ENG 350: Literature for Young Adults

Spring 2018

Meeting time:   Section 01 MWF 2:00-2:50; Section 02 MWF 11:00-11:50
Meeting place: Bowman 310

What to expect in this course:
Catalog description:
Reading and critical response to a range of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry written for a middle school through high school audience or considered suitable reading for this audience. Prerequisites: ENG 110
Meets FILA Literature requirement

What this means in practice: We will read six whole-class selections and five books of your choice selected from lists of recommended texts. Whole-class reads will be analyzed in both small-group and whole-class discussion, guided by suggested questions and graphic organizers. You should bring your laptop to class to access discussion guidelines and keep notes on discussions. For books of choice, brief small-group presentations will be required. The goal, or purpose, of the whole-class reads is to establish shared reading touchstones and common critical principles. The goal, or purpose, of reading and presenting on books of choice is to read more widely in YA literature and share a wide range of reading material with your classmates, so that all students have a wider and deeper understanding and appreciation of YA literature by the end of the course.

Writing assignments include (1) a 4- to 5-page critical paper that compares and/or contrasts a whole-class read with a book of choice, cue Feb. 9; (2) a 3-page written reflection on reading books by Linda Sue Parks and hearing her speak about her writing, due Feb. 26; (3) an 8- to 10-page formal critical paper that synthesizes several course readings around a common element of YA literature and may incorporate some limited research, due April 23, and accompanied by a short presentation; (4) a 2- to 3-page final reflection on YA literature. The goal, or purpose, of the writing assignments is to practice critical literary analysis and critical reflection.

There will be no tests, but entrance tickets will require answers to specific questions about the reading. They will be included with your participation in small-group and whole-group discussion and contributions to small-group presentations in your participation grade.

Required texts:
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
When I Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist
A second book by Linda Sue Park (A Single Shard or A Long Walk to Water)
1 book from List #1
1 book from List #2
1 book from List #3
1 book (graphic novel) from List #4

Requirements/graded assignments (percentage of final grade):
Comparison-contrast essay due 2/9 with short book presentations week of 2/5 15%
Reflection on Linda Sue Park visit & books due 2/26 12%
Small-group presentations on List #2 books 7%
Small-group presentations on List #3 books 7%
Small-group presentations on graphic novels 4/20 7%
Final project: paper + presentation due 4/23 32%
Final reflection 10%
Entrance tickets/participation 10%

(Midterm grade will rest on first essay and participation grade.)

Link to Complete Syllabus: