Course details

Sp 15, W 16, W 17
Course number
Lib 592
Course title
Contemporary Children's /Young Adult Literature
Course description

This course involves an analysis and study of contemporary children’s and young adult literature as well as a study of trends and styles in modern literature. It includes picture books, fiction, and nonfiction featuring contemporary authors and illustrators who are dominating the 21st century literary landscape.

Instructor bio

There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to K-12 students.


2.2 Candidates use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
2.3 Candidates use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
4.2 Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
4.3 Candidates develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.

Practical applications

Students will:
Explore different genres and authors of contemporary award-winning children’s literature.
Create a resource list of contemporary literature (both fiction and nonfiction) across a developmental range, for a content topic or theme of their choosing
Examine the potential power literature can have in the moral, ethical, and cultural development of young people in 21st Century
Be prepared to justify the use of potentially controversial children’s literature with the public

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written reports/papers and assignments).


Course readings are available electronically through the PSU Millar Library course reserve files. Students will find children’s literature primarily at their school’s and public libraries.

Historical offerings

Spring 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014