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Teaching Tolerance Magazine Examines the Use of Young Adult Non-Fiction to Expand Social Studies Curriculum

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The struggle social studies teachers face in using standard textbooks to provide K-12 students a robust knowledge of history and current events may be lessened by integrating young adult versions of popular historical non-fiction works into the social studies curriculum, according to the latest issue of the Teaching Tolerance magazine.

“The New YA,” the cover story for the Spring issue of the magazine, features Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, and others who write adaptations of popular works of non-fiction such as I am Malala, Hidden Figures, and An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for young people. The style of these texts provides academically-based knowledge that resonates with students and aids them in gaining a more complete picture of American history and social justice issues. 

“The average social studies textbook usually tells a very lopsided story of our history,” said Monita Bell, managing editor for Teaching Tolerance magazine. “‘The New YA’ shows how teachers can use young readers’ editions to introduce students to a range of perspectives, which helps them better understand the complexities of the past and how it influences the present.”

Other articles in the magazine:

The 2020 Spring issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine is available online at

Teaching Tolerance magazine, published three times a year, is the nation’s leading journal serving educators on diversity issues. It is distributed free of charge to more than 410,000 educators nationwide.