You asked for it! These are the books I’m teaching summer 2010 in my Social Justice in Children’s & YA Literature course. I welcome your feedback.

Course Overview

Students in this course will learn how to select, read, evaluate and analyze depictions and aspects of social justice and injustice in children’s and young adult literature. Through various genres of literature intended for both the child and adolescent reader, students will develop an informed awareness of the complex perspectives, uses and boundaries of literature and will learn to recognize and analyze how adolescent and children’s literature depict stories related to social justice, tolerance, equality and social change.

We will engage in a variety of teaching/learning methods to cover the course material, including but not limited to: lecture, small/large group discussions, independent and group projects, written and oral presentations.

Course Objectives

  • To gain an understanding of the history of social justice-related children’s literature;
  • To become familiar with a range of authors, works, genres and media depicting social justice issues for youth;
  • To gain experience in discussing, evaluating and promoting children’s literature/resources that depict social justice issues;
  • To learn strategies for connecting young people with social justice literature;
  • To identify and discuss literary and societal trends and social justice issues (war, refugee, migration, class, gender, etc) represented in materials for youth.

By successfully finishing this course, students will be able to select, evaluate, and recommend a variety of materials depicting social justice issues for young audiences.

Reading List

  1. Alarcon, Francisco X.  Animal Poems of the Iguazu.  Children’s Book Press, 2008.  ISBN 978-0892392254
  2. Anderson, M.T.  The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I:  The Pox Party.  Candlewick Press, 2006.  ISBN 978-0-7636-3679-1
  3. Barakat, Ibtisam.  Tasting the Sky:  A Palestinian Childhood.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.  ISBN 978-0374357337
  4. Bausum, Ann.  Denied, Detained, Deported:  Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration.  National Geographic Books, 2009.  ISBN 978-1426303326
  5. Bausum, Ann.  With Courage and Cloth:  Winning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote.  National Geographic Children’s Books, 2004.  ISBN 978-0792276470
  6. Brannen, Sarah S.  Uncle Bobby’s Wedding.  Putnam, 2008.  ISBN 978-0399247125
  7. Boyne, John.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  David Flicking Books, 2007.  ISBN 978-0385751537
  8. Bruchac, Joseph. Sacajawea.  Graphia, 2008.  ISBN 978-0152064556
  9. Burg, Ann E.  All the Broken Pieces.  Scholastic, 2009.  ISBN 978-0545080927
  10. Cali, Davide and Serge Bloch.  The Enemy.  Schwartz and Wade, 2009.  ISBN 978-0375845000
  11. Carlson, Nancy Savage.  The Family Under the Bridge.  HarperCollins, 1989.  ISBN 978-0064402507
  12. Choldenko, Gennifer.  Al Capone Does My Shirts.  Puffin, 2006.  ISBN 978-0142403709
  13. Cottin, Marena.  The Black Book of Colors.  Groundwood Books, 2008.  ISBN 978-0888998736
  14. Curtis, Christopher Paul.  Elijah of Buxton.  Scholastic, 2009.  ISBN 78-0439023450
  15. Engle, Margarita.  The Surrender Tree.  Square Fish, 2010.  ISBN 978-0312608712
  16. Gonzalez, Lucia.  The Storyteller’s Candle.  Children’s Book Press, 2008.  ISBN 978-0892392223
  17. Haskins, Jim.  Delivering Justice:  W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights.  Candlewick Press, 2008.  ISBN 978-0763638801
  18. Hoose, Phillip.  Claudette Colvin:  Twice Toward Justice.  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009.  ISBN 978-0374313227
  19. Lester, Julius.  Let’s Talk About Race.  Amistad, 2008.  ISBN 978-0064462266
  20. Lester, Julius.  Sam and the Tigers.  Puffin, 2000.  ISBN 978-0140562880
  21. Lloyd, Saci.  The Carbon Diaries 2015.  Holiday House, 2009.  ISBN 978-0823421909
  22. Lord, Michelle.  A Song for Cambodia.  Lee & Low Books, 2008.  ISBN 978-1600601392
  23. Lowry, Lois.  The Giver.  Delacorte Books, 2006.  ISBN 978-0385732550
  24. Lyon, George Ella. You and Me and Home Sweet Home.  Athenuem/ Richard Jackson Books, 2009.  ISBN 978-0689875892
  25. Mahy, Margaret.  The Seven Chinese Brothers.  Scholastic, 1992.  ISBN 978-0590420570
  26. Messinger, Carla.  When the Shadbush Blooms.  Tricycle Press, 2007.  ISBN 978-1582461922
  27. Mochizuko, Ken.  Baseball Saved Us.  Lee & Low Books, 1995.  ISBN 978-1880000199
  28. Myers, Walter Dean.  Autobiography of My Dead Brother.  Amistad, 2006.  ISBN 978-0060582937
  29. Nivola, Claire A.  Planting the Trees of Kenya:  The Story of Wangari Maathai.  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008.  ISBN 978-0374399184
  30. O’Brien, Anne Sibley.  After Gandhi:  One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance.  Charlesbridge Publishing, 2009.  ISBN 978-1580891295
  31. Park, Linda Sue.  When My Name was Keoko.  Yearling, 2004.  ISBN 978-0440419440
  32. Perkins, Mitali.  Rickshaw Girl.  Charlesbridge Publishing, 2008.  ISBN 978-1580893091
  33. Pinkey, Andrea Davis.  Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride.  Hyperion, 2009.  ISBN 978-0786807673
  34. Ryan, Pam Munoz.  Esperanza Rising.  Scholastic, 2002.  ISBN 978-0439120425
  35. Sanchez, Alex.  Rainbow Boys.  Simon Pulse, 2003.  ISBN 978-0689857706
  36. Shea, Pegi Deitz.  Tangled Threads:  A Hmong Girl’s Story.  Clarion, 2003.  ISBN 978-0618247486
  37. Tingle, Tim.  Crossing Bok Chitto.  Cinco Puntos Press, 2008.  ISBN 978-19336932
  38. Tohe, Laura.  No Parole Today.  West End Press, 1999.  ISBN 978-0931122934
  39. Weatherford, Carole Boston.  Moses:  When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.  Hyperion, 2006.  ISBN 978-0786851751
  40. Woodson, Jacqueline.  From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun.  Scholastic, 1995.  ISBN 7807300599
  41. Wright, Bil.  When the Black Girl Sings.  Simon Pulse, 2009.  ISBN 978-1416940036
  42. Yep, Laurence.  The Traitor (1885):  Golden Mountain Chronicles.  HarperCollins, 2004.  ISBN 978-0060008314
  43. Yoo, Paula.  Shining Star:  The Anna May Wong Story.  Lee & Low Books, 2009.  ISBN 978-1600602597
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