Document Type


Publication Title

Changing English

Publication Date



Young adult literature, critical literacy, dystopian YAL, censorship


We advocate for the reading of young adult literature (YAL) as a means for justice-oriented education, and we also recognize how the recent surge in challenges to youth-centered texts in the U.S. attempts to limit such work in classrooms. In response, we wondered about the ways in which YAL offers pathways for critically framing and situating global concerns, such as censorship, in time and space as a means of entering public conversations on issues. In this article, we offer waypoints as a critical reading framework for approaching sociopolitical issues in YAL as gateways for shifts in perspectives, orientations, and actions towards justice. We argue that such a framework for approaching YAL can help further unravel the social issues critical literacy aims to name and act on by locating topics in relation to politics and power.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.


First published in Changing English (2024).

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.