Storytelling for Young Adults: A Guide to Tales for Teens, Second Edition

A powerful teaching tool and form of entertainment, storytelling has been overlooked and underused with teen audiences. But which stories work best with young adults? In this guide you’ll find suggestions for hundreds of smart and colourful tales that will get your teens’ attention, complete with brief plot summaries and bibliographic information. In addition, a bonus section includes a broad sampling of teen-tested, ready-to-tell tales. Discover tales that teens love to hear and perform. To help you pick the perfect story for your teens, storytelling expert Gail de Vos groups her diverse story suggestions by theme: Tales of the Fantastic (tales of the supernatural, horror tales, contemporary legends); Tales of the Folk (folktales, fairy tales); Tales of Life (tales about romance, family, local histories); Tales of the Spirit (myths, pourquoi tales, legends); Tales of Laughter (tall tales, tales with humorous twists and turns); and Tales of the Arts and Sciences (literary tales, fractured fairy tales, word origins).


“This updated manual has been given an attractive, modern cover; the writing is more accessible; and the use of more appealing fonts, sidebars, and bullets makes the text much easier to understand. The author stresses the importance of telling stories to young adults, and offers good advice on selecting material that will interest them. Following a chapter on storytelling basics, the book is arranged by theme and includes myths, legends, and folklore. Each section is followed by a short bibliography. All of the titles are new to this edition, so those who have the first edition will want to keep it and add this fine handbook. Title and theme indexes are included. This is a real gem for anyone working with teens.” -Susannah Price, Boise Public Library, ID, School Library Journal

“An indispensable tool for anyone interested in working with this age group.” – RBB, Booklist /Professional Reading

“A resourceful and inspiring tool for educators at the 7th – 12th grade level….de Vos makes storytelling readily available to educators in this helpful book….Gail de Vos does a superb job supplying the teen educator with all the tools needed for using storytelling in the classroom… Whether the teacher is a passionate storyteller or brand-new teller, he or she should not miss the opportunity to read, own, and use this fantastic book to bring smart and colorful stories into the teen classroom.”–Texas Speech Communication Journal

“For anyone who works with young adults in any capacity, be it as a teacher, librarian, camp counsellor, or other group leader, this book will be an absolute godsend when and if a story session rears its glorious narrative head. It will enchant, entertain, instruct and illuminate for story lovers everywhere the wonderful, magical and grand world of the storyteller’s art.”–Canadian Folk Music Bulletin

“The strength of this text is that the author has been storytelling with teens for fifteen years, so the recommended stories have the force of being “tried and true” with this age group.”–VOYA

“While de Vos’s background as a librarian, storyteller, teacher, and scholar brings a special perspective to this subject, the material covered goes beyond an application to young adults. In fact, the book comprises an ambitious survey of ‘contemporary urban legends.’ . . . There is material in this book to inspire a whole new generation of urban legend scholars to investigate folklore forms, once exchanged orally, as transformed into popular culture products circulated electronically or in print and images.”— Jan Harold Brunvand, Journal of Folklore Research (full review)

”What Happens Next? is a unique and explorative book tracing the evolution of contemporary (or urban) legends from their oral storytelling roots through today’s immersion in media and technology. . . . An excellent book with creative ideas in an area lacking in research resources.”—ARBA (cover and link to publisher bumpf)