How Teachers Are Using YA Literature in Classrooms

Guest Post by L.A. Miller

(Las Cruces, NM)—Teachers are discovering that popular young adult (YA) books can be great choices to encourage and motivate children and teens to read more and with greater enthusiasm both inside and outside school classrooms.

“Adolescents deserve access to a wide variety of material they can and want to read,” states the International Reading Association’s Adolescent Literacy Commission. The more relevant and engaging the book, the more likely the person will read it—whether that person is an adult or a kid.

The US Department of Education found that the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores.
“Today the YA book market is booming like never before, and that robust part of the publishing world is indicative of a passionate, eager, hungry readership,” says L.A. Miller, author of the science-fiction and fantasy YA book series Quests of Shadowind, which includes “Sky Shifter,” “The Grounding Stone,” and “Veil.” “And so long as you keep teens easily relating to the characters and stories in the books, you have a recipe for long-term, continuing success.”

Mr. Miller’s Quests of Shadowind is the story of a group of teens who are abducted to an alien world called Shadowind, which is inhabited by ghostly creatures, cyborg animals, and virtual humans—a land where anything is possible, including being downloaded into a cryptic, evil role-playing game. In order to survive, the youths band together as they search for a way back home.

“The most successful and best-written YA fiction, whether it’s action-packed escapism, romance-oriented, historical, or more cerebral and/or emotional, offers teachers and students an opportunity for discussion and debate,” says L.A. Miller. “But the key is that a teacher doesn’t have to strong-arm a kid to read YA novels. They’re targeted to teens just like music, TV shows, and movies.”

Thus there is an increasing trend to incorporate young adult books and other forms of literature across middle and high school curricula, states. By allowing adolescents to read good young-adult literature, educators are able to encourage independent reading, which will, in turn, help adolescents develop the skills necessary to succeed.

As reported by, YA books used in the curricula of today’s schools can:

* Help students become emotionally involved with events and people
* Aid students in understanding the world around them
* Provide lessons and insights kids can readily relate to
* Provide a shared experience for teachers and their students

“The main goal is to keep children reading, and the young adult genre is the answer,” says Mr. Miller. “YA novels can be easily incorporated into classrooms through book clubs and supplemental reading lists. This way teens will have more choices and greater desires to read and develop literary awareness.”

L.A. Miller has been writing for more than forty years. His backgrounds in science fiction, astronomy, technology, and classic literature inform his work, which has included novels, short stories and music. He is the owner of Wood n Nails Music and lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his wife and two dogs. He is the author of the Quests of Shadowind series, which includes “Sky Shifter,” “The Grounding Stone,” and “Veil.”

For more information contact L.A. Miller at or visit

Sky Shifter,” “The Grounding Stone,” and “Veil” are available and

Posted on April 18, 2013, in Education. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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