Course details

Sp 16, Sp 17, Sp 18
Course number
LIB 529
Course title
Young Adult Literature
Course description

Analyze young adult literature (YAL) and study trends and styles in YAL. Discuss fictional and informational texts, digital, and online resources, graphic novels, and other materials featuring authors and illustrators who dominate the YAL landscape.

Dr. Barbara Ruben
Instructor bio

Dr. Barbara Ruben, Associate Professor, PSU Graduate School of Education,  works with  teacher candidates in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP), and the Library Media Program at PSU. (BA, University of California, Santa Cruz; teaching  and ed admin license, Lewis& Clark College; MAT, Reading endorsement, & EdD. Portland State University.) 17 years teaching K-12.


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


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 young adult 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 young adult 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). This course is online and does not require in-person attendance. Assignments are completed on the learner’s time schedule and are due as posted.


Award winning contemporary young adult books of your choosing within required genres should be published within the last 5-6 years. (Honor books are acceptable). Course readings are available electronically through the PSU Millar Library course reserve files.

Historical offerings