A Week with Zetta Elliott

The Twin Cities will be hosting award-winning author, academic, and activist Zetta Elliott from Tuesday, September 13 to Saturday, September 17, 2016, for a series of panels, and school and library visits. The following events are free and open to the public.

A Week with Zetta Elliott – Events


Inclusivity and Indie Authors: The Case for Community-Based Publishing

Hosted by the St. Catherine University Master of Library and Information Science Program and its American Library Association Student Chapter, Progressive Librarians Guild, and Student Governance Organization & Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen
Tuesday September 13 @ 7:00 pm
St. Catherine University – Mendel 106
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1576818495957311/
Flyer: ZettaElliott-StKatesMLISProgram-Flyer

Inclusivity and Indie Authors: The Case for Community-Based Publishing

Hosted by Ancestry Books & the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy
Friday, September 16 @ 10:00 am
Lucy Laney Elementary
3333 Penn Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55412
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Facebook (please RSVP): https://www.facebook.com/events/187857264966279/

Zetta Elliott Reading & Panel Discussion on Elevating Absent Narratives

Saturday, September 17 @ 7:00 pm
The Loft Literary Center
1011 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/312269269124828/

Zetta will also conduct workshops with Juxtaposition Arts and visit with students at Lucy Laney Elementary School, Bancroft Elementary School, Gordon Parks High School, Vadnais Heights Elementary School, and Maplewood Middle School.

Reading List

  1. Zetta Elliott’s books: http://www.zettaelliott.com/books/
  2. Elliott, Zetta. (2009 September 5). Something Like an Open Letter to the Children’s Publishing Industry. Zetta Elliott Blog.
  3. Atkins, Laura. (2010). White Privilege and Children’s Publishing: A Web 2.0 Case Study. Write4Children 1(2). Winchester University Press.
  4. Elliott, Zetta. (2011 May 25). Breaking Down Doors: My Self Publishing Story. The Huffington Post.
  5. Elliott, Zetta. (2012 July 2). Trayvon – Killed By an Idea. The Huffington Post.
  6. Díaz, Junot. (2014 April 30). MFA vs. POC. The New Yorker.
  7. Low, Jason. (2016 January 26). Where is the Diversity in Publishing? The 2015 Diversity Baseline Survey Results. The Open Book.
  8. Elliott, Zetta. (2016 February 1). How It Feels to be Self Published Me. Publishers Weekly.
  9. Lee, Paula Young. (2016 February 18). ‘Your manuscript is not a good fit’: How ‘we need diverse books’ can move beyond wishful thinking. Salon.
  10. Kwaymullina, Ambelin. (2016 February 22.) Writing While Black/Writing While Indigenous: Two Voices Speak on Literature, Representation and Justice. Zetta Elliott Blog.
  11. Elliott, Zetta. (2016 February 23). Writing While Black/Writing While Indigenous: Part 2. Zetta Elliott Blog.
  12. Elliott. (2016 April 5). What’s LOVE Got To Do With It? Self-Publishing as a Black Feminist Act of Radical Self-Care. The Huffington Post Books.
  13. Horning, K.T. (2016 July 21). SLJ Diversity Course: Keynote Lecture webinar. School Library Journal.
  14. Reese, Debbie. (2016 July 21). KT Horning’s Keynote for SLJ’s Diversity CourseStorify.

This week-long series of events is co-hosted by Ancestry Books, University of Minnesota Libraries Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature/Umbra: Search African American History, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, Bancroft Elementary School, The Loft Literary Center, Minnesota Humanities Center, and the St. Catherine University Master of Library and Information Science Program and its American Library Association Student Chapter, Progressive Librarians Guild, and Student Governance Organization.

Contact: Shannon Gibney (shannongibney@gmail.com)

Check out the UMN’s write-up regarding Zetta’s week in MN: http://www.continuum.umn.edu/2016/09/visionary-childrens-book-writer-zetta-elliott-visits-minnesota/#.V8tHXhArKHp


APALA Talk Story Book List – First Glance

1507-0For the past several years my students and I have been compiling lists of Asian American children’s and YA literature for the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALATalk Story website (specifically, the APA booklist). This year, one of my students went to town and found hundreds of titles. (Our lists may be comparable to what the CCBC compiles – we need to double check).

A quick glance at our updated lists (not yet published to Talk Story) reveal the following:

  1. We could not find a single YA text with a Taiwanese or Laotian protagonist.
  2. White people love writing about Japan.
  3. Hold the folktales – unless you’re Asian. Then keep ’em coming.
  4. Non-adopted people still love writing about adopted Asians.
  5. We get it, we get it. Asian immigrant children struggle to speak English and are fantastic ambassadors of our cultures.
  6. We need a LOT more books with Thai, Mongolian, Malaysian, Burma/Myanmar, Filipino, and Tibetan characters.
  7. We also need a LOT more books set in Asian-inspired fantasy worlds. Let’s thank our lucky stars for Ellen Oh.

This is not an invitation to merely insert an Asian character into your text (see here and here). This is a CALL TO ACTION for Asian American authors and illustrators, and for all agents and editors and publishers and librarians and teachers and parents and caregivers and readers and scholars.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks AND #WeNeedDiverseAuthors

2015 LIS 7210 Library Materials for Children List

LIS 7210 Library Materials for Children
Instructor Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen
2015 Fall
St. Catherine University
Master of Library and Information Science Program

Course Description

Selection, evaluation and use of media for children in elementary schools and public libraries. Materials in curricular areas are studied along with an examination of the relationships of materials to developmental characteristics and individual differences of the child, to curriculum and recreation, to the exceptional child and to a multicultural society. 3 cr.

Reading/Viewing List

  1. Alarcón, Francisco X. Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Iguanas in the Snow: And Other Winter Poems / Iguanas en la Nieve: Y Otros Poemas de Invierno
  2. Alexander, Kwame. Crossover
  3. Bascomb, Neal. Nazi Hunters
  4. Bell, CeCe. El Deafo
  5. Burnett, Francis Hodgson. The Secret Garden
  6. Chainani, Soman. The School for Good and Evil #1
  7. Coy, John. Hoop Genius
  8. Dr. Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham
  9. Elliott, Zetta. The Phoenix on Barkley Street
  10. Engle, Margarita. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom
  11. Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House
  12. Evans, Shane. Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
  13. Ewert, Marcus. 10,000 Dresses
  14. Harris, Robie. It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book About Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health
  15. Jimenez, Francisco. The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child
  16. Jung, Mike. Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities
  17. Kibuishi, Kazu. Amulet: The Stonekeeper
  18. LaRochelle, David. Moo
  19. Levy, Dana Alison. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
  20. Lindgren, Astrid. Pippi Longstocking
  21. Lovelace, Maud Hart. Betsy-Tacy (book 1)
  22. Morales, Yuyi. Viva Frida
  23. Oppenheim, Joanne. Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference
  24. Richardson, Justin. And Tango Makes Three
  25. Rowling, J.K.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  26. Russell, Rachel Renée. Dork Diaries 1: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life
  27. Santat, Dan. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
  28. Selznick, Brian. The Marvels
  29. Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are
  30. Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Jingle Dancer 
  31. Sweet, Melissa. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. UMN CLRC online exhibit: http://gallery.lib.umn.edu/exhibits/show/balloons-over-broadway
  32. Telgemeier, Raina. Smile
  33. Tingle, Tim. How I Became a Ghost
  34. Ursu, Anne. The Real Boy
  35. Van Wagenen, Maya. Popular: How a Geek in Pearls Discovered the Secret to Confidence
  36. White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web
  37. Willems, Mo. Any picture book (Elephant and Piggy, Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, etc.)
  38. Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer
  39. Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming
  40. Yang, Gene Luen. Secret Coders
  41. Minecraft (TBD)
  42. Read and bring to class any book(s) in the American Girl series
  43. Read, watch, or listen to any version of Wizard of Oz. Bring your version to class, if possible, and be prepared to discuss.
  44. The Lego Movie
  45. Perrault, Charles. “Little Red Riding Hood” > http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html
  46. Find, read, and bring to class  at least one version of Little Red Riding Hood for children.

Required Textbooks

  1. Keywords for Children’s Literature edited by Philip Nel and Lissa Paul.
  2. Picture This! How Pictures Work by Molly Bang

Readings and Assignments for the First Two Weeks of Class

Week 1 | Sept 15 | Introduction & Publishing


  • Keywords. 3 Audience; 8 Childhood; 9 Children’s Literature; 13 Culture; 30 Literacy; 36 Picture Book; 42 Reading; 45 Story
  • Bang, Molly. Picture This! How Pictures Work (all)


  • White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web

Picture Books

Assignments Due

  • Bring in one your favorite picture books and children’s novels from your childhood (two books total). Be prepared to talk about why the books meant something to you and why you still remember them years later.  Pick books that are not on the syllabus.

Week 2 | Sept 22 | Publishing & Classics



  • Burnett, Francis Hodgson. The Secret Garden
  • Lindgren, Astrid. Pippi Longstocking

Picture Books

  • Elliott, Zetta. The Phoenix on Barkley Street

2013 Library Materials for Young Adults Reading List

LIS 7220 Library Materials for Young Adults
Instructor Dr. Sarah Park
2013 Spring
St. Catherine University
MLIS Program


  • Chance, Rosemary. (2008).  Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide
  •  McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

Books (Listen to at least one of the books on audio and read at least one as an e-book)

  • Alexie, Sherman.  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • Anderson, MT. Feed
  • Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls
  • Anonymous. Go Ask Alice
  • Asher, Jay. Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game
  • Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street
  • Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One
  • Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games
  • Conley, Erin Elizabeth.  Uncool: A Girl’s Guide to Misifitting In
  • Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War
  • Daly, Maureen. Seventeenth Summer
  • Dessen, Sarah. Dreamland
  • Franco, Betsy. Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers
  • Garden, Nancy. Annie On My Mind
  • Han, Jenny. The Summer I Turned Pretty
  • Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders
  • Jackson, Kim and Heewon Lee. Here: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans in Minnesota
  • Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last
  • Johnson, Mat. Incognegro
  • Kick, Russ (ed). Choose one graphic novel from The Graphic Canon, Volume 1 and read the original version, then the graphic novel version.
  • Levithan, David. Boy Meets Boy
  • Levithan, David. Every Day
  • Link, Kelly (ed.). Steampunk!
  • Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight
  • Miéville, China. Un Lun Dun
  • Na, An. A Step from Heaven
  • Portman, Frank. King Dork
  • Rosoff, Meg. How I Live Now
  • Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sam the Storyteller. The Dead Isle. (self-published)
  • Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
  • Schneider, Robyn. The Social Climber’s Guide to High School
  • Sivertsen, Linda and Tosh Sivertsen. Generation Green: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life
  • Takaki, Ron. (adapted by Rebecca Stefoff). A Different Mirror For Young People: A History of Multicultural America
  • Woodson, Jacqueline. Peace, Locomotion
  • Wright, Bil. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy
  • Yang, Gene Luen.  American Born Chinese
  • Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief


  • The Hunger Games
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Recommended Readings

  • Braun, Linda W., Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart. (2010). Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Brenner, Robin E. (2007). Understanding Manga and Anime. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Cart, Michael. (1996). From Romance to Realism: 50 Years of Growth and Change in Young Adult Literature. New York: Harper Collins.
  • Cart, Michael and Christine A. Jenkins. (2006). The Heart Has its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  • Chambers, Aidan. (1985). Booktalk: Occasional Writing on Literature and Children. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Flowers, Sarah. (2011). Young Adults Deserve the Best: YALSA’s Competencies in Action. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Goodstein, Anastasia. (2007). Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.
  • Harris, Frances Jacobson. (2005). I Found It on the Internet. Chicago: American Library Association.
  • Hine, Thomas. (1999). The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager: A New History of the American Adolescent Experience. New York: Perennial.
  • Horning, Kathleen T. (2010). From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books. New York: Collins.
  • Ross, Catherine Sheldrick, Lynne McKechnie, and Paulette M. Rothbauer. (2006). Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Wolk, Douglas. (2007). Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

 Happy reading 🙂 

Dr. Christine Jenkins at St. Kate’s

ON BEYOND STONEWALL: Young Adult Literature with LGBTQ Content

Throughout its history young adult literature has offered too little representation of diversity in terms of its characters, setting, plot, and other narrative elements. The U.S. population has become more diverse by the day, yet white, middle-class, suburban-dwelling heterosexuals have continued to dominate all genres of YA literature. In her germinal work Shadow and Substance (NCTE) Rudine Sims Bishop was among the first to document the changing representations of African American characters in literature for youth. Since then – thanks in large part to the appearance of the ‘new realism’ in young adult fiction in the late 1960’s — other non-mainstream groups have slowly begun to appear in YA fiction.

The first young adult novel with LGBT content was published in 1969, the same year that the Stonewall riots marked the birth of the gay liberation movement. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) people have come a long way since 1969, but depictions of LGBTQ people in literature for teen readers have moved at a glacial pace, going from invisibility to stereotypes to (finally) realistic characters portrayed with some degree of frequency, authenticity, and art.

Jenkins’ presentation will trace the roots of the literature, describe early work in the newly realistic world of 1960’s -‘70’s literature and examine the genre’s evolution through the 1980’s and ‘90’s. She will describe broad themes in this literature and highlight some milestone works and exemplars (both positive and negative) among individual titles published during this period.

During her presentation, Dr. Jenkins will

  • trace the roots of the literature
  • describe early work in the newly realistic world of 1960’s -‘70’s literature
  • examine the genre’s evolution through the 1980’s and ‘90’s
  • describe broad themes in this literature
  • highlight milestone works and exemplars (both positive and negative).

Q&A and reception to follow.

Highlights & Handouts

  • YALSA brochures and posters
  • LGBTQ book display
  • YA reading lists
  • Networking opportunities

 Dr. Christine Jenkins is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research includes:

  • YA literature with LGBTQ content
  • Representations of the “other” in YA literature
  • Censorship and intellectual freedom

October 3, 2011 • 6.30-8.00 PM
St. Catherine University Recital Hall

2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105
(#24 on the campus map • enter gate #3 • parking free after 5p)

Contact Dr. Sarah Park | spark@stkate.edu | 651.690.8791

Download the official SCU YALSA flyer

The event is free and open to the public.