Lessons in Disability

Essays on Teaching with Young Adult Literature


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About the Book

Disability is a growing reality. According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 57 million people—19 percent of the population—had a disability in 2010, more than half being reported as “severe.” Interest in disability studies is also growing, in literature, film, art, politics and religion. Exploring the intersection between disability and young adult literature, this collection of new essays fills a gap in scholarship between teachers and YAL scholars. The contributors offer textual analysis, best practices and numerous examples that enable teachers to expose students to dynamic characters who both reflect and contrast with the reader’s reality.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Jacob Stratman is associate professor of English and chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at John Brown University. His articles on young adult literature have been published in SIGNALEnglish Journal, Christianity and Literature and Literature and Belief. He lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jacob Stratman

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9932-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2308-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction: Exploring Disability through Young Adult Literature—Jacob Stratman 1

Part 1: Disability, Young Adult Literature and Pedagogical Strategies 9
The Social Construction of Disabilities and Differences: Cultivating Appreciation of Diversity in an Elementary Classroom through Critical Reading, Writing and Reflection—Anne Katz 9
A Little Piece of Evan: Adolescent Literature and the Autism Spectrum—Jeanne Dutton and Jennifer Miller 32
Middle School Adolescents Developing Critical Stances Around Difference in Young Adolescent Literature in Literature Circles—Jeanne Gilliam Fain and Lesley ­Craig-Unkefer 53
Teaching and Reading Wonder and Marcelo in the Real World with Critical Eyes—Abbye Meyer and Emily Wender 72
(Re)Defining Disability with the Schneider Family Book Award and Community Engagement—Jacob Stratman 100
Using YA Literature That Portrays Disabilities as Canonical Companions—Janine J. Darragh 123

Part 2: Disability, Young Adult Literature and Literary Theory 149
Beowulf and Aesthetic Nervousness: A Multidimensional Pedagogy—Darcy Mullen 149
“So tough, so brave, the consummate survivor”: War, Trauma and Disability in the Harry Potter Series—Marc Napolitano 177
Deconstructing Disability: The Dragons and Girls in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea and Merrie Haskell’s Handbook for Dragonslayers—Erin Wyble Newcomb 200
“Without a word or sign”: Enmeshing Deaf and Gay Identity in Young Adult Literature—Angel Daniel Matos 221

About the Contributors 245
Index 247

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fills a gap…the book presents a comprehensive whole, interrogating ideas for classroom practice as well as offering in-depth analyses of young adult fiction. The scope of academic references and literary theory included here is commendable…intriguing…. Readers will no doubt find new suggested reading here for adolescents in addition to fresh lenses on familiar titles…. a substantial and welcome resource”—Center for Young People’s Literature & Culture.