3 - ALAN Volume 28 Number 3 Sunya Osborn< 1:28 PM Digital...

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4/24/08 1:28 PM ALAN Volume 28, Number 3 - Sunya Osborn< Page 1 of 8 http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/v28n3/osborn.html ETDs ImageBase Ejournals News EReserve Special Collections Volume 28, Number 3 Spring/Summer 2001 Editors: James Blasingame [email protected] Lori A. Goodson [email protected] DLA Ejournal Home | ALAN Home | Table of Contents for this issue | Search ALAN and other ejournals Picture Books for Young Adult Readers Sunya Osborn As my class was doing historical research in the library, I pointed out to my students that they should study the pictures in the books to help them understand their topics. I was met with some blank stares, and one boy raised his hand and said, "But, I thought we were too old to look at pictures in books. I didn't think we should." Many other students murmured their agreement. It was sad that they were denying themselves an important aspect of their research and more particularly of their reading. As I looked at the ones who felt this way about picture books, I realized they were also poor readers. Knowing some of their backgrounds, I believed they probably had never been read to as children. It was sad that they were still denying themselves the pleasure of enjoying picture books. Picture books are a great asset to reading and a useful tool for teachers. An important trend in publishing and marketing is picture books for young adult readers. "Dramatic changes in children's and YA publishing over the last decade have blurred the lines between children's and adult books. The fact that a book has 32 pages, full-color illustrations, and a 9-by-13 inch trim size no longer automatically means it's "for children only" . . . ( Zvirin, 1998, 1716 ). Although it is difficult to define an exact age limit for picture books, some criteria for picture books for older readers are that they use: Mature themes More complex illustrations than those that would be easily appreciated or understood by younger readers
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4/24/08 1:28 PM ALAN Volume 28, Number 3 - Sunya Osborn< Page 2 of 8 http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/v28n3/osborn.html More text or difficult text than would be appropriate for the short attention spans of younger readers Subtle meanings beyond the understanding of younger readers Two levels of meaning - one for younger readers and one for older readers Fiction or non-fiction Picture books for young adults have mature themes that would be neither understood by nor appropriate for younger readers. For example, I Never Knew Your Name ( Garland, 1993 ) is told by a boy who is troubled because he didn't reach out to another teen who committed suicide. Just One Flick of a Finger ( Loribecki 1996 ) is the story of a boy who brings a gun to school, and of the disaster that results. The theme of drugs is illustrated in The House That Crack Built ( Taylor 1992 ). These are all topics of concern to young adults, but inappropriate for most younger readers. Today's picture books contain beautiful artwork. However, the
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3 - ALAN Volume 28 Number 3 Sunya Osborn< 1:28 PM Digital...

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