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Class #1, November 4. Welcome (and housekeeping) E. L. Konigsburg presentation Brief history of books for adolescents Book jargon and genres Literary elements Books for browsing Joey Pigza Finding books Meet in author presentation groups. Chapter book paper (20%) Three pages

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Class #1, November 4

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class 1 november 4
Class #1, November 4
  • Welcome (and housekeeping)
  • E. L. Konigsburg presentation
  • Brief history of books for adolescents
  • Book jargon and genres
  • Literary elements
  • Books for browsing
  • Joey Pigza
  • Finding books
  • Meet in author presentation groups
Chapter book paper (20%)
  • Three pages
  • Re-read a book you enjoyed as a child
  • Describe and analyze the difference between your two readings
written assignments and grading
Written assignments and grading
  • In-class and online book discussion (20%)
  • Chapter Book paper (20%)
  • Group presentation (20%)
  • Annotated bibliography (40%)
reading assignments
Reading assignments
  • Required reading
    • 10 assigned children’s books (realism, fantasy, historical fiction, nonfiction, verse)
    • From Cover to Cover by K. T. Horning
  • Four recommended books
    • The Pleasures of Children’s Literature by Perry Nodelman
    • Using Multiethnic Literature in the K–8 Classroom edited by Violet J. Harris
    • The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators edited by Anita Silvey
    • 500 Great Books for Teens by Anita Silvey
  • All books in JCRL, on reserve at Gutman, and available at Coop (and Amazon, etc.)
Class and online discussions (20%)
  • Discussion board on class website
    • In lieu of book journal
    • Password protected
    • Submit a posting about one book or add to an existing string every week (by 5 p.m. Monday)
    • Respond to reading, recommend other books, continue topics from previous classes
  • In-class discussion in small groups
    • Three diverse groups
    • Moderated by instructor or TF
Group presentation (20%)
  • Sign up for author tonight
  • Groups of two or three students
  • 5–7 minute oral presentation
    • Share sample of his/her work
    • Biographical information, career highlights
    • Resources
Annotated bibliography (40%)

Fill out a 3 x 5 card with topic or ideas

Examples might be:

  • Books to support a fourth grade history unit on the Civil War.
  • Books for seventh and eighth grade girls about surviving relationships
  • Books for sixth grade urban boys
  • Books to supplement a fifth grade science class
  • Books on immigration for fifth and sixth grades

visit for ideas

Annotated bibliography (40%)
  • Fiction and nonfiction in a range of reading levels (grades 5–9)
  • Introductory paragraph
  • 15 books with short annotations
    • 12-15 in your focus topic
    • Last 3 can be on other related topics
  • Bibliography shared with class on website

At least twelve of the titles must be books

you had not read before this course.

Course website

Syllabus changes

Hilary Breed Van DusenMoved to November 18

Author presentationsMoved around as a result

Lois Lowry still December 9Now joined by Jack Gantos and Mitali Perkins

history of children s books
History of children’s books

Oral tradition — all ages, not just children

  • Aesop, Greece, c. 620-560 BCE
  • “Mother Goose” first published mid-1600s but origins probably in France, 8th c. or earlier
  • Charles Perrault, France, 1608-1723
  • Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Germany 1785-1863
  • Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, 1805-1875
  • Joel Chandler Harris, USA, 1848-1908
history of children s books1
History of children’s books


  • 1600s to 1800s: Moral stories
  • Gradually more entertaining, less moralizing
  • Late 1800s children’s magazines (St. Nicholas) & serialized novels
  • 1906 Anne Carroll Moore, NYPL
  • 1916 Bookshop for Boys and Girls (Bertha Mahony Miller)
  • 1919 first children’s department (Macmillan)
  • 1922 Newbery Medal
  • 1924 Horn Book (Bertha Mahony Miller)
books for adolescents
Books for adolescents

Key books

1857 Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes

1883 Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

1908 Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

1938 The Yearling by Margery Kinnan Rawlings

1954 The Lord of the Flies by William Golding (adult)

1954 The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (adult)

1960 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (adult)

1967 The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

1974 The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

1975 Forever by Judy Blume

1982 Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

publishing for adolescents
Publishing for adolescents
  • 1960s-1980s boom in YA (Title II funds for school libraries)
  • 1966 BBYA list from ALA
  • 1988 Margaret A. Edwards Award (lifetime achievement award for author of popular YA literature)
  • 2000 Michael L. Printz Award
  • Graphic novels
themes in books for adolescents
Themes in books for adolescents
  • Adolescence
  • Coming of age
  • “Problem novels”
    • Eating disorders
    • Sexuality
    • Drugs
    • Death
    • Dysfunctional families
    • All of the above
breaking down books divisions and subdivisions
Breaking down books (divisions and subdivisions)

Publishing categories

  • Books for adults
  • Books for children (including YA)

Within children’s books

  • Trade books
  • Text books
  • Mass market books
breaking down books
Breaking down books

Within children’s trade books

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction

Within nonfiction

  • Information books
  • Poetry
  • Traditional literature
breaking down books1
Breaking down books

Genres in books for adolescents

  • Contemporary realistic fiction
  • Fantasy (high fantasy, science fiction, magical realism)
  • Historical fiction
  • Information books (Science, history, geography, etc.)
breaking down books2
Breaking down books

Labeling & leveling books

  • Chapter book
  • YA book (young adult)
  • Middle school; High school (Horn Book Magazine)
  • Intermediate; Older (Horn Book Guide)
  • Grades 4-6; YA (Guide Online)
  • 12 & up; 14 & up (publishers)
literary elements
Literary elements
  • Plot
  • Characterization
  • Point of View
  • Setting
  • Style
  • Theme
jack gantos
Jack Gantos
  • b. 1951 in Mt. Pleasant, PA
  • Family moved around (Barbados, Puerto Rico, South Florida…)
  • Hole in My Life (memoir)
  • Emerson College
  • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key(1998) NBA finalist
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control(2000) Newbery Honor Book
  • Love Curse of the Rumbaughs (2006) YA, gothic, but funny (creepy identical twins, eugenics, taxidermy)
  • Characters with good intentions but a knack for getting into trouble
jack gantos web resources
Jack Gantos web resources

Jack Gantos’s website (lots of stuff, links to teacher resources)

Blog interview

Another interview

Reading Rocket interview on his roots as a writer

Audio interview

finding books
Finding books
  • Horn Book Guide OnlineUsername: gseharvardPassword: library
  • Public libraries
  • University librariesHarvard, Lesley, Simmons
  • Jeanne Chall Reading Lab
next class in 2 weeks
Next class—in 2 weeks
  • Chapter book response paper due
  • Upload personal info form by 11/11
  • Read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The London Eye Mystery
  • Post to discussion board
  • Presentations on Avi and Kate DiCamillo
  • Guest speaker: Hilary Breed Van Dusen