Reading the Adolescent Romance: Sweet Valley High and the Popular Young Adult Romance Novel is a new book written by SILS alumna Amy Pattee (Ph.D. '04). The book, which is an extension of Pattee’s dissertation work at SILS, focuses on Francine Pascal’s popular series, Sweet Valley High.
In this book, she discusses the ways the series responded to changes in young adult literature as well as challenged some of the conventions of romance fiction. Pattee says that SILS was instrumental in preparing her for this work.
“As a doctoral student at SILS, I had the opportunity to work as a teaching fellow and instruct students in the children's and young adult literature courses,” she said. “Without this valuable experience, I probably would not have been prepared for my current job as a professor at Simmons.”
Pattee is also grateful for interdisciplinary options she discovered while at SILS. “At the time that I was a student at SILS, not many doctoral students were working with children's and young adult literature, so I was free to craft my own program of study,” she said. “As part of this flexibility, I was able to earn a graduate certificate in cultural studies while working towards my doctorate at SILS. I think that this opportunity has really broadened my academic perspective with regards to children's and young adult literature.”
"I'm immensely proud of Amy for producing this wonderful addition to the literature on young adult romance fiction," said Dr. Brian Sturm, associate professor and Pattee's advisor while at SILS. "Amy was the kind of student who knew what she wanted and went after it at top speed (she finished her Ph.D. in three years). This book is evidence of her continued focus and commitment to providing thoughtful new perspectives to the field."
Pattee graduated from SILS in 2004 and is currently an associate professor and co-director of the Dual Degree Program in LIS/Children's Literature at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She was also awarded tenure last year.