Beyond the Literary Canon: Incorporating Young Adult Literature into the Classroom

Rebekah Smith, Leah Nillas, Faculty Advisor, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


Engaging students in literature is an extremely important aspect of instilling a lifelong love of reading, but this is difficult in a world where Facebook is more enticing than an old, battered copy of a book for school. Classic books from the Literary Canon are becoming outdated and less beneficial in the classroom. By incorporating more contemporary Young Adult Literature into the classroom, students can gain the skills necessary for success with standardized testing while increasing their interest in reading. This self-study was conducted to evaluate students’ perspectives on the literature and self-selected adolescent titles. Collected data included whole class student surveys, practice tests, focus group notes, and a post-semester anonymous online survey. The findings support that the incorporation of Young Adult Literature increases students’ interest in reading and improves students’ ability to relate to the characters as well as their performance on standardized tests.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 16 2016


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