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Global Young Adult Literature in the Classroom: The Benefits of Introducing Global Texts to High School Students

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The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the potential benefits of introducing four specific Global Young Adult novels to high school classrooms in hopes of achieving a more culturally-responsive classroom. These novels include: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. As there are many arguments for Global YA Literature, this project focuses on the themes of the novels and the implications for the classroom. From a thematic approach, these four novels offer insight into the fluid nature of culture, as the characters must balance different identities as they move around the world. These themes can be used to create dialogue between students on cultural identity and how cultural surroundings affect their identities. These novels can also give students a more empathetic approach as they encounter cultural differences, creating a better community within the classroom.

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2015-12

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Marketing Books to Young Adults: A visual and rhetorical analysis

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Over the last several decades, young adult literature has been growing in popularity. In 1997 there were a total of 3,000 young adult books published. In 2009 that number jumped to 30,000 with sales exceeding $3 billion (Brown The Atlantic).

Over the last several decades, young adult literature has been growing in popularity. In 1997 there were a total of 3,000 young adult books published. In 2009 that number jumped to 30,000 with sales exceeding $3 billion (Brown The Atlantic). Today, Generation Z is the target young adult genre audience. Members of Generation Z are ages 12 to 17, or people born between about 1995 and 2009. This generation is accustomed to and grew up with ready access to technology. In order to garner the attention of this generation, marketers have to be more creative and focus on storytelling in their digital marketing methods. In a field saturated with titles, what methods do publishers use to distinguish their titles from others? In this thesis project I examined what visual and rhetorical elements marketers are using to draw in the young adult crowd. Visually, I utilized the criteria outlined by Dr. Frank Serafini in his book Reading the Visual. Rhetorically, I utilized the concepts of logos, ethos, pathos, and kairos. I conducted a visual and rhetorical analysis of the marketing methods implemented by young adult publishers on their young adult web platform, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and on the physical book. I selected 5 novels based on webpage placement, i.e. which novels were placed furthest up the webpage, to the left, and the largest. The webpages I examined were the ones used by the Big Five publishing houses, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Macmillan, and HarperCollins, to push out their young adult titles. Based on placement my novels were Morrighan: A Remnant Chronicles Novella by Mary E. Pearson, Other Broken Things by C. Desir, A Gatlin Wedding by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. This study found that pathos, or emotionally charged language, is the most utilized rhetorical technique. A lot of the time these emotional appeals centered on nostalgia, as 4 out of my 5 novels were part of a series. In addition there was a lot of language evoking feelings of female empowerment. Visually, all of the covers featured objects instead of people. This way, larger portions of the target audience can associate with the main character and envision themselves in that role. Finally, 2 out of the 5 books were novellas, which are companions to a series and available exclusively electronically. This shows that marketers are in some cases choosing to push out cheaper, novellas. Future studies could look at which marketing technique, since each platform varied in its medium focus, yielded the most sales. This would help marketers tailor their future efforts to Generation Z. For example, what yields more sales focusing on Twitter or Facebook? In addition, studies should look at why there is such a push for female empowerment. Since male members of Generation Z are not the target market on the publisher's website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and physical book, where are they being targeted? It is important to figure out how teenage boys select their books, as well.

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2016-05