ERIC Number: ED326869
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Religion as a Source of Strength or Weakness in Young Adult Literature.
A survey of books for young people reveals that some of the best (and even award-winning) novels deal with the controversial issue of religion. Although most of these books deal with religion only in the background, some clearly present this issue in the forefront. One book, Cynthia Rylant's "A Fine White Dust" (1986), traces a religious quest. In this story the reader sees a young man, at the end of the seventh grade, making a revival which will change his life. The pattern is a rather common one--when religion is portrayed as a sincere faith or relationship with God, it is usually seen as a positive benefit. When churches or religious leaders are portrayed, their image is often negative, as seen in "Is That You, Miss Blue?" by M. E. Kerr. Organized religion as experienced in a religious school is a sham compared to the true religious experience of the heroine. "Beyond the Chocolate War" (1985) by Robert Cormier and "Tree by Leaf" (1988) by Cynthia Voight are representative of novels that depict the suffering of religious people in their quest for personal meaning. These and other books show the hunger for God and the search for spiritual meaning in life present in young people today, and, as such, are worthy of study. (A list of 10 religious books for adolescents is attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Controversial Topics; Religious Experiences
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (80th, Atlanta, GA, November 16-21, 1990).