This groundbreaking text provides practical, contextualized methods for teaching and discussing topics that are considered "taboo" in the classroom in ways that support students' lived experiences. In times when teachers are scapegoated for adopting culturally sustaining teaching practices and are pressured to "whitewash" the curriculum, it becomes more challenging to create an environment where students and teachers can have conversations about complex, uncomfortable topics in the classroom. With contributions from scholars and K-12 teachers who have used young adult literature to engage with their students, chapters confront this issue and focus on themes such as multilingualism, culturally responsive teaching, dis/ability, racism, linguicism, and gender identity. Using approaches grounded in socioemotional learning, trauma-informed practices, and historical and racial literacy, this text explores the ways in which books with complicated themes can interact positively with students' own lives and perspectives.
Ideal for courses on ELA and literature instruction, this book provides a fresh set of perspectives and methods for approaching and engaging with difficult topics. As young adult literature that addresses difficult subjects is more liable to be considered "controversial" to teach, teachers will benefit from the additional guidance this volume provides, so that they can effectively reach the very students these themes address.