ERIC Number: EJ1017479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Incarceration, Identity Formation, and Race in Young Adult Literature: The Case of "Monster" versus "Hole in My Life"
Engles, Tim; Kory, Fern
English Journal, v102 n4 p53-58 Mar 2013
English teachers can heighten awareness of the factors that influence racial disparities in arrest and incarceration rates by working with literature that dramatizes the differences between white and nonwhite experiences within the US criminal justice system. Tim Engles and Fern Kory demonstrate some methods for doing so by juxtaposing two award-winning works of young adult literature with mug shots on their covers--"Monster," a novel by Walter Dean Myers, and "Hole in My Life," a memoir by Jack Gantos. The authors also suggest ways of introducing students to theoretical concepts that clarify the role of racial classifications on identify formation, and on the negotiations of differently-raced youth with the US criminal justice system. "Monster" and "Hole in My Life" are both designed to function as "scared-straight" warning tales, and readers will not be tempted to imitate the terrifying journeys taken by Steve and Jack.
Descriptors: English Teachers, Institutionalized Persons, Correctional Institutions, Classification, Self Concept, Law Enforcement, Racial Differences, Whites, Adolescent Literature, Awards, Crime
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site: http://www.ncte.org/journals
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
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