Life and literature beneath the surface: Using neurodiverse young adult literature as mentor texts for narrative writing
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work6 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Albert S. Cook Library. Research & Instruction
Citation of Original PublicationDesHarnais, M., & Barker L. (2020). Life and literature beneath the surface: Using neurodiverse young adult literature as mentor texts for narrative writing. The ALAN Review, 47(3), 82-87.
When capturing the inner life of neurodiverse characters, authors of young adult literature (YAL) often make compelling, unconventional choices with structure, formatting, syntax, and diction. Stories shaped through this stylistic variety are interesting for students to analyze, and offer empowering possibilities for illustrating the range of techniques highlighted in the Common Core State Standards for narrative writing. In this article, the authors advocate for including neurodiverse YAL as mentor texts for narrative writing--for the dual purpose of exposing students to a range of writing techniques, and normalizing conversations about the brain, how it shapes our perceptions of self and others, and how our experiences shape our brains. The authors align the Common Core State Standards for narrative writing with neurodivergent YAL, outline an instructional sequence for utilizing such texts, and conclude with considerations and resources for selecting and discussing neurodiverse YAL.