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Rozi Larsen

Sister Robinson

ENG 252

October 13, 2017

The ALAN Review (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE) is a self-

governing journal that promotes communication among fans of the Young Adult Literature

genre. The purpose of this journal is to publish quality articles and materials to support the

learning and development of Young Adult Lit readers. It also strives to build, expand, and

challenge readers understandings (ALAN Review). Most of these articles are no longer than 20

double spaced pages, separated into cause and effect headings. Typically, the way authors

establish the importance of their work is by observing adolescents and trying to help these young

people through different studies. Overall, the main resolve of this journal is to bring readers of

the YA Lit genre together, and to help them build understanding.

Young adults are the focus of this journal. It often addresses essential, yet controversial,

topics that directly pertain to the lives of young adults. Topics found in the journal include: race,

gender, sexuality, and social class. Although authors views or perspectives on these topics vary,

their goal is always the same: the betterment young adult lives. In the Winter 2015 edition of the

ALAN Review the principle theme was race. One article entitled Reading YA with Dark

Brown Skin argued that adolescents find it easier to make derogatory, or racist, comments on

online communities. The article also addressed what educators can do to combat such bullying. It

posed the question, As educators, how do we engage and utilize the assets of participatory

culture to bring in the diverse voices within our classrooms? How do we cultivate ecologies that
embrace difference and challenge dominant narratives in YAL? (Garcia) While there are

multiple answers to this profound question, educators can agree that it is of the utmost

importance and is beneficial for adolescents everywhere.

In order to be published, anything worth of consideration needs to deal specifically with

the YA Lit genre and/or teaching young adults. According to the ALAN Review website,

[articles] should have a clearly defined topic and be scholarly in content, as well as practical

and useful to people working with and/or studying young adults and their literature. Research

studies and papers should be treated as articles rather than formal reports. Stereotyping on the

basis of sex, race, age, etc., should be avoided, as should gender-specific terms such as

chairman (ALAN Review). An article in the Winter 2015 Volume called Race Matters takes

the opinions of Young Adult authors that come from different ethnic backgrounds. The editors of

the ALAN Review, used the statements and experiences of these authors as evidence of how race

effects the genre. The editors gained insights from Coe Booth, Matt de la Pea, Walter Dean

Myers, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Gene Luen Yang. The accounts made by these authors

addressed topics like race and the media, labels affixed to authors, racism in the publishing

industry, and their inspirations for writing. These first-person accounts are the best piece of

evidence, because the editors were focusing on the authors themselves. In order to understand the

Young Adult Literature genre, one must understand the authors as well.

Like stated previously, the ALAN Review publishes materials that support the learning

and development of readers. Because of this, there are many experiments and observations made

within the high school classroom. One such example was found in the article Complicating

Race: Representation and Resistance Using Arab and Asian American Immigrant Fictions also

found in the Winter 2015 Volume. According to the article, Using experiences teaching two US
immigrant fictions, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006), by Mohja Kahf, and American

BornChinese (2006), by Gene Luen Yang, to two groups of preservice English teachers, the

authors highlight the pedagogical possibilities and challenges of incorporating US immigrant

fictions to complicate dominant constructions of race and promote understanding of immigrant

student experiences (Sams). The results of this experiment were beneficial to the students, as it

showed that, Both classes made an important move in understanding how race and ethnicity are

socially constructed and the importance of representing diverse voices; however, students often

regarded the two novels as representative of the Asian American and/or Arab American

experience While the authors encouraged students to investigate and read other texts written

by Asian American or Arab American authors, they did not require it. In future classes, they

hope to include a variety of texts by authors who identify as Asian American and Arab American

to complicate the students singular attribution of experience (Sams). This study helped students

open their eyes to new cultures, and to understand their own biases towards Asian and Arab

cultures.

In conclusion, the ALAN Review is a self-governing journal that promotes

communication among fans of the Young Adult Literature genre. Its purpose, to publish quality

articles and materials to support the learning and development of Young Adult Lit readers,

expands the understanding of both reader, and educator alike. Overall, the main resolve of this

journal is to bring readers of the YA Lit genre together, and to help them build understanding.
Works Cited

ALAN Review. ALAN Review Author Guidelines. ALAN Online, 23 Apr. 2015,

www.alan-ya.org/publications/the-alan-review/alan-review-author-guidelines/.

Booth, Coe, et al. "Race Matters: A Collaborative Conversation." ALAN Review, vol. 42, no. 2,

Winter2015, p. 8. EBSCOhost, byui.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/

login.aspx?direct=true&db=edo&AN=101695423&site=eds-live.

Garcia, Antero and Marcelle Haddix. "Reading YA with "Dark Brown Skin": Race, Community,

and Rue's Uprising." ALAN Review, vol. 42, no. 2, Winter2015, p. 37. EBSCOhost,

byui.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ed

o&AN=101695426&site=eds-live.

Sams, Brandon and Kate R. Allman. "Complicating Race: Representation and Resistance Using

Arab and Asian American Immigrant Fictions." ALAN Review, vol. 42, no. 2,

Winter2015, p. 68. EBSCOhost, byui.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.

com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edo&AN=101695429&site=eds-live.