Recognizing the determination of a canon as an ongoing process of discussion and debate, which helps us to better understand the concept of meaningful and important literature, this edited collection turns a critical spotlight on young adult literature (YAL) to explore some of the most read, taught, and discussed books of our time. By considering the unique criteria which might underpin the classification of a YAL canon, this text raises critical questions of what it means to define canonicity and designate certain books as belonging to the YAL canon. Moving beyond ideas of what is taught or featured in textbooks, the volume emphasizes the role of adolescents’ choice, the influence of popular culture, and above all the multiplicity of ways in which literature might be interpreted and reflected in the lives of young readers. Chapters examine an array of texts through varied critical lenses, offer detailed literary analyses and divergent interpretations, and consider how themes might be explored in pedagogical contexts. By articulating the ways in which teachers and young readers may have traditionally interpreted YAL, this volume will extend debate on canonicity and counter dominant narratives that posit YAL texts as undeserving of canonical status. This text will be of great interest to graduate and postgraduate students, academics, professionals, and libraries in the field of young adult literature, fiction literacy, children’s literacy and feminist studies.
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