On any given day, approximately 100,000 teens are in custody.  Some of them slip in and out of the juvenile correctional system, cumulatively spending years of their lives incarcerated.

Many of these teens lack basic reading skills, and research shows that literacy is one of the most important factors in their chances for avoiding recidivism.

To find out more, please visit the Stories Unlocked Project.


Guerra, S. F. (2015). Using Picture Books to Engage At-Risk Teen Writers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of International Literacy Association, St. Louis, Missouri.

Guerra, S. F. (2013). Building Literacy with At-Risk Teens. Paper presented at the annual meeting of IRA, San Antonio, Texas.

Guerra, S. F.  (2012). Using Urban Fiction to Engage At-Risk and Incarcerated Youth in Literacy Instruction, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (55)5, p 385-394.

Guerra, S. F. (2010). Reaching Out to At-Risk Teens: Building Literacy with Incarcerated Youth, PNLA Quarterly, 74:5.

Guerra, S. F. (2010). Teaching with Urban Fiction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of WORD, Redmond, WA.

Guerra, S. F. (2010). The Transformative Potential of Young Adult Urban Fiction for Incarcerated Youth. Paper presented at the annual meeting of WLA/PNLA, Victoria, Canada.

Guerra, S. F. (2009). Colonizing Bodies: Biotechnology and Corporate Power in Young Adult Science Fiction, Children’s Literature in Education, 40: 275-295.


Image courtesy of nuchylee/