Section 1: Tuesday 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Jeff Spanke

Broomsticks can’t fly and vampires don’t twinkle in sunlight. In real life, divergent kids get expelled and no one really ever volunteers as tribute. But just because most teenagers don’t run through mazes for a living, doesn’t mean they don’t all have stories to tell. In this class, we critically examine the genre of Young Adult Literature through the acclaimed texts that grown-ups say exemplify it. What are these books, and who are the people reading them? What makes them so good, and why do so many people think they’re bad? What purpose do they serve in modern day society? Are these dangerous stories of rebellion and grief, or are they liberating tales of redemption and glory? Do they have a place in schools, and what gives adults the right to write about kids anyway? Our reading list, like adolescence, will be long and sometimes tedious; but, like adolescents, the lessons these texts reveal should offer new insights into life, loss, pain, and the possibilities that just might lie in chapters to come.

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