contradictions.
Fictions of Adolescent Carnality considers one of the most controversial topics related to adolescents: their experience of desire. In fiction for adolescents, carnal desire is variously presented as a source of angst, an overwhelming experience over which one has no control, bestial, disgusting and, just occasionally, a source of pleasure. The on-set of desire, within the Anglophone tradition, has been closely associated with the loss of innocence and the end of childhood. Drawing on a corpus of 200 narratives of adolescent desire, Kokkola examines the connections between sociological accounts of teenagers’ sexual behaviour, adult fears for and about their off-spring and fictional representations of adolescents exploring their sexuality. Taking up topics such as adolescent pregnancy and parenthood, queer sexualities, animal-human connections and sexual abuse, Kokkola provides wide-ranging insights into how Anglophone literature responds to adolescents’ carnal desires, and contributes to on-going debates on the construction of adolescence and the ideology of innocence.
Over twenty years after the publication of her groundbreaking work, Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels, Roberta Seelinger Trites returns to analyze how literature for the young still provides one outlet in which feminists can offer girls an alternative to sexism. Supplementing her previous work in the linguistic turn, Trites employs methodologies from the material turn to demonstrate how feminist thinking has influenced literature for the young in the last two decades. She interrogates how material feminism can expand our understanding of maturation and gender—especially girlhood—as represented in narratives for preadolescents and adolescents. Twenty-First-Century Feminisms in Children’s and Adolescent Literature applies principles behind material feminisms, such as ecofeminism, intersectionality, and the ethics of care, to analyze important feminist thinking that permeates twenty-first-century publishing for youth. The structure moves from examinations of the individual to examinations of the individual in social, environmental, and interpersonal contexts. The book deploys ecofeminism and the posthuman to investigate how embodied individuals interact with the environment and via the extension of feministic ethics how people interact with each other romantically and sexually. Throughout the book, Trites explores issues of identity, gender, race, class, age, and sexuality in a wide range of literature for young readers, such as Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. She demonstrates how shifting cultural perceptions of feminism affect what is happening both in publishing for the young and in the academic study of literature for children and adolescents.
A woman is incomplete without a man, motherhood is a woman’s destiny, and a woman’s place is in the home. These conservative political themes are woven throughout teen romance fiction’s sagas of hearts and flowers. Using the theory and interpretive methods of feminism and cultural studies, Christian-Smith explores the contradictory role that popular culture plays in constructing gender, class, race, age and sexual meanings. Originally published in 1990, Becoming a Woman through Romance combines close textual analyses of thirty-four teen romance novels (written in the United States from 1942-1982) with a school study in three midwestern American schools. Christian-Smith situates teen romance fiction within the rapidly changing publishing industry and the important political and economic changes in the United States surrounding the rise of the New Right. By analysing the structure of the novels in terms of the themes of romance, sexuality and beautification, and the Good/Bad and Strong/Weak dichotomies, she demonstrates how each has shaped the novels’ versions of femininity over forty years. She also shows that although romance fiction is presented as a universal model, it is actually an expression of white middle class gender ideology and tension within this class. This high readable, comprehensive and coherent work was the first to combine in one volume three vital areas of cultural studies research: the political economy of publishing, textual analysis, and a study of readers. The first full-scale study of teen romance fiction, Becoming a Woman through Romance establishes the importance of the study of popular culture forms found in school for understanding the process of school materials in identity formation.
This study is concerned with how readers are positioned to interpret the past in historical fiction for children and young adults. Looking at literature published within the last thirty to forty years, Wilson identifies and explores a prevalent trend for re-visioning and rewriting the past according to modern social and political ideological assumptions. Fiction within this genre, while concerned with the past at the level of content, is additionally concerned with present views of that historical past because of the future to which it is moving. Specific areas of discussion include the identification of a new sub-genre: Living history fiction, stories of Joan of Arc, historical fiction featuring agentic females, the very popular Scholastic Press historical journal series, fictions of war, and historical fiction featuring multicultural discourses. Wilson observes specific traits in historical fiction written for children — most notably how the notion of positive progress into the future is nuanced differently in this literature in which the concept of progress from the past is inextricably linked to the protagonist’s potential for agency and the realization of subjectivity. The genre consistently manifests a concern with identity construction that in turn informs and influences how a metanarrative of positive progress is played out. This book engages in a discussion of the functionality of the past within the genre and offers an interpretative frame for the sifting out of the present from the past in historical fiction for young readers.
How can teachers make content-area learning more accessible to their students? This text addresses instructional issues and provides a wealth of classroom strategies to help all middle and secondary teachers effectively enable their students to develop both content concepts and strategies for continued learning. The goal is to help teachers model, through excellent instruction, the importance of lifelong content-area learning. This working textbook provides students maximum interaction with the information, strategies, and examples presented in each chapter. This book is organized around five themes: Content Area Reading: An Overview The Teacher and the Text The Students The Instructional Program School Culture and Environment in Middle and High School Classrooms. Pedagogical features in each chapter include: a graphic organizer; a chapter overview, Think Before, Think While and Think After Reading Activities - which are designed to integrate students’ previous knowledge and experience with their new learnings about issues related to content area reading, literacy, and learning, and to serve as catalysts for thinking and discussions. This textbook is intended as a primary text for courses on middle and high school content area literacy and learning.