The goal of this book is to help address middle and high school classroom teachers', administrators', and parents' immediate need for basic information about how to build adolescents' reading and writing skills. Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and consider their personal lives. They will need literacy to cope with the flood of information they will find everywhere they turn. They will need literacy to feed their imagination so they can create the world of the future. Despite the call for today's adolescents to achieve higher levels of literacy than previous generations, approximately 8.7 million 4th-12th grade students struggle with the reading and writing tasks that are required of them in school. Ongoing difficulties with reading and writing figure prominently in the decision to drop out of school.
These indicators suggest that literacy instruction should continue beyond the elementary years and should be tailored to the more complex forms of literacy that are required of adolescent students in middle and high school. The purpose of this book is to summarise and discuss the most recent adolescent literacy research and to describe promising research-based instructional practices that can improve an adolescent's academic reading and writing skills.