“I believe that young adult literature saves lives, and I am living proof of that.”
— Dr. Joan Kaywell, Professor of English Education (retired), University of South Florida
Ted Hipple, a pioneering scholar and champion of literature for adolescents, often lamented the swift journey of young adult books from manuscript, to publication, to out-of-print unavailability. In 2007, USF’s Dr. Joan Kaywell dedicated a collection of young adult literature to Special Collections in honor of Ted Hipple that seeks to safeguard the legacy of young adult literature.
Beginning with dime novels and progressing through the boys’ and girls’ series books of the 20th century to the contemporary young adult literature of the Hipple Collection, USF Libraries Special Collections provides a place to study the comprehensive history of literature for American adolescents. In the Hipple Collection, Special Collections provides access to outstanding young adult literature published after 1970 that speaks to the social, emotional, and cultural challenges of adolescence.
The Hipple Collection has grown from an initial 333 books donated by Dr. Kaywell and members of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents as well as YA authors to over 4,000 titles, ranging from the iconic works of Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton to the hand-drawn comic panels for Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Signed first editions, manuscripts, authors’ working notes, and page proofs provide a window to explore the genre’s creation. It also provides teachers and adolescent readers with materials that combat prejudice, promote tolerance, and encourage self-acceptance through examples of teenagers successfully dealing with the psychological, social, and cultural issues associated with coming of age.
The Kaywell Award, originally given by the Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE) and now part of the Hipple Collection of Young Adult Literature in Special Collections at the USF Libraries, is given to the book that best represents an adolescent’s overcoming a situation—not of his or her own making—in such a way to provide significant insight and hope to a reader. Read more about the award here.
Now available online: Hipple Collection of Young Adult Literature Digital Manuscripts (Digital Collection)
USF provides access to the digital manuscripts and working papers of some young adult literature authors. Click here to explore these items.