Adolescent Realities: Engaging Students in SEL through Young Adult Literature offers a connection between young adult literatures and social and emotional learning. Students have many SEL needs, and this book focuses on exploring SEL through the experiences of characters in contemporary books published in the last few years. Each chapter offers a specific focus in SEL, a middle school and high school book for teens to read, and a guided plan that can be adapted to fit the needs of educators, counselors, and parents. A great tool for guiding teen book clubs or workshops, Adolescent Realities has the potential to make teens aware of how to apply SEL in their own lives.
Judith A. Hayn retired as professor emerita in teacher education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock after 50 years in public school and university teaching. She has published widely in the field of young adult literature.
Holly Sheppard Riesco has been an ELA teacher for 15 years and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Arkansas.
Chapter 1: Introduction and Guide to Using the Book
Chapter 2: Achieving Self-Discovery
Middle School Book: Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
High School Book: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Chapter 3: Coping with Anxiety
Middle School Book: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b by Teresa Toten
High School Book: Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz
Chapter 4: Gaining Social Awareness
Middle School Book: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
High School Book: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Chapter 5: Building Relationships
Middle School Book: The Track Series by Jason Reynolds
High School Book: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Chapter 6: Overcoming Challenges
Middle School Book: Illegal by Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin; Illustrated by Giovanni Rigano
High School Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Chapter 7: Appreciating Diversity
Middle School Book: Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
High School Book: Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
Chapter 8: Respecting Others
Middle School Book: The Cat at the Wall by Deborah Ellis
High School Book: Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
Chapter 9: Overcoming Expectations
Middle School Book: Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson
High School Book: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Chapter 10: Becoming Self-Aware
Middle School Book: Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
High School Book: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
About the Authors
This book is a much-needed resource that uses social and emotional learning competencies as a frame to teach some of the best multicultural young adult novels. Adolescent Realities offers comprehensive, creative, and cohesive units to guide those who work with teenagers every step of the way with challenging and engaging activities. Filled with practical strategies, this book is an essential addition to any educator wishing to incorporate SEL to support students’ developing identities and life skills.
Before students can learn academic content, their social and emotional needs must be addressed. Many school districts, finally, have begun investing in social and emotional learning (SEL) professional development for faculty, staff, and administration, putting students before test scores. Adolescent Realties: Engaging Students in SEL through Young Adult Literature is poised to be foundational in this caring work in English Language Arts classrooms but also, uniquely, in other content areas. This book will help students understand their own social and emotional learning as they read through/with the lives of the characters in the thought-provoking texts the authors have selected. Books can contribute to our social and emotional growth. This is going to be one of those books.
University of Arkansas interviews author Holly Sheppard Riesco