Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

The Cat in the Sorting Hat: Writing and Reading Children's Literature

ENGL 121.601
instructor(s):

It's something of a glorious phenomenon, this steady rise of Children's
Literature in the book world. While many other genres are lagging-- or
disappearing altogether, Kid Lit grows. Is it that more kids are reading?
Or that more adults are reading things ostensibly written for kids? Are the
books better, or the times worse? Are we as engaged by century-old books as
brand new ones? What we do know is that these books and what they represent
are absolutely critical to young minds. Students will examine the genre for
what makes it enjoyable, certainly, but more importantly, they will examine
it for what makes it important, even necessary. This class will be based
around lots of reading, some lively debate, and livelier critique. Reading
selections will cross time and sub-genre. Written assignments will vary
from critical and analytical to creative. Students will both analyze
established works and create their own, with the opportunity to workshop
their creative fiction/non-fiction pieces.