L390 2109 BOLZ
Children’s Literature

2109 12:20p-1:10p MW (143) 3 cr.

Corequisite discussions:
2110 8:00a-8:50a F (24)
2111 9:05a-9:55a F (23)
2112 10:10a-11:00a F (24)
2113 11:15a-12:05p F (24)
2114 12:20p-1:10p F (24)
2115 1:25p-2:15p F (24)

What makes a good children's story? Why does some literature for children "last" and other children's literature does not? How can a parent or a teacher know what the best book choices are for young readers? How does the literature written for children by adult authors reflect the values and hopes for youth held by the parent culture? And why the recent Harry Potter craze? These are just some of the many questions we will ask, and attempt to answer, throughout this semester.

This course is primarily a historical survey of what is widely considered the best that has been written for young readers. We will read fables, folk tales, fairy tales, myths, classic and contemporary children's literature, children's poetry, picture books for the very young, and, yes, even Harry Potter. We will also delve a bit into a variety of approaches to understanding children's literature, including some feminist and some psychoanalytical approaches, though we will primarily adhere to a new critical approach to the literature.

After taking L390, you should be able to analyze children's literature, understand the major trends in literature written for children through the centuries, and differentiate between great, good, and mediocre children's literature.

Classics of Children's Literature. Edited by John W. Griffith and Charles H. Frey. Fifth Edition.
Charlotte's Web. E.B. White.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Mildred D. Taylor.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, JK Rowling
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis
Harriet the Spy Louise Fitzhugh.
Course packet from Mr. Copy, located at the corner of 10th and Dunn