Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm is a Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project, and works in local schools as part of a Virtual Professional Development Site Network. Dr. Wilhelm has authored or co-authored 23 texts about literacy teaching and learning, and has won the two top research awards in English Education.
Are books such as vampire novels, mysteries, and fantasy “real” literature? Do they have a place in the education of today’s children? In this podcast, Dr. Wilhelm reviews some highlights from a current study about how passionate adolescent readers of non-traditional texts (such as graphic novels, manga, series books, video game novels, narrative video games, dystopian, vampire, horror, and fantasy narratives) engage with such texts. He explores the deep psychological needs, satisfactions and uses these readers have for such texts, and the implications for psychological development, reading, and learning inside and outside of school. He also examines the implications for parenting, instruction, reading programs, libraries and the like. The findings of this study will be published in a forthcoming book from Scholastic Publishers tentatively entitled Let Them Read Trash.