WWU Courses

Winter 2018 Courses

ENG 238 – The Society through its Literature: How Did THAT Book Win?
The experience of reading can be very personal, idiosyncratic, and also subjective. When we find texts that speak to us — our experiences, our interests, even our identities — we often respond with claims that a book is “good” (or “great” or even the “best book in the world”). But, what happens when our personal taste doesn’t match other readers’ responses? How do we honor personal response/taste and develop an aesthetic that allows us to deepen our experience and understanding of a text? And, to add another layer, how do we (re)read to expand our appreciation of a book’s merits by paying attention to criteria established by award committees? In this course we will explore the question, “How did THAT book win?” by examining awards for children’s and young adult literature (Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, Sibert, etc.) and becoming familiar with the process and criteria for award selection. Students taking this class are required to attend the WWU-sponsored Children‘s Literature Conference on Saturday, February 24th as the 5th hour arranged.

ENG 341 – Studies in Children’s Literature
In this course we will examine the variety and diversity of literature written for children and middle grade readers, exploring how literature serves as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors for child readers. We will consider how form and format (picture books, graphic texts, chapter books, and poetry) serve to tell a story. And, we will immerse ourselves in significant genres, topics and themes, and works by notable authors and illustrators, becoming familiar with criteria used for significant awards as we explore what makes a children’s book “good.” This course expects that you’ll read voraciously, willing and eager to gain an appreciation of the world of literature (as well as the world through literature). Students taking this class are required to attend the WWU-sponsored Children‘s Literature Conference on Saturday, February 24th as the 5th hour arranged.