Constructing the Adolescent Reader in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

  • Elisabeth Rose Gruner

Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Elisabeth Rose Gruner
    Pages 25-49
  3. Elisabeth Rose Gruner
    Pages 141-171
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 185-192

About this book


This book examines the way young adult readers are constructed in a variety of contemporary young adult fictions, arguing that contemporary young adult novels depict readers as agents. Reading, these novels suggest, is neither an unalloyed good nor a dangerous ploy, but rather an essential, occasionally fraught, by turns escapist and instrumental, deeply pleasurable, and highly contentious activity that has value far beyond the classroom skills or the specific content it conveys. After an introductory chapter that examines the state of reading and young adult fiction today, the book examines novels that depict reading in school, gendered and racialized reading, reading magical and religious books, and reading as a means to developing civic agency. These examinations reveal that books for teens depict teen readers as doers, and suggest that their ability to read deeply, critically, and communally is crucial to the development of adolescent agency.


Young Adult fiction Literacy Education #WeNeedDiverseBooks Citizenship

Authors and affiliations

  • Elisabeth Rose Gruner
    • 1
  1. 1.RichmondUSA

Bibliographic information