Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

English Language and Literature

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas Baker


No passionate reader, or lifetime reader, goes around reading books that they hate. They are what they enjoy. No single book can meet the individual likes and dislikes of each student. So why can students not read what they choose, and still learn? Based on the works of Donald Gallo, an interview with Jennifer Bueler, and the writers own personal experience with children and literacy, strictly as giving students choice in what they read.

Choosing and evaluating books is part of reading, and it is part of teaching reading. Young Adult Literature (YAL) should not be excluded from student choice, it should encourage, especially among students who are struggling with reading, or finding enjoyment in reading.

YAL is a great way to teach students many important aspects of reading, including character development, imagery, poetic language, citing text, plot development, irony, philosophical issues and much more. YAL deals with issues as relevant as rape, race, The Holocaust, justice, coming of age, personal growth and more. With YAL teachers are able to teach both important English concepts and instill genuine appreciation for literature.