English 394 – Literature for Young People

MWF: 9 - 9:50 a.m. MC 338       
Grant T. Smith, Ph. D.
Phone: 796-3485
Office: MC 536
January, 2005

Syllabus

Required Texts:

Because I am assigning so many young adult works for this class (approximately 25) I am not going to assign a textbook. However, I will put on reserve in the library several texts, and I will occasionally ask that those of you are education majors read different chapters from those texts.  The required reading texts are listed in bold face on the syllabus calendar.

 

Intended Student Learning Outcomes:

Instructional Activities:

Methods of Assessment:

Helpful Links:


Reading and Discussion Schedule

Week One, January 17: IntroductionWhat Is Literature for Young People?
Read Chapters One, Two and Eleven in Using Young Adult Literature (on reserve in the library).  Click here for "What is Young Adult Literature?"  Click here for an outline by Dr. Betty Marcoux on the history of YA literature.
Read the following essays and two short stories on reserve in the library:

Click here for a list of "Lifetime developmental tasks that confront adolescents"
Click here for Teaching Tolerance Home Web Page

 

Week Two, January 24:  Individuation and Difference: Defining the masculine and feminine self.  How accepting am I of "Difference"?

Read True Believer by Virginia Wolff Euwer

Read Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos; Click here for discussion questions for Joey Pigza Loses Control and True Believer; Click here for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association Web Page

Read Luna: A Novel by Julie Anne Peters

Additional readings:  Make Lemonade by Euwer and the other Joey Pigza books by Gantos as well as Hole in My Life by Gantos.

Click here for an interview with Jack Gantos on learning disabilities, and here for an interview with Virginia Wolff Euwer

Read Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja

Read Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Click here for discussion questions on Ragged Dick
Click here for an excellent web site on Horatio Alger
Click here for the Horatio Alger Society web page
Click here for an excellent web site on Louisa May Alcott
Click here for a Teacher's Resource Guide on Louisa May Alcott
Click here for an essay on Marmee
Click here for a description of the "Cult of True Womanhood"

There are many good books on adolescent boys and reading.  I have placed the following on reserve in the library:  Reading Don't Fix No Chevys: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men by Smith and Wilhelm; Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture by Newkirk; and Teenage Boys and High School English by Pirie.

 

Week Three, January 31:  Dealing with the Difficult Issue of Loss
Read Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White and Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Read The Canning Season by Polly Horvath  Click here for Horvath's Home Page

Click here for Sharon Creech's instructional home page
Click here for a web site on strategies for grieving
Click here for some discussion questions on Walk Two Moons and here for Grant T. Smith's essay on "missing mothers."
Click here for an "Across the Curriculum" lesson plan for Walk Two Moons

 

Week Four, February 7: Race
Read Monster by Walter Dean Myers.  Click here for an essay by Myers on Monster and reading

Click here for a web site on Walter Dean Myers
Click here for some discussion questions on Monster
Click here for an essay by Chris Booker, "The State of Black Male America: 1998"

Read Busting the Sarge by Christopher Curtis

Read The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Read Parrot in the Oven : Mi Vida by Victor Martinez

Read Chapter Seven in Using Young Adult Literature (on reserve in the library)
Read Chapters One – Three in The Peaceable Classroom (on reserve in the library).

Read The Land by Mildred Taylor

Click here for a resource file on Mildred Taylor

Click here for an interview with Taylor on The Land
Read Black Boy by Richard Wright

Read I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson

Click here for some Reader Response questions for I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This

Click here for a web site on Jacqueline Woodson teaching tips

Week Five, February 14:  Dealing with Violence
Read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson; Click here for Anderson's home page

Click here for a lesson plan on Speak and discussion questions for Speak

Read Shooter by Walter Dean Myers

Read The Song of an Innocent Bystander by Ian Bone

Read Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

Read Chapters Three, Four, Five and Six in Using Young Adult Literature (on reserve in the library).
Read Out of Control by Norma Fox Mazer

Week Six, February 21: What Can We Learn from Adventure and Romance?
Read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Click here for a Stargirl study guide

Read Holes by Louis Sachar
Click here for discussion questions on Holes; Click here for a gigantic list of palindromes

Click here for a variety of lesson plans on Holes

Read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Click here for a web site on Gary Paulsen that has several additional links
Click here for my essay on Hatchet
Click here for lecture notes on the survival genre and Hatchet
Read Julie of the Wolves

Read Chapter Six in Using Young Adult Literature
 

Week Seven, February 28: Poetry
Read Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

Read Keesha's House by Helen Frost

Read Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Read Pass the Poetry Please by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Individual presentations  -- Bring your favorite poem to class

 

Week Eight, March 7:   Spring Break

Week Nine: March 14 Dealing with Censorship Issues--Religion, Language, Sex
Read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher;  Review Dr. Smith's lesson plan on Whale Talk.  Click here for KIDSREACH lesson plan on Whale Talk.  Click here for discussion questions on censorship and Whale Talk

Read Godless by Pete Hautman

Read Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Read The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene.  Click here for a definition of homophobia.  Click here for a Teaching Tolerance essay on homophobia.  Click here for a good criticism of Stephan Jones.
Read Chapters Four – Seven in The Peaceable Kingdom
Read Chapter Ten in Using Young Adult Literature

Read The Giver by Lois Lowry
Click here for a web site on The Giver that includes a lesson plan on The Giver.
Click here for a web site on Lois Lowry
Read Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez
Click here for an NCTE web site on anti-censorship

Presentation on Censorship:  Melissa Johnson, Carmen Geier, Rachel Collins
 

Week Ten, March 21:  Realism:  Has Literature for Young People Become Increasingly Depressing and Dispiriting?
Read The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier  Click here for an outline on evil.

Click here for a review of The Rag and Bone Shop.  Click here for "The Psychological Impact of Troubling YA Literature on Adolescent Readers in the Classroom"  Click here for "The Circus Animals' Desertion"  Click here for a short essay on the poem.

Read Welcome to Lizard Motel: Children, Stories and the Mystery of Making Things Up by Barbara Feinberg.  Click here for a New York Times review of the book.

Read Chapter Eight in Using Young Adult Literature
Read Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Read The Pigman by Paul Zindel -- Click here for a web site on The Pigman
Click here for my essay on The Pigman

Read The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Click here for a web site on Robert Cormier
Read Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
Read Chapters Eight – Epilogue of The Peaceable Kingdom

Presentation on Realism:  Lyndsey Langer, Amanda Kuehl
 

Easter Break: March 24-28

 

Week Eleven, March 28: Rite of Passage
Read When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
Click here for the official web site for Kimberly Willis Holt.  Click here for a comprehensive web site on Zachary Beaver.  Click here for an essay on how obesity is represented in YA fiction
Read Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Read Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Read The Earth, My Butt, and other Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Read Chapter Nine in Using Young Adult Literature.  Click here for an outline of male and female individuation. Click here for the application of Gilligan's theory of female individuation in a young adult novel
Read Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

Click here for a nice web age on Joan Bauer

Read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Click here for a web site on The Catcher in the Rye that has many useful links

Presentation on Rite of Passage: Brianna Kappen, Heidi Bauman, Jessica Koenen
 

 

Week Twelve, April 4: Historical Fiction
Read Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe and Getting Away with Murder by Chris Crowe

Click here for the Jim Crow Laws web site on Emmett Till

The Lynching of Emmett Till

Click here for Bob Dylan's lyrics to "The Death of Emmett Till"

Click here for the PBS schedule for "The Murder of Emmett Till."

Read A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Read The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
Click here for a web site on Shakespeare (complete with music!)
Click here for a second good web site on Shakespeare
Click here for a high school web site on the Elizabethan Period
Read The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Read Indian Captive by Lois Lenski

Presentation on Historical Fiction:  Jennifer Tjoflat, Jon Orman, Josh Rein

 

Week Thirteen, April 11:  How Do We Deal with Environmental Issues?
Read Hoot by Carl Hiassen

Click here for a lesson plan on Hoot
Presentation on the Environment: Shannen Nargang, Sarah Wendland

 

Week Fourteen, April 18: What Can We Learn from Fantasy and Sports?
Read The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Read Embracing Victory: Life Lessons in Competition and Compassion, New Choices for Women by Mariah Burton Nelson on reserve in the library.  Look at the short stories in A Whole Other Ball Game: Women's Literature on Women's Sport edited by Joli Sandez on reserve in the library

Read Night Hoops by Carl Deuker

Read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Read the Introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on reserve in the library
Read Ella Enchanted by Gale Carson Levine
Read Painting the Black by Carl Deuker
Read Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Read Alex Archer in Lane Three by
Read The Lovers are Losers by Cynthia Voigt
Click here to read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on line
Click here for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Web Site
Click here for a second Oz Web Site
Click here for a critical site on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Click here to read my essay on the image of female athletes in YA literature

Presentation on Fantasy/Sports: Nicole Eckland, Shannon Slaght, Jeane Mallett

 

Week Fifteen, April 25: Non-fiction
Read Invisible Enemies: Stories of Infectious Diseases by Jeanette Farrell
Read The Ditchdigger’s Daughters by Yvonne Thornton
Click here for Yvonne Thornton's official web site

Read Harlem Stomp: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill
Read In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke

Click here for a web site on Irene Gut Opdyke
Click here for Holocaust Pictures Exhibition
Click here for Daring To Resist -- Stories of Three Women Who Resisted the Holocaust
Click here for a web site on the Holocaust

Presentation on Non-fiction: Melissa Morgan, Amber Reid, Ryan Hamilton

 

Weeks Sixteen, May 2,
Presentation on Race: Tharren Appleton, Mary Jilek, Daniel Nelson

Conclusion
 

Final Exam Week: May 9

Final Exam Discussion Questions:  Click here for Discussion Questions

 

Policies:

 

 

Reading List of Young Adult Books
Introduction:

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Realism:

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Contender by Robert Lipsyte

Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers

"Almost a Man" by Richard Wright

Black Boy by Richard Wright

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Curtis

Miriam’s Well by Lois Ruby

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli

What Jamie Saw by Carol Coman

Rite of Passage:

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt

In Summer Light by Zibby Oneal

The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene

The Bear by William Faulkner

The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Chris Crutcher

Jacob Have I Loved by K. Paterson

Out of Control by Norma Fox Mazer

Chinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher

Deliver Us from Evie by M.E. Kerr

Chinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher
 
 

Historical Fiction:

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

Night by Elie Wiesel

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Indian Captive by Lois Lenski

Harriet and the Promised Land by Jacob Lawrence

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Victor by Mordicai Gerstein

Bull Run by Paul Fleischman

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Crane

Adventure and Romance:

Deathwatch by Robb White

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan

The Boyfriend and The Girlfriend by R.L. Stine

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

Whatever Happened to Janie? By Caroline B. Cooney

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by AVI

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

In the Middle of the Night by Robert Cormier

Downriver by Will Hobbs

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Crash by Jerry Speinelli

A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Fantasy and Sports:

Stinker from Space by Pamela F. Service

Painting the Black by Carl Deuker

Alex Archer in Lane Three by Tessa Duder

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Others See Us by William Sleator

The Trouble with Lemons by Daniel Hayes

Ella Enchanted by gail carson levine

Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books by Francesca Lia Black

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

Non-fiction:

Eleanor Roosevelt by Russell Freedman

Our Endangered Planet: Population Growth by Suzanne Winckler and Mary M. Rodgers

Predator by Bruce Brooks

Ryan White: My Own Story with Ann Marie Cunningham

Invisible Enemies: Stories of Infectious Disease by Jeanette Farrell

What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys/Girls by Lynda Madaras

Abraham Lincoln: A Photo Biography by Russell Freedman

The Ditchdigger’s Daughters by Yvonne Thornton

Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic

Never to Forget: The Jews of the Holocaust by Milton Meltzer

The Diary of Anne Frank

Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen