ALAN v23n1 - The Membership Connection

Volume 23, Number 1
Fall 1995

The Membership Connection

Kay Bushman, Editor
Ottawa High School, Ottawa, Kansas

News from ALAN

The 1995 ALAN breakfast will be held on Saturday, November 18, 1995, at 7:30 a.m. in the San Diego Town and Country Hotel. At the meeting, new officers will be installed, the ALAN Foundation recipients will be introduced, and the honoree of the ALAN Award will be recognized. After the breakfast, Chris Crutcher , former ALAN Award recipient and author of Ironman , Stotan , Chinese Handcuffs , and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes , will deliver his address. To secure a ticket for the breakfast,send a check for $15, made payable to ALAN , to Ted Hipple, Claxton Education Building, College of Education, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN37996-3400 . Deadline for ticket orders is November 1 . No tickets will be available in San Diego.

The 1996 ALAN Workshop will be held in November in conjunction with the NCTE Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Those people interested in participating by introducing an author, chairing a session, or making a small-group presentation should send their requests to Arthea "Charlie" Reed, 16 Butler Mt.,Fletcher, NC 28732 , by January 10 . Proposals to present small-group sessions must include a brief description of the presentation. All requests must include home and work addresses and phone numbers.

A Report from the 1994 ALAN Workshop

The following summaries represent some of the sessions at the 1994 ALAN Workshop in Orlando, Florida.

* How Teachers Can Help at School: Young Adult Literature about Students with Cancer, Their Classmates, Family, and Friends

Although the cure rate is up, over 7,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is extremely painful to consider the suffering and possible death of a child, and all involved need help. In the classroom, patients and peers can discuss concerns, ask questions, and experience their emotions. Lanny Van Allen of the Texas Education Agency explained that, although there is literature on death and dying, very little is available on cancer specifically.Her brief bibliography, listing such notables as The Chemo Kid by Robert Lipsyte and I Want To Grow Hair, I Want To Grow Up, I Want To Go to Boise by Erma Bombeck will make teachers aware of both medical facts and the affective behavior of patients and their care-givers. Additional materials and information on community resources can be obtained by calling The American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
-- Michaeline Chance-Reay
Columbus State Community College, Ohio

* At Home in Multicultural Adolescent Literature

Bonnie Ericson , California State University, Northridge, survived the earthquake last January, but her university home, like so many others, was destroyed. This cataclysmic event led her to develop her workshop centered onhomelessness as a theme in multicultural literature. She began her interactive,hands-on session with a discussion of recommended multicultural young adult literature featuring memorable homes, including such standards as Mildred Taylor 's trilogy featuring Cassie Logan and newer titles like White Lilacs by Caroline Meyer .

Ericson then shared several suggested activities for exploring the role of home in young adult and other literature. These included brainstorming phrases,sayings, and titles containing the word "home"; listing television programs,movies, or literature in which home plays a central role; clustering these with a star diagram; and reading descriptions of home taken from literature and predicting characterization based on them.

Her session was lively and provocative; the handout was useful and filled with examples of how to make this timely issue of genuine concern and interest to adolescents in classrooms all over the country, whether homeless because of natural phenomena or not.
-- Judith A. Hayn
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

* Who Is Up to What? What? Where? Current Research in Young Adult Literature

Pamela Sissi Carroll gathered several past winners of the ALAN Research Awards and other researchers to describe their projects and demonstrate the parameters of research in current young adult literature. Her own project,"Discomfort Zone: When Caucasian Teachers Introduce African-American Literature to Young Adolescents," explored the tensions raised as teachers and student teachers try to discuss social and human issues in a classroom of individuals with differing cultural backgrounds and experiences. Many of the teachers,accustomed to abstracting these issues, felt inadequate to address such varied personal experiences presented in young adult literature.

Gail Gregg organized her traditionally unsuccessful high-school readers into a cadre of successful role models for younger students as they read young adult literature to younger students in a cross-age tutoring project. The attendance, confidence, and reading ability of these high-school readers increased as they experienced the admiring response of their young charges.

Linda Spears-Bunton , in her study "Young Adult Literature in Multicultural Contexts," described how, while African-American readers and texts in the research of literature were "raced" and "gendered,"European-American readers and texts were postured as "non-raced" and as"non-gendered" and perceived as "just like us" by white American readers.

Sandy Krickeberg summarized the results from her work in "A National Teacher Survey on Young Adult Literature." She found that most of the teachers who were surveyed, though describing themselves as lifelong readers, did not habitually read young adult literature: 71% said that they receive information about young adult literature from professional journals. Four topics that teachers tried to avoid in their classroom literature were "homosexuality,""swearing," "the occult," and "sexual situations."

Lea Smith established numerous dichotomies in her study of "The Portrayal of Females in Young Adult Literature" indicating that many works still describe female protagonists in traditional roles.
-- Suzanne Reid
Emory & Henry College, Virginia

News from Publishers

Scholastic Books announces Scholastic Booktalks , a new publication written by Joni Bodart , a leading expert in the art of booktalking. Volume One includes enticing ready-made booktalks on some of Scholastic's best young adult fiction and nonfiction titles: A Question of Trust by Marion Dane Bauer , Dakota Dream by James Bennett , Plain City by Virginia Hamilton , The Captive by Joyce Hansen , Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordon , California Blue by David Klass , Sojourner Truth:Ain't I a Woman? by Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack , Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers , Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick , The Quilt Trilogy: A Stitch in Time by Ann Rinaldi , Miriam's Well by Lois Ruby , and Crazy Weekend by Gary Soto . Orders may be sent to Scholastic,P.O. Box 7502, Jefferson City, MO 65102, or phone requests to 1-800-325-6149 .

The American Library Association announces the publication of The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 1994Edition , which provides an annotated listing of winning titles since the inception of the awards through the 1994 selections. The cost is $14.00 or$12.60 for ALA members and can be ordered from Order Department, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611 or phone requests to 1-800-545-2433 .

News of Awards

Don Gallo , former president of ALAN and editor of many collections including Sixteen , Join In , and Ultimate Sports , has been named the recipient of the Certificate of Merit Award presented by the Catholic Library Association. The award is given annually to "a person or organization in recognition of their distinct contribution to the growth, development, and improvement of secondary school library service."

The 1994-95 winner of the California Young Reader Medal is Will Hobbs for Downriver .

The 1995 Kansas William Allen White Award and the 1995 Missouri Mark Twain Award have been given to June Rae Wood for The Man Who Loved Clowns .

What You Don't Know Can Kill You by Fran Arrick has been chosen by the students of South Carolina as the winner of the 1994-1995 Young Adult Book Award sponsored by the South Carolina Association of School Librarians.

Deborah Chandra has been named the first recipient of the International reading Association's Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award. Her books include Balloons and Other Poems and Rich Lizard and Other Poems .

The International Reading Association's Arbuthnot Award will honor an outstanding college or university teacher of children's and young adult literature. Nominees must be IRA members, affiliated with a college or university, and engaged in teacher and/or librarian preparation at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. For guidelines with specific information on submitting, write to Barbara A. Lehman, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, 1680 University Drive, Mansfield, OH 44906 . Completed entires must be returned to Lehman, postmarked no later than December 1, 1995 .

News of Literature Workshops

The Sixteenth Annual Conference on Writing and Literature will be held on March 1-2 in Lawrence, Kansas, and will feature Tom Newkirk , Norma Fox Mazer , Lois Ruby , and Sandy Asher . For further information about the conference, contact John H. Bushman, The Writing Conference, Inc., P.O. Box 664, Ottawa, KS 66067 .


Do you have any announcements regarding conferences, publications, or awards in the area of young adult literature? If so, send them to Kay Parks Bushman, Ottawa High School, 11th and Ash, Ottawa, Kansas 66067 . Deadlines are as follows: March 15 (Spring issue), July 15 (Fall issue), and November 15(Winter issue).