Motivating Young Readers Through Adolescent Literature

In: English and Literature

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Motivating Young Readers through Adolescent Literature
Mary Ann Clemente
Grand Canyon University: SED 435
Dec. 9, 2012

Motivating Young Readers through Adolescent Literature The challenge that faces educators today is presenting adolescent readers with books that students can relate to and will keep them motivated to read. Adolescents connect to stories that have a theme that tell a story about things like friendship, discovering themselves and their values. Books that show teen characters positively, as compared to how society usually sees them will keep students motivating and will hold their interest (Herz & Gallo, 1996). One such book is Rifles for Watie, a historical fiction novel and Newbery Medal winner. It was written by Harold Keith in 1957. This book can be used to connect the history of the Civil War with a students everyday life. The story is about a sixteen year old boy named Jefferson (Jeff) Davis Bussey. He joins the Union side of the Civil War and while serving gets noticed by for his intelligence, skill, and calm disposition. He becomes a spy, pretending to be part of the Rebel side, gaining information for the Union. Students will be able to relate to this young man. He struggles with many of the same things as students do today. The older men see him as young and inexperienced and not as valuable. Jeff also misses his family and struggles with the realization that even though the Rebels are his enemy, they are real people who face the same issues as his family. It brings the Civil War into reality. The Civil War brings up many good questions for teachers. The young men who fought in the war were about the same age as students in their classrooms. Teachers could discuss with students how they would feel about going to war and what type of issues would they be willing to…...

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