Cover image for Using literature to help troubled teenagers cope with end-of-life issues.
Using literature to help troubled teenagers cope with end-of-life issues.
Allen, Janet, 1950-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxv, 233 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF724.3.G73 A55 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Losing a loved one is a scary and confusing event for teenagers, but one that can be made easier through the use of literature and informed mentoring from a caring adult. This teacher friendly reference resource and bibliography provides tools for those who work with young adults to help them come to terms with the grieving process. Literacy experts and counseling professionals are uniquely paired in each chapter to explore specific types of loss and ways in which professionals can help students to explore their feelings by reading about those in similar situations. This novel approach encourages young people to cope with their losses while improving their literacy skills.

Aware of the many ways in which adolescents can suffer loss, Allen has chosen a different theme for each chapter. These themes vary from coping with the death of a parent, to coping with violent deaths, to coping with an AIDS-related death. Annotated bibliographies in each chapter provide a wealth of information for those seeking the materials they need to address these issues, and original pieces written by young adult authors provide a rich context from which to work.

Author Notes

JANET ALLEN is an international consultant recognized for her literacy work with at-risk students. She is the author of It's Never Too Late: Leading Adolescents to Lifelong Literacy , There's Room for Me Here: Literacy Workshop in the Middle School , Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12 , and Yellow Brick Roads: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading 4-12 .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Helping bereaved teenagers cope and create meaning from loss through death is important. In Western society, stigma and denial shroud death, but education can illuminate the issues and open a dialog. Allen offers evocative stories with commentary, activities, resources, references, and writing exercises, but two major problems compromise this teaching aid. First, the editor bases the book on a flawed premise--the stage-theory of grief--which, although popular, is outdated and lacks empirical support and cross-cultural relevance. Research does not confirm that going through stages is effective or that being literate improves mental health. Second, many strong assertions and facts in the preface and the body of the book lack solid research support and are misleading. For example, suicide risk factors lack references; most suicidal teens do talk about suicide before attempting it and require referral to a counselor. And early sexual debut alone does not increase HIV risk, but unsafe sex does; a preventive focus is needed (e.g., prevention by early HIV treatment during pregnancy). Meaning Reconstruction & the Experience of Loss, ed. by Robert Neimeyer (CH, Oct'01), offers a more effective and current theory of grief and bereavement. Not recommended. S. M. Valente University of Southern California

Table of Contents

Joan F. KaywellJanet AllenAngela Shelf MedearisSteve PuckettAngela Shelf MedearisJanet Allen and Myrna LewinPaul B. JaneczkoDenise P. Beasley and Carin M. BeasleyRalph FletcherKyle E. Gonzalez and Cynthia G. Clark and Denise P. BeasleyAnne E. Cobb and Maribeth EkeyRobert CormierJulie Joynt and Patricia H. FedorSharon DraperCharlie Aubuchon and Melanie WeberSara HolbrookJoanne Ratliff and Maureen McGartySara Holbrook
Series Forewordp. xi
A Letter from Robert Cormierp. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Introduction: Shared Grieving and Celebrationp. xxiii
"Grey"p. 1
Chapter 1 Helping Teens Cope through Sharing Their Stories about Deathp. 3
A Letter from Angela Shelf Medearisp. 23
"Immune"p. 24
Chapter 2 Discovering Life in Death: Confronting AIDS-Related End-of-Life Issues in It Happened to Nancyp. 25
A Letter from Paul B. Janeczkop. 57
"So Many Days"p. 58
Chapter 3 Giving Words to the Grief: Using Two Moons in August, Saying It Out Loud, and Tiger Eyes to Explore the Death of a Parentp. 61
"A Steaming Bowl of Happiness" from Fig Puddingp. 87
A Letter from Ralph Fletcherp. 88
Chapter 4 Making Sense of Sibling Loss: Using A Summer to Die as a Guide through the Grief Journeyp. 91
A Letter from Jan Cheripkop. 105
Chapter 5 The Legacies of Our Lives: Exploring the Loss of a Grandparent with A Ring of Endless Lightp. 109
From Tendernessp. 143
Chapter 6 Pencils, Books, and Guns: Violence Goes to Schoolp. 145
A Letter from Sharon Draperp. 169
"Bandaids and Five-Dollar Bills"p. 171
Chapter 7 The Year without Michael: Exploring Unresolved End-of-Life Issuesp. 173
A Letter from Sara Holbrookp. 189
"One, Taken to Heart...for Wendy"p. 190
Chapter 8 Remembering the Good Times: Making a Life Memorable after Suicidep. 193
"Finals"p. 211
Indexp. 213
About the Contributorsp. 227