INFO 268-10
History of Youth Literature
Summer 2017 Syllabus

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

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 5th, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.  I will be in touch with you through MySJSU, as we approach this date. 

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

Each unit will begin with a detailed task list, providing specific instructions, expectations, and due dates.

  • Readings:  There is no way to avoid a lot of reading in a youth literature course.  In each unit, you may be responsible for a lecture reading, selected article and supplemental readings, and at least one children's book representative of unit topic and themes.
  • Expeditions and Experiments:  Within five assignments, you will conduct a field experiment of sorts and share the results in a discussion forum or "quick write".  Quick Writes are informal observations and reflections based on assigned activities, 1-2 pages in length.
  • Discussion Boards:  Discussion boards are an essential 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.  Recently Read discussion boards will provide an opportunity to share your historical literature selections.
  • Final Project:  The "Neglected" Classic.  You will select and read a youth literature classic (that you have not previously read) and prepare a visual presentation of your analysis to share with your classmates.  A rubric and exemplars will be provided within the course. 

Course Calendar

Date Unit Topic
Week 1
June 5-11

I.  Once Upon a Time: An Introduction

Discussion:  Pleased to Meet You! (12 pts.)
Literature:  Select a Neglected Classic from the Top 100 for your final project
Assignments support CLO #4
Week 2
June 12-18

II. The Timeline: A History of Youth Literature
Expedition and Literature:  Attic Adventures, pre-1900 (25 pts.)
Articles: Stearns, L. (1894). Report on Reading for the Young.
             Lepore, J. (2008). The lion and the mouse.
Discussion:  Connect the Dots (15 pts.)
Assignments support CLO #1, CLO #4
Week 3
June 19-25

III. Mother's Little Darling: A History of Childhood

Literature:  2 Family Life Examples, post-1900 (25 pts.)

Activity:  Illustrators with Impact (15 pts.)

Assignments support CLO #1, CLO #2, CLO #3, CLO #5
Week 4
June 26-July 2

IV. Keeping It Real: A History of Teen Lit 

Expedition and Quick Write: Teenagers in the Mist (25 pts.)
Literature:  Milestone Young Adult Novel (10 pts.)
Assignments support CLO #2, CLO #3, CLO #4, CLO #5
Week 5
July 3-9

V. Series-ly, To Be Continued: A History of Series Literature

Literature: Series Book (10 pts.)

Discussion: The Prize in Your Serial (15 pts.)

Assignments support CLO #1, CLO #4, CLO #5

Week 6
July 10-16

VI. The Dog Ate My Basal: A History of Youth Literature in the Classroom

Literature:  NonFiction, Poetry, Biography (10 pts.)
Article: Isaacs, K. (2012). The truth of the matter.

Discussion:  Curriculum Connections (15 pts.)
Assignments support CLO #7
Week 7
July 17-23

VII. Mirrors and Windows: A Multicultural History of Youth Literature

Literature:  Multicultural Example (10 pts.)

Expedition and Quick Write: Bookstore Inventory Letter (25 pts.)

Articles: Miller, B. (1998). What color is gold?
             Aronson, M. (2001). Slippery slopes and proliferating prizes.
             Pinkney, A. (2001). Awards that stand on solid ground.
             Codell, E. (2009). Coretta Scott King award.
             Morales, Y. (2009). A gift to the world.
Discussion: Eyes on the Prize (15 pts.)
Assignments support CLO #6, CLO #8

Week 8
July 24-30

VIII. They Called Me Snow White But I Drifted: A Critical Analysis of Youth Literature

Literature:  Sourcing Two Versions of the Same Story (15 pts.)
Article: Acocella, J. (2012). Once upon a time.
Expedition and Discussion:  Virtual International Visit (25 pts.)
Assignments support CLO #2, CLO #5, CLO #6
Week 9
July 31-
August 6

Back to the Future: An Exploration of Today's Youth Literature

Literature:  Graphic Novel, App, or Ebook (10 pts.)
Article: Sutton, R. (2012). What hath Harry wrought?
Assignments support CLO #8

Week 10
August 7-11

And They All Lived Happily Ever After: Final Projects (50 pts.)

Assignments support CLO #1, CLO #4, CLO #8


  • Grades are calculated on a point and percentage basis, following the standard SJSU iSchool grading scale utilized for all courses. 
  • Point deductions will be assessed on late work.

Other Relevant Information
There is no required textbook for this course.  Links to articles and supplemental readings will be supplied within the course.  There are no planned synchronous sessions for this course.

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

INFO 200

Course 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 (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 268 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  3. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

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

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
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 or Informatics) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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