Press Release – SF/Fantasy Key to Teen Literacy



Findings presented at national American Library Association conference reveal science fiction & fantasy literal gateway drugs to youth literacy

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS |  July 11, 2009 | Utah’s newest author, John Brown, summarized statistics and research at the 2009 national American Library Association (ALA) conference held in Chicago which suggest that science fiction and fantasy are two of the main gateway drugs to literacy for youth. Data provided by Nielsen BookScan, public libraries, and recent studies published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), suggest that at least 1 in 3 youths read for the effect produced by Science Fiction and Fantasy. “However,” says Brown, “given library circulation statistics, that number may well be 2 out of 3. These are incredible numbers, and have important implications for youth reading programs.”

According to Brown, “the latest research in emotion shows that reading fiction produces a physical response, as real and physical a response as when we take aspirin, alcohol, or crack. The good thing is that while stimulating pleasure centers, it doesn’t change the brain the way hard drugs do. Furthermore, it also carries the powerful and desirable side-effect of improving reading skills. The key is in finding the type of fiction which appeals to the given age group. And for youth it appears that drug of choice is science fiction and fantasy.”

John Brown’s epic fantasy for teens and adults, Servant of a Dark God, will be released in October 2009 by Tor Books, the largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy in the world. For more information see the links below.

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