The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Blends for Children and Young Adults

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

A fast-growing area in fiction for the young, genre blends allow for new possibilities and ideas, stimulating children’s imaginations. This helpful guide orients readers' advisory staff, educators, and collection development librarians with a hand-picked selection of hybrid genres and novels published since 2000. 

It’s no wonder that genre blends are some of most popular books for children and teens. When you mash up two different traditional genres, it’s like doubling what makes each one pleasurable on its own. This guide, the first of its kind, will help public and school librarians, teachers, and collections staff identify genre blends for readers' advisory, curriculum development, or creating core collections. Profiling more than 200 titles, inside its pages you’ll 

  • learn about six of the most in-demand genre blends for young readers, including Fantasy Mysteries, Magical Realism, Steampunk, and Verse Novels;
  • be introduced to each genre blend’s most compelling novels and contemporary authors;
  • understand both book appeal factors (such as genre and theme) and reader-appeal factors, assisting you in matching readers with the perfect book; 
  • receive guidance on finding genre blends for children who are facing difficult circumstances, such as their parents’ divorce, cliques in school, lack of popularity, poor body image, or self-blame; and
  • find what you’re looking for quickly and efficiently with the help of succinct annotations and a thorough index.

Series Introduction, by Joyce Saricks and Neal Wyatt

Part I        Foundations
Chapter 1    Genre Blends
Their Emergence, Appeal, and Special Considerations

Chapter 2     Reader Appeals and Book Appeals
Doorways into the RA Conversation

Part II        Annotations
Chapter 3    Graphic Novels

Chapter 4    Historical Fantasies 

Chapter 5    Historical Mysteries 

Chapter 6    Magical Realism

Chapter 7    Steampunk Fiction

Chapter 8    Verse Novels

Subject/Theme/Appeals Index
Coping with Challenges Index
Author/Title Index

Pauline Dewan

Pauline Dewan is a liaison librarian at the Brantford, Ontario campus of Wilfrid Laurier University. Co-author of Connecting Children with Classics: A Reader-Centered Approach to Selecting and Promoting Great Literature, she has also written two books about children's literature and a number of articles about reading for pleasure. Dewan served for five years on the Reader's Advisory Committee of the Ontario Library Association. She won the 2015 RUSA Press Award for her article, “Reading Matters in the Academic Library: Taking the Lead from Public Librarians.” She received her MLIS from the University of Western Ontario and her doctorate in English from York University (Toronto).

Meagan Lacy

Meagan Lacy is chief librarian at Stella & Charles Guttman Community College, CUNY. In addition to coauthoring Connecting Children with Classics (2018) with Pauline Dewan, she received the Emerging Scholar Award for her article “Portraits of Children of Alcoholics: Stories that Hope to Hope,” published in Children’s Literature in Education. She received her MLIS at the University of Washington and her MA in English at Indiana University at Indianapolis. She is currently completing her MFA in creative writing at City College, CUNY.

"This is an excellent resource for readers and students interested in discovering the concepts and backgrounds of different genre blends for children and young adult readers ... Each chapter includes an introduction to the genre, matching readers to each genre, and essential novels with summaries and breakdowns of themes, subjects, suggestions for readers for specific coping issues and tastes, and read alikes. The summaries leading up to these breakdowns are well written, comprehensive, and informative."
— Choice

"Readers' advisory can be daunting, especially for frontline library workers who have enough difficulties keeping up with current adult titles, let alone those for children and young adults. Here comes the ALA Readers' Advisory Series to the rescue, with an annotated guide to six types of genre-blending titles suitable for audiences in grades three through twelve ... This authoritative and accessible guide will be welcomed by library students and practicing professionals alike.”
— Booklist

"Dewan and Lacy both have backgrounds in children’s literature and libraries and have collaborated on these easy-to-read genre descriptions ... At present, there is a lack of guides for RA that focus solely on children and young adult genre blend literature. This guide is a timely and useful addition to the literature for filling that void. As a newcomer to RA, I am walking away with confidence to use genre blends as a source for successful RA when I am unsure of what to suggest for these age groups. Well, that and a much longer TBR list!”
— Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association