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Brief History of Adolescent Literature Chapter 2 P. 43 - 77.

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Presentation on theme: "Brief History of Adolescent Literature Chapter 2 P. 43 - 77."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brief History of Adolescent Literature Chapter 2 P

2 Books at any point in history show what adults want young people to know and reflect the attitudes of the times

3 Influence of Sunday Schools 1824 – 1880s Moralistic fiction –Virtues of dying child –Disobedient child would get comeuppance Primarily sugar-coated sermons Did advance literacy

4 The Converted Child. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, circa 1830

5 Primarily religious Young Peoples Books Prior to 1800s Children are mere adults and must accept the wrath of God

6 1800s happy family life harsh, but honest still read today broken homes romantic fantasies rags to respectability hero rarely achieved riches barely read today L ouisa M ay A lcott H oratio A lger J r.

7 Horatio Alger

8 Four Basic Types of Books in 1800s p

9 1. Series Martha Findley Oliver Optic Susan Coolidge Harry Castlemon

10 2. Domestic Novels Characteristics –preached morality –womans submission to man –suffering, self-sacrificing, denying –heroines different in name, not character –most are orphaned girl meets handsome man, saved –women were target audience Elizabeth Wetherell –Wide Wide World –when [women] were not crying, they were cooking Augusta Jane Evans Wilson –St. Elmo

11 3. Dime Novels audience mostly men cost $.10, dropped to $ pages; 7x5 stock characters melodramatic plots rapid beginnings cliffhangers he-men westerns Librarians objected to their immorality

12 aimed at youth distributed in mass at newsstands and dry goods stores lurid cover illustration many genres represented tales of urban outlaws, detective stories, working-girl narratives of virtue defended, and costume romances (west most popular setting)

13 Established original attitude toward paperbacks and cheap books: –trash –evil; corruptive –should be banned Major Dime Novels Publisher Beadle Brothers –Malaeska: the Indian Wife of the White Hunter (Ann Stephens, 1860) –Seth Jones: or The Captives of the Frontier (1860)

14 4. Bad Boy Adventure Tough, imperfect boys Story of a Bad Boy (T. Bailey, 1870) Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain, 1876) Boy Emigrants (N. Brooks, 1876) Master Skylark (J. Bennett, 1898) Treasure Island (R. L. Stevenson, 1883)

15 Public Library Development Benjamin Franklin started Philadelphia Library Company by sharing his books New York state used school buildings for public libraries

16 Boston levied a tax for free public library the first publicly supported municipal library in America Boston Public Library opened first public library to allow people to borrow books and materials ALA founded and Library Journal published first library school

17 Problems early public libraries faced 1. Tax dollars for funding support 2. Purpose: scholarly or pleasure 3. Books to include: fiction or nonfiction

18 Melvil Dewey recommended NEA have library department for schools first library school graduate appointed to Boston high school stressed need for professionally trained librarians in high schools C. C. Certain standards Depression slowed growth

19 School Library Development Brooklyns Apprentice Library –boys over 12 were allowed in –girls were allowed one hour an afternoon once a week Milwaukee recommended –schools spend $10 a year for books –only children over 10 years old, parents, teachers and school commissioners could check out books –keep items for one week; fines charged

20 Changes in English Classroom and National Council Teachers of English Harvard entrance exams forced English curriculum to be based on predetermined classics Committee of Ten on Secondary School Studies recommended English be studied five hours a week for four years and college entrance exams be established

21 very few students enrolled in school but teachers were pressured to prepare students for college by dictating recommended reading recreational reading considered waste of time in protest to college entrance exams, NCTE compiled list of books for home reading and included some new books

22 Hosic suggested teacher should make reading unfailing resource and joy in lives of all LaBant found students enjoyed reading if they chose what they read

23 Research Findings Interest of the reader is most powerful factor (Norvell, 1946) Voluntary reading rarely overlapped with required reading Sue Barton, Student Nurse (Boylston) most popular book in 1947 students read to reassure themselves about normality and role playing (Carlsen, mid 1950s) bibliotherapy was outgrowth

24 Seven Types of Books in the Early 1900s p

25 1. Series Edward Stratemeyer Library Syndicate wrote dime novels under pseudonym, Oliver Optic founded syndicate (factory of juvenile series books) in 1906 criticized for literary quality

26 he created plot sketches for each chapter advertised for authors; authors wrote under pseudonyms; writers paid a one- time fee, not including royalties; agreed to never reveal they had written for a specific series or under a particular authors pseudonym safe and sane (moral) for children to read good always triumphed over evil sports produced real men; never trust a foreigner The Bobbsey Twins published in 1904.

27 In 1930, when Stratemeyer died, daughters Harriet Adams and Edna Stratemeyer took over continued same series and characters include Tom Swift, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Baseball Joe and Ruth Fielding syndicate still exists

28 Demise of Series The great depression took its toll – Statemeyer series decreased from 27 to 7 War created paper shortage Readers became more sophisticated

29 2. Young child, usually girl, saves those around her popular before WWI Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Wiggins, 1904) Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery, 1908) Pollyanna (Porter, 1913)

30 3. Girls and Boys books up to mid 30s, girls books considered inferior to boys books believed girls would read boys books, but boys would not read girls books boys were allowed outside the house

31 4. Westerns

32 5. Sports Stories Burt L. Standish introduced the character of Frank Meriwell Half-Back (Barbour, 1899) –invented formula of boy attending school learning who and what he might become through sports

33 6. School Stories Peggy (Laura Elizabeth Richard, 1899) Janes Island (Marjorie Hill Alee, 1931) Bright Island (M. L. Robinson, 1937)

34 7. Junior/Juvenile Let the Hurricanes Roar (Rose Wilder Lane, 1933 –recently re-issued as Young Pioneers –[this book] makes me ashamed of cussing about hard times and taxes

35 1940s to 1965 p

36 Changes Occurring in America war gaps of all kinds: racial, technological, cultural, and economic civil rights school integration riots increasing violence assassination

37 Types of Books

38 1. Paper backs Avon Bantam, Dell by mid 1960s - popular because of convenient size, cost, availability First introduced by Pocket in 1938

39 difficult to catalog easy to steal covers considered lurid contents thought to be nothing short of pornography Schools resisted paperbacks because:

40 2. high school years dating, parties, class rings, senior year, popular crowd simple plots exclusively white, middle class taboo topics were avoided

41 Authors who began to make changes in taboo topics Florence Crannell Means (minorities) Seventh Summer by Maureen Daley (shy, innocent girls) Mary Stolz (focus on character, rather than incident) James Summers (young marriage from male view point) Paul Annixter (mixed animals, ecology, symbolism

42 3. career books Helen Boylston, (Nurse Barton books) Peggy Covers the News (E. Bugbee, 1936) Helen Wells, flight stewardesses formulistic by late 1940s character had minor setbacks but wins place in profession glossed over daily grinds by glamorizing career

43 4. sports and car books John F. Carson - basketball Fear Strikes Out (1955) Jim Piersall Its good to be Alive (1959) Roy Campanella Henry Gregor Felson (joys and dangers of cars) John Tunis (sports)

44 5. Adventure/suspense James Bond series (Ian Fleming) Guadalacanal Diary (1943) R. Tregaskis Here is Your War (1944) Ernie Pyle The Raft (1942) Robert Trumbull Adam of the Road (1942) E. J. Gray The Innocent Wayfaring (1943) Marchette Chute

45 6. romance Love is Forever (1954) M.E. Bell Marriage (1954) Vivian Breck Forever Amber (1944) K. Winsor

46 7. societys problems Of Mice and Men (1937); Grapes of Wrath (1939) Steinbeck Cry the Beloved Country (1948) Paton Invisible Man (1952) Ralph Ellison Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) Haley & Malcolm X Soul on Ice (1968) Eldridge Cleaver

47 8. personal problems and initiation Married on Wednesday (1954) A. Emery Divided Heart (1947) M. Lewiton Too Bad about the Haines Girl (1967) Zoa Sherburne A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) B. Smith Catcher in the Rye (1951) J.D. Salinger Lord of the Flies (1955) Golding A Separate Peace (1961) Knowles

48 Mood in the 1950s Magazines, paperbacks, and comic books were targeted for censorship –comic books were cheap - $.25 a book –main objective was to protect adolescent, weak and susceptible Gathings and McCarthy hearings

49 Examples of Hysteria Texas passed a bill requiring all authors to sign a statement that they never had been a member of the Communist Party before the text would be adopted or used in the state San Antonio wanted to red stamp any book by an author who had Communist affiliation or was pro Communist bill submitted, but never passed, that Library of Congress mark all subversive matter

50 Dont join the book burners. Dont think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Dont be afraid to go into your library and read every book as long as any document does not offend our own ideas of decency…even if they think ideas that are contrary to ours, they have a right to have them, a right to record them and a right to have them in places accessible to others. It is unquestioned, or it is not America. Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 14, 1953

51 Our fiction today shows what we have been through: our novels reflect the suffering of the depression; they show the neurotic tendencies traced by Freud; they show the brutality of concentration camps and the violence of two world wars. These are the facts of the life we have survived and we cannot conceal them from our children. E. A. Weeks (Publishers Weekly, 1953)

52 Criticism of YA literature in 1940s developed slowly like much adult literature, it was second-rate much of the literature from this period is ignored

53 Then came the 1960s… the floodgates were opened many of the taboos disappeared books told about real problems and emotions

54 Discussion Questions 1. Good books focus on people with problems. Bad books focus on problems that seem incidentally to involve people. Cite an example of a book, story, or movie that seemed to focus on the problem and not the people. Explain your choice.

55 2. Consider the taboos that faced writers of young adult fiction in the 1940s and 1950s. Why do you feel these taboos were certain to disappear with time? Was their disappearance necessarily good for young adult literature?

56 3. In Gary Sotos interview on page 67, he states that most of the young adult novels he reads, lack a sense of place. The stories could happen anywhere. Agree or disagree with his statements. Justify your opinion.

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