Back in Business

I’m blogging again as grad school is right around the corner!  Below are the three courses I’m taking, their descriptions, and the book lists.  Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’m going to be reading!

Genre Study: Forms and Boundaries 
We will look at traditional forms of writing for young readers as launching points for genres that bend the boundaries and create new ones like novels in verse, graphic novels, intertextual writing, and metafiction, among others.  This course can be taking as a creative or critical credit and focuses on the study of the craft of writing through close reading and analysis and practicing what you learn through writing.
Text list:
Clare, Cassandra. Clockwork Angel
Fleischman, Paul. Genre bending text of your choice. 
Grimes, Nikki. Dark Sons
Hesse, Karen. Witness
Holm, Jennifer and Mathew. Baby Mouse: Queen of the World
Holm, Jennifer. Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf
Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse
Macaulay, David. Black and White
Muth, Jon. Zen Shorts
Parker, Toni Trent. Sienna’s Scapbook: Our African American Heritage Trip.
Yang, Gene Luen. American Born Chinese

Genre Study: Fantasy
Realism is easy.  Fantasy is hard. 
You have to make an imaginary world feel, sound, look, and smell real.  You have to create supernatural creatures and magic systems and even societies that don’t distract your reader from the story you’re telling.  You have to do all that, and you still have to pay attention to the other things that go into all good fiction, like psychologically convincing characters, a compelling plot, narrative tension, an informing theme, and a personal voice.
In this course, we will focus on the issues of craft that are particularly important to the writing of fantasy:  exposition, world-building, and internal logic.  We’ll be doing close readings of three novels that exemplify three very different approaches to these problems. We’ll explore how to generate ideas for stories and plot-lines with prompts and exercises.  And we’ll write and critique drafts of between 2 and 4 fantasy short stories.

Text list:

Black, Holly. Tithe
Eager, Edward.  Half Magic
Pratchett, Terry. The Wee Free Men

Young Adult Science Fiction

We will examine of the history and development of technological literature (1910-1947) and science fiction (1947-present) written and marketed expressly for the young adult reader.  The seminar will also address variety of relevant topics: science fiction and literary theory, series books for young readers, science fiction and technology, gender in/and science fiction, science fiction and American cultural history and development.  Discussion will begin with the Tom Swift series (and others) from the first half of the twentieth century, move through such mid-century authors as Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and André Norton, and conclude with writers like Robert C. O’Brien, Monica Hughes, William Sleator, and Louise Lawrence.  Major critical works will include: Trillion Year Spree (Aldiss), Robert A. Heinlein: America as Science Fiction (Franklin), Back in the Space Ship Again (Sands and Frank), Science Fiction for Young Readers (Sullivan, ed.), and Young Adult Science Fiction (Sullivan, ed.).

Text list:
Appleton, Victor. Tom Swift and His Motorcycle
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. A Princess of Mars
Christopher, John. The White Mountains
Collina, Suzanne. The Hunger Games
Hauge, Leslie. Nomansland
Heinlein, Robert A. Rocket Ship Galileo 
Heinlein, Robert A. Have Space Suit–Will Travel
Hoover, H. M. Orvis
Hughes, Monica. Keeper of the Isis Light
Lawrence, Louise. Dreamweaver
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time
Norton, Andre. Time Traders
Sleator, William. Interstellar Pig
Smith, E. E. Skylark of Space

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