The Readers' Advisory Guide to Street Literature

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Foreword by New York Times best-selling author Teri Woods

Street lit, also known as urban fiction, addresses with unflinching grit the concerns and problems of city living. Controversial in some quarters, it is also wildly popular, and this readers' advisory by street lit expert Morris

  • Sketches out the rich history of the genre, showing why it appeals so strongly to readers and providing a quick way for street lit novices to get up to speed
  • Covers a variety of subgenres in terms of scope, popularity, style, major authors and works, and suggestions for readers' advisory
  • Helps improve library customer service by strengthening the relationship between staff and any street lit fans who are new to the library

Emphasizing an appreciation for street lit as a way to promote reading and library use, Morris's book helps library staff provide knowledgeable guidance.

Foreword, by Teri Woods



Chapter 1. "It's Like a Movie in My Head": Street Lit and Its Appeal to Readers
Chapter 2. From Moll Flanders to The Coldest Winter Ever: A Historical Timeline of Street Lit
Chapter 3. The Streets Are Callin': The Street as a Literary Motif
Chapter 4. The Diversity within Street Lit: Themes and Subgenres
Chapter 5. Street-Lit Readers' Advisory: Expanding on the Patrons' Expertise
Chapter 6. Toning It Down: Teen-Friendly Street Lit
Chapter 7. "Who Put This Book on the Shelf?": Collection Strategies for Street Lit
Chapter 8. Characters outside the Cover: How Librarians, Authors, and Readers Read Street Lit
Chapter 9. Hustlin' Street Lit: Pushin' Books and Programs

Epilogue: BEEF: Bringin' Extreme Explanations to the Forefont of Street Lit

Works Cited

Literature Cited

Street-Literature Publishers

Vanessa Irvin Morris

Vanessa Irvin Morris is an Assistant Professor at the College of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA (The iSchool at Drexel). She has spent 20 years serving in academic, special, school media, and public libraries. Her research interests include the socio-cultural anthropology of small, urban, and rural libraries, literacy practices of public service librarians, and literacy practices enacted and learned in Second Life. Morris founded and facilitated a teen book club focusing on street lit, working with inner-city teens at a Philadelphia library from 2005-2008. She is currently pursuing her EdD and is conducting her dissertation research on Street Literature as Collaborative Inquiry for Urban Public Service Librarians" at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She blogs at Street Literature. She was awarded the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Zora Neale Hurston Award in 2012."

"In this comprehensive book, Morris provides excellent input to aid in collection devlopment and includes a list of publishers."
--School Library Journal