Use of Young Adult Fiction in American Colleges
Young adult literature is aimed at providing information to young adults and adolescents. The Young Adult Library Services is an organization that defines a young adult as any person between the ages of 12-18. That means that students in colleges are fit to use young adult fiction writings. Various elements of fictional writing are used in young adult writings including themes, plot, style, character, and setting. However, the elements are used, in limitation, to suit the reading needs of young readers. Mostly, the protagonists in most writings are adolescents, as opposed to children and adults. The storylines used and subject matter is mostly consistent with the experiences and age of young adults. The experiences are put together fictionally mainly to highlight the challenges among the youth and try to find solutions. However, different young adult fiction use different styles that can help enrich knowledge and creativity in American colleges (Cullinan et al 15).
Young adult literature can be used by reluctant students because it meets the student’s needs since the authors write using an adolescent mentality. The plot and language used in the pieces of literature define what adolescents are accustomed to, whether in the media or popular culture.
Evaluation should be done to establish the level of effectiveness of young adult literature by use set criteria. Effective young adult literature has to contain subject matter that show the development of adolescents, as well as addressing their thinking and reading levels. The content and issues tackled should relate accordingly to interests of adolescents. The subject used should relate to ways of handling peer pressure, illness, pregnancy, adults and parents, drug addiction, and sex. These are crucial subjects in the development of a student, further highlighting the importance of using adult fiction in American colleges. The literature used should contain some global issues, their causes, and ways to tackle them. The global concerns include culture, the environment, politics, gender diversity, and how they affect the adolescent population (Molin, 33).
Young adult fiction is used in the education system to ensure students are interested in reading. Young adult literature has a different story type and authors giving compelling material that can talk for the reader. Some students who struggle in reading face reluctance against literature material as a coping mechanism. In case of a decline in voluntary reading the student who struggles to read faces troubles. Young adult reading encourages students to read independently, which translates to development of skills that bring success. It has also been combined with classic texts used in the syllabus as a requirement of the school’s curricula. The combination enhances comprehension of the students on the common themes that are found in general books. With the inclusion of text that an adolescent can relate to, classic texts become enjoyable and more comprehensive. Young adult literature is easy to get to encouraging students to read more, including classic texts. The two forms of literature should be used together without the classical texts being set aside for exceptional students only. The perception that young adult literature is set aside for risk readers only should also be changed (Molin, 57).
Some of the famous young adult literature that is widely read in colleges is the Harry Porter Series. It is an entertaining adventure book that can be used to increase a student’s creativity and ability to use proper writing skills. The book has been developed into a movie, which creates a student’s quest to read the book before or after watching the movie. The Hunger Game Series is also a widely read book that is about a girl who lived in hunger and various social disorders. The book not only improves a reader’s understanding but also highlights on some social ills in North America. To kill a Mocking Bird is a book that has been previewed in schools as part of the adult fiction. The book is about racial segregation through a young girl so as to connect with the adolescent readers. Racial discrimination is a global occurrence that is not taught in a school’s curricula, and hence the young adult fiction acts as an informer. The Fault in Our Stars is about a kid who is diagnosed with cancer until she is saved by Augustus waters. It gives adolescent readers a positive look at illnesses, and especially cancer. Most young adult fiction books aim at developing the reader and increasing his understanding and perception of the world.
Adult fiction contains complex material that may not be comprehensive to adolescent readers. The language used is complex and most adult fiction texts cover adult materials and themes. They may also contain sexual themes, which are not advisable for adolescent students as they can lead to immorality and early pregnancies. Books are classified as either adult fiction or young adult fiction depending on the literature’s content, and complexity of the language used. Books used in college curricula are screened to ensure that their content is suitable for use by students without interfering with their reasoning and comprehension. When students are involved in a work of literature, they develop lively discussions, as well as introspective writing. The student also develops an interest to read more past the required selection (Trupe, 54). Adult fiction is regulated in content as compared to adult fiction and hence its use has a positive impact on developing reading skills. Schools should hence embrace the use of young adult literature in their studies.