Engl 190 Young Adult Literature

This research guide is to help students enrolled in English 190 - Young Adult (YA) Literature

Find Articles, Books, & More About YA Literature

Find Sources about YA Fiction & Themes

One Search

The Holman Library One Search searches across ALL of our databases, video, and book collections at once. 

This can be helpful! It can also be overwhelming. 

  • Try the One Search or use the tabs in this box to find more focused approaches.
What should I type in the One Search box?
  • Type in words that capture what you want to learn about. Do a range of searches to find your best sources!
    • Type in a book title or author - to find works about the book and/or author ( as well as works by them).
    • Type in broad ideas, such as:
      • "young adult fiction" AND LGBTQ 
      • BIPOC AND "YA fiction"
      • dystopi* AND YA OR "young adult" AND fiction OR novels OR literature (this is the sample search below)

One Search: dystopi* AND ya lit

Search Tips:
  • Put phrases in quotes, as I did with "young adult" above.
  • Use the asterisk to truncate, or search for forms of a root word. In my example DYSTOPI* searches for dystopias or dystopic. 
  • Keep it simple. Connect ideas using AND. In the sample above I connect the basic ideas of dystopias, YA, and fiction on three separate lines. I could also have just tried "young adult literature" or "young adult fiction"
  • Use OR for synonyms and related ideas. In the sample above I typed in YA OR "young adult" to look for both/ either. 

How to Choose from your Search Results:

My search above found over 7,000 things, including books, articles, and videos.

  • Click on a title to learn more about a source. Scroll down to the source description and subject terms.
  • Use filters to limit your search.
  • Consider source type. Information is created for different purposes and that can be helpful for you to consider!
Source Types in the Library

See what others have written about specific YA books and authors, as well as topics and genres in YA literature. 


Look for introductory overviews and background information to get a sense of how others view a book, an introduction to historical or cultural context, or for an overview of a genre.

  • Find topic and work overviews in Gale Literature.
  • Find background essays by limiting to Reference in the One Search or by searching directly within Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Book Reviews and News

Look for book reviews and news for a generally more introductory discussion of the book. You will see that some reviews are more substantial than others; look for reviews that say something interesting.  

  • You can limit to reviews from the One Search menu or in specific databases.

Look for more in depth discussions on Young Adult Literature in books.

  • Use the One Search to find books.
Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journals

Look for scholarly analysis of YA texts and YA literature in scholarly journals. 

  • You can limit to Peer Reviewed Scholarly Journals only in the One Search or in individual databases.
Education Resources

Look for articles about education and YA books.

  • Use the database ERIC or the One Search. 

Background Sources

Academic Encyclopedia articles and the Topic and Work Overviews in Gale Literature can provide a helpful introduction to concepts, contexts, authors, books, genres, etc. 

  • In Gale Literature, limit to Topic and Work Overviews to get started.
  • In GVRL, you can limit to the Literature Collection to find articles about literature.
  • In One Search, use the filters to limit to Reference. 

Sample Search in Gale Literature of "young adult fiction" limited to Topic and Work Overviews. (Click on image to elnarge)

Topic and Work Overviews in Gale Literature on "young adult fiction"

Find Books about YA Literature

Special Collection on YA Lit:

Browse our collection of books about YA literature:

One Search for additional Books

Cast a broader search with the One Search to find print and digital books about YA books and themes. 

Literary Criticism

Literary Criticism is analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of authors and their works of literature. 

  • Literary "criticism" is not necessarily negative. "Criticism" means a thoughtful critique of an author's work or an author's style in order to better understand the meaning, symbolism or influences of a particular piece or a body of literature.

  • Literary critical analysis is written for a scholarly audience, as well as students and professionals.

  • Book reviews written for the general public may offer sustained analysis but are generally intended to recommend or not recommend texts.

Use databases on this page to find a range of perspectives on your literary texts and authors.

Tip: Limit to Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journals when possible to limit to scholarship. 

  • You will also find news, book reviews, and interviews in these databases.

Sample Articles: 

Education & YA Lit 

Find professional resources in Books, ERIC, and the Professional Development Collection

Use these tools to find information on:

  • teaching about a range of issues and topics
  • teaching skills and literacy
  • supporting students
  • using different kinds of texts in the classroom. 

You may not find much on your specific literary work. Search instead for:

  • broader information on teaching about issues, themes, and histories in and with YA lit
  • articles and books on similarly themed or formatted works! 
    • Example: "civil rights" AND "adolescent literature"
    • Example: "literacy skills"
    • Example: "graphic novels" AND education

Tip: Look for Subject Terms to find the most relevant sources.

Find Books for Educators

Use the search below to look for books and ebooks in the library's collection.

Holman Library logo

Search by keyword, topic, or title - or try clicking on one of the subject searches linked below.

Information for Different Purposes & Audiences

Source: "Types of Information Sources" by Research 101, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn how to identify various information sources including news periodicals, trade publications, academic papers, and conference proceedings

Does your assignment require you to use specific kinds of information? Be sure to check!