Final Exam:  English 321—Masterpieces of American YA Literature

Grant T. Smith, Ph. D.


1.    Defend Young Adult Literature as a legitimate genre for study in college campuses.  Or, argue why the genre is not an appropriate genre for a general education literature course.

2.    Choose on of the texts that we studied this semester and discuss how that text impressed you at any or all of these levels:


·        Intellectual

·        Spiritual

·        Social

·        Educational

·        Emotional

·        Civic

·        Political

·        Personal


3.    We have discussed gender issues this semester with several novels: Invincible Louisa, Caddie Woodlawn, Miracles on Maple Hill, The Body.”  What previous assumptions about gender have you begun to question because of our discussion?  What assumptions about gender have you concluded are “true” because of our discussions?

4.    Choose one of the characters from Keesha’s House and tell the class what you learned from this character.

5.    Assuming that one day you may be a parent, which of these novels would you want to have taught at school to your child?  At what age?  Why did you choose that novel?

6.    Is True Believer a “subversive” text?  How does the book subvert our assumptions  about the following:


·        Race

·        Sexuality

·        Class

·        Religion – What is a “true believer”? 

·        Identity “Definitions of Self”

·        Gender (masculinity and femininity)

·        Language and Discourse


7.    What is your response to the “verse novel” format used by Frost and Euwer?  You should read Smith’s essay on the verse novel before you answer this question.

8.    What did you learn about “race” from reading Sounder and Monster?  How did our discussion on the novels affect your assumptions about race?