3 Novels (if you have read them, let me know & briefly prove you have read them/understand the concepts and sci-fi/fantasy conventions used within): Ender’s

3 Novels (if you have read them, let me know & briefly prove you have read them/understand the concepts and sci-fi/fantasy conventions used within): Ender’s Game, Zahrah the Windseeker, Feed

The Young Adult Library Services Association discusses Young Adult Literature and its “current condition and the value to its intended readership.” It recognizes young adulthood as a “period of passage, a unique part of life, distinguished by unique needs that are – at minimum — physical, intellectual, emotional, and societal in nature.” Futhermore, young adult literature should simultaneously “comfort and challenge” its intended readership, in order to prepare young adults for adulthood.

Compare and contrast any three of the five books we have read at the time of this essay’s due date (Ender’s Game, Zahrah the Windseeker, Feed) in relation to this description of the intentions of young adult literature.

Your response might address one or more of the following:

How are the conventions of science fiction and/or fantasy used to explore the young adult experience, (their physical, intellectual emotional, and/or societal needs)? Ex: Zahrah uses fantasy conventions of supernatural “otherness”, such as her dadalocks, in order to call upon a young adult’s need to feel like they belong (insert psychological research that supports this) even though they are unique, and the importance of self-esteem, especially for the young adults that are different.

How might each novel comfort and challenge a young adult through the conventions of sci-fi and/or fantasy? Ex: Ender’s Game comforts young adults that may feel isolated (like Ender) through his triumphs and ability to make friends, but challenges them to consider the importance of independent thought (when Ender realizes the truth of the mind games, and ultimately makes the decision to recolonize the buggers) (insert research/article that supports the notion that society needs independent thinkers, people who go against the grain in order to do the right thing, etc.)

How each novel calls on current societal issues through the conventions of sci-fi and/or fantasy? (Feed uses the sci-fi convention of “mind alteration” with the “feed” and levies the societal issue of allowing technology, such as social media and marketing tactics, to manipulate and ultimately “dumb-down” society by means of misuse or overuse, etc.)

How each novel reflects a young adult’s “period of passage” within the text compared to rites of passage found within societies around the world today.

Use at least three critical or theoretical sources. These can refer to the novels or to any relevant theorizing of adolescence/young adulthood, science fiction, or fantasy. Appropriate sources typically include books, book chapters, and papers published in academic journals.

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