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In the high school English classroom, classic novels are taught as cornerstones of the curriculum. Although these canonical works such as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are revered for their literary merit, students often find them boring and skim through the readings or decline to read altogether. Young adult literature (YAL), a genre written for teens, may be an effective genre to teach in high school to boost student reading interest. This study aims to determine how teaching young adult literature in the high school classroom, as opposed to canonical works, affects students’ interest in the texts. A survey was administered to high school students studying YAL in Binghamton and Johnson City, NY. The survey asked students to describe their interest in an assigned YAL book and compare it to their interest in canonical novels that they have read in the past. Potential implications of this research include revising the English literature curriculum to accommodate student reading interest.



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Young Adult and Canonical Literature Instruction in the High School Classroom: Assessing Students’ Reading Interest