Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Health Issues

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Cynthia Ann Bowman
Greenwood Press, 2000 - Education - 313 pages
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Today, traditional illnesses and high risk behaviors of adolescents have become interrelated through the multitude of physical, social and emotional changes young people experience. Good literature which gives adolescents the truth has incredible power to heal and to renew. This reference resource provides a link for teachers, media specialists, parents, and other adults to those novels that can help adolescents struggling with health issues. Educators and therapists explore novels where common health issues are addressed in ways to captivate teens. Using fictional characters, these experts provide guidance on encouraging adolescents to cope while improving their reading and writing skills.

With the advancement in medicine, traditional types of health issues such as birth defects, cancer, and sensory impairment have shifted to more behavior related problems such as depression, alcoholism, and eating disorders. All of these issues and others are examined from both a literary and psychological perspective in thirteen chapters that explore health issues through fiction. Each chapter confronts a different health issue and is written by a literature specialist who has teamed up with a therapist. In each novel, these experts define the central character's struggle in coming to terms with an issue and growing in response to their difficulties. Annotated bibliographies of other works, both fiction and nonfiction, explore these same issues give readers insight into helping teenagers with similar problems, and provide the tools with which to get teenagers reading and addressing these problems.

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Birth Defects and Disability
Issues of Disability
Fiction for Young

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About the author (2000)

CYNTHIA ANN BOWMAN is Assistant Professor of English Education at Florida State University./e She is Chair of the CEE Commission for the Preparation of Teachers with Disabilities.

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