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LIBR 268-01
LIBR 268-10
History of Youth Literature
Spring 2013 Greensheet

Mrs. Melba Tomeo
Cell: 724-421-5423
Virtual Office Hours: By appointment, at your convenience

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D2L Information: This course will be available beginning Wednesday, January 23. You will be enrolled into the site automatically. I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

Course Description

The history of literature for children and teens from its earliest examples to today's current trends, including how childhood has changed over the years, the influence of culture on those changes, and on the materials created for children and teens.  

Course Requirements

Completion of Assignments:

  • Readings:  There is no way to avoid a lot of reading in a youth literature course.  Each week, you will be responsible for textbook readings, selected article readings, and at least one children's book representative of unit topics and themes.  An online lecture will be provided by your instructor. 
  • Quick Writes:  "Quick Writes" are five informal observations and reflections based on assigned weekly activities, 1-2 pages in length.  (125 points, 1/3 of your final grade) 
  • Discussion Boards:  Discussion boards are a very important part of an online class.  You will be participating in at least one major discussion for each unit of study and responding to your classmates’ posts.  The Recently Read discussion board will provide an opportunity to share your historical literature selections.   (165 points, 1/3 of your final grade) 
  • Final Project: The Classic You Never Got Around To. We will discuss the final project to determine its direction, content and format together.
    (100 points, 1/3 of your final grade)

I reserve the right to make reasonable changes to the assignments and course schedule, but will not do so without notifying you.

Course Calendar

Date Unit Topic
January 23-27 Once Upon A Time: An Introduction
Text:  Pavonetti, Chapter 1
Literature:  A Neglected Classic from The Top 100/final project selection
Discussion: Pleased to Meet You!
Unit 1 assignments support SLO #4.
January 28-
February 10

The Timeline: A History of Youth Literature
Text:  Pavonetti, Chapters 2, 4
Literature:  Historical Example, pre-1900
Quick Write: Attic Adventures
Discussion: Connect the Dots
Unit 2 assignments support SLO #1, SLO #4.

February 11-24 Mother's Little Darling: A History of Childhood
Text:  Pavonetti, Chapters 15, 16
Literature:  Family Life Example, post-1900
Quick Write: All in the Family
Discussion: Pay It Forward
Unit 3 assignments support SLO#1, SLO #2, SLO #3, SLO #5.
February 25-March 3

Boys vs. Girls: A History of Gender Differentiated Youth Literature
Literature:  School Story
Discussion:  Hello, Mr. Chips!
Unit 4 assignments support SLO #2, SLO #5.

March 4-17 Keeping It Real: A History of Teen Lit
Text:  Cart, Chapters 1-5, 10
Literature:  Problem Novel
Quick Write: Teenagers in the Mist
Discussion: Meet the Challenge
Unit 5 assignments support SLO #2, SLO #3, SLO #4, SLO #5
March 18-24 Series-ly, To Be Continued: A History of Series Literature
Text:  Cart, Chapter 7
Literature: Series Book
Discussion: Series vs. Serious
Unit 6 assignments support SLO #1, SLO #4, SLO #5.
March 25-29 Spring Recess
April 1 Cesar Chavez Day: No Classes
April 2-7 The Moral of the Story: A History of Youth Literature in the Classroom
Text:  Pavonetti, Chapters 9, 10, 19
Literature:  Non-Fiction, Poetry, Biography
Quick Write: Virtual Visit
Discussion: Goodbye, Moby Dick
Unit 7 assignments support SLO #7.
April 8-21 Mirrors and Windows: A Multicultural History of Youth Literature
Text:  Pavonetti, Chapters 11, 12, 13, Cart, Chapters 9, 11
Literature:  Multicultural Example
Quick Write: Bookstore Inventory
Discussion: Eyes on the Prize
Unit 8 assignments support SLO #6, SLO #8.
April 22-28 Against the Grain:  A History of Subversive Youth Literature
Literature: Subversive/Radical/Nonsense
Discussion: I is for Ideology
Unit 9 assignments support SLO #2, SLO #5.
April 29-May 5
They Called Me Snow White But I Drifted: A Critical Analysis of Youth Literature
Text: Pavonetti, Chapters 5, 6
Literature:  Two Versions of the Same Story
Discussion: Site Seeing
Unit 10 assignments support SLO #2, SLO #5.
May 6-12
Back to the Future: An Exploration of Today's Youth Literature
Text: Cart, Chapters 12, 13, 14
Literature:  Graphic Novel or Ebook
Discussion: Paper or Plastic?
Unit 11 assignments support SLO #8.
May 9-13
And They All Lived Happily Ever After: Final Projects
Final Projects support SLO #1, SLO #4, SLO #8.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify literature written for children during major historical time periods;
  2. Explain the purpose of children's literature in the social pattern;
  3. Describe the images of childhood as revealed in children's literature;
  4. Identify authors, illustrators and publishers who have contributed to milestones in children's and young adult literature;
  5. Describe various genres and literary movements in children's literature;
  6. Identify historical children's and young adult literature from different ethnic and cultural perspectives;
  7. Explore the historical use of children's literature in educational settings;
  8. Research and explain trends, technology and controversies affecting contemporary children's and young adult literature.

Core Competencies

LIBR 268 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize and describe cultural and economic diversity in the clientele of libraries or information organizations.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  3. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.


Required Textbooks:

  • Cart, M. (2010). Young adult literature: From romance to realism. American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 0838910459 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Pavonetti, L. (2003). Children's Literature Remembered: Issues, Trends, and Favorite Books. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 0313320772. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale
The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97-100 A
94-96 A-
91-93 B+
88-90 B
85-87 B-
82-84 C+
79-81 C
76-78 C-
73-75 D+
70-72 D
67-69 D-
Below 67 F

In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0.

Academic Integrity
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San José State University, and the University's Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on academic integrity can be found at

Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please e-mail me as soon as possible. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) to establish record of their disability.

No matter where students reside, they should contact the SJSU AEC to register. The AEC Web site:

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