Children’s and YA Literature Comprehensive Examination Reading List

Please note that there are two lists below. The first is the full list with the core readings in bold; the second is the core list separated out. Students are responsible for all core readings and may incorporate readings from the full list into their tailored exam list. They may also substitute a few texts, as long as they receive permission of the committee prior to the examination.

 

Primary Texts

“Classic”/Historical

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Mark Twain

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Lewis Carroll

Anne of Green Gables (1908), Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885), Robert Louis Stevenson

The Classic Fairy Tales (1999), Maria Tartar

Peter Pan (1903), JM Barrie

Ragged Dick; or, Life in New York with the Boot Blacks (1868), Horatio Alger, Jr.

Little Pretty Pocket-Book (1744), John Newbery

Little Women (1868), Louisa May Alcott

The Secret Garden (1909), Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book (1893), Christina G. Rossetti

The Wind in the Willows (1903), Kenneth Grahame

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), Frank L Baum

 

Picture Books

The Arrival (2006), Shaun Tan

Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky (1992), Faith Ringgold

Black and White (1990), David Macaulay

The Cat in the Hat (1957) or The Lorax (1971), Theodor Seuss Geisel

Goodnight Moon (1947), Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955), Crockett Johnson

Heart and Soul (2011) or We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (2009), Kadir Nelson

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007), Brian Selznick

Jumanji (1981) or The Polar Express (1985), Chris Van Allsburg

The Little House (1942), Virginia Lee Burton

Madeline (1939), Ludwig Bemelmans

Make Way for Ducklings (1941), Robert McCloskey

Martin’s Big Words (2001), Bryan Collier

Snowy Day (1963), Ezra Jack Keats

The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant (1931), Jean de Brunhoff

The Story of Ferdinand (1936), Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1969), William Steig

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), Beatrix Potter

The Three Pigs (2001), David Wiesner

The Very Hungry Caterpiller (1969), Eric Carle

Where the Wild Things Are (1963), Maurice Sendak

 

Realistic/Historical Children’s Fiction

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970), Judy Blume

Becoming Naomi Leon (2005) or Esperanza Rising (2000), Pam Muñoz Ryan

The Birchbark House (1999), Louise Edrich

The Book Thief (2005), Markus Zusak

The Breadwinner (2000), Deborah Ellis

The Devil’s Arithmetic (1988), Jane Yolen

Harriet the Spy (1964), Louise Fitzhugh

Little House on the Prairie (1932), Laura Ingalls Wilder

Maniac McGee (1990) or Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (1998), Jerry Spinelli

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1981), Beverly Cleary

Rules (2006), Cynthia Lord

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1975), Mildred Taylor

The Secret of the Old Clock (1930), Carolyn Keene

To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Harper Lee

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 (1995), Christopher Paul Curtis

 

Fantasy/Science Fiction

A Bear Called Paddington (1958)

The Blue Sword (1982) or The Hero and the Crown (1984), Robin McKinley

Bridge to Terabithia (1977), Katherine Paterson

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Roald Dahl

Charlotte’s Web (1952), E.B. White

Coraline (2002), Neil Gaiman

The Giver (1993), Lois Lowry

The Golden Compass (1995), Philip Pullman

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997), J.K. Rowling

The Hobbit (1937), J.R.R. Tolkien

Holes (1998), Louis Sacher

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), C.S. Lewis

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1971), Robert C. O’Brien

The One and Only Ivan (2012), Katherine Applegate and Patricia Castelao

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning (1999), Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)

The Tale of Despereaux (2003), Kate DiCamillo

Watership Down (1972), Richard Adams

Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), A. A. Milne

A Wrinkle in Time (1963), Madeleine L’Engle

 

Poetry/Verse Novels

Be Glad Your Nose Is On Your Face (2008), Jack Prelutsky

Brown Girl Dreaming (2014), Jacqueline Woodson

Crank (2004), Ellen Hopkins

Crossover (2015), Kwame Alexander

Love That Dog (2001), Sharon Creech

Neighborhood Odes (1992), Gary Soto

Out of the Dust (1997), Karen Hesse

This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World (2002), Naomi Shihab Nye

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), Shel Silverstein

 

Non-Fiction

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (2003), Jim Murphy

The Diary of a Young Girl (1952), Anne Frank

Farewell to Manzanar (1973),  Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

The Invisible Thread (1987), Yoshiko Uchida

It’s Perfectly Normal: Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (2009), Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq (2005), Jeanette Winter

Locomotive (2013), Brian Floca

A Long Walk to Water (2011), Linda Sue Park

Richard Wright and the Library Card (1997), William Miller and R. Gregory Christie

Through My Eyes (1999), Ruby Bridges

A Token for Children (1671), James Janeway

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (2007), Peter Sis

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March (2012), Cynthia Levinson.

When Marian Sang (2002) Pam Munoz Ryan and Brian Selznick

 

Young Adult Literature

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), Sherman Alexie

American Born Chinese (2006), Gene Luen Yang

Boy Meets Boy (2003) or Every Day (2013), David Levithan

The Catcher in the Rye (1951), J.D. Salinger

The Chocolate War (1974), Robert Cormier

Eleanor & Park (2012), Rainbow Rowell

The Fault in Our Stars (2012), John Green

Feed (2002), M.T. Anderson

Forever (1975), Judy Blume

The House on Mango Street (1984), Sandra Cisneros

how i live now (2004), Meg Rosoff

The Hunger Games (2008), Suzanne Collins

The Kite Runner (2003), Khaled Hosseini

Locomotion (2003), Jacqueline Woodson

Monster (1999), Walter Dean Myers

The Outsiders (1967), S.E. Hinton

Seventeenth Summer (1942), Maureen Daly

Speak (1999), Laurie Halse Anderson

A Step From Heaven (2001), An Na

The First Part Last (2003), Angela Johnson

Twilight (2005), Stephanie Meyer

Weetzie Bat (1989), Francesca Lia Block

 

Critical Texts

Abate, Michelle Ann, and Kenneth Kidd, eds. Over the Rainbow: Queer Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2011)

Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work (1991)

Bell, Elizabeth, and Lynda Haas. From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture (2008)

Bernstein, Robin. Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (2011)

Capshaw, Katharine. Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks (2014)

Clark, Beverly Lyon. Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Children’s Literature in America (2003)

Cadden, Michael, ed. Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature (2011)

Coats, Karen. Looking Glasses and Neverlands: Lacan, Desire, and Subjectivity in Children’s Literature (2004)

Coats, Karen, Shelby A. Wolf, Patricia Enciso, and Christine A. Jenkins. Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2011)

Coats, Karen, Anna Jackson, and Roderick Gillis, eds. The Gothic in Children’s Literature: Haunting the Borders (2007)

Gubar, Marah. Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature (2010)

Kidd, Kenneth. Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature (2011)

Lukens, Rebecca J., Jacquelin J. Smith, and Cynthia Miller Coffel. A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature, 9th edition (2012)

Lurie, Alison. Don’t Tell the Grown-ups: The Subversive Power of Children’s Literature (1998)

Martin, Michelle. Brown Gold: Milestones of African American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002 (2006)

Nel, Philip, and Lissa Paul, eds. Keywords for Children’s Literature (2011)

Nikolajeva, Maria, and Carole Scott. How Picturebooks Work (2001)

Nikolajeva, Maria. Power, Voice and Subjectivity in Literature for Young Readers (2009)

Nodelman, Perry. The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature (2008)

Nodelman, Perry, and Mavis Reimer. The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, 3rd edition (2003)

Nodelman, Perry. Words About Pictures (1988)

Reynolds, Kimberley. Radical Children’s Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations in Juvenile Fiction (2010)

Rose, Jacqueline. The Case of Peter Pan, or the Impossibility of Children’s Fiction (1992)

Sanders, Joe Sutliff. Disciplining Girls: Understanding the Origins of the Classic Orphan Girl Story (2011)

Tribunella, Eric. Melancholia and Maturation: The Use of Trauma in American Children’s Literature (2010)

Tribunella, Eric, and Carrie Hintz. Reading Children’s Literature: A Critical Introduction (2013)

Trites, Roberta Seelinger. Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature (2000)

Wannamaker, Annette. Boys in Children’s Literature and Popular Culture: Masculinity, Abjection, and the Fictional Child (2012)

Warner, Marina. From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1996)

Zipes, Jack. Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairytales (1979)

 

Core Primary Texts

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), Sherman Alexie
  2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), Lewis Carroll
  3. American Born Chinese (2006), Gene Luen Yang
  4. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970), Judy Blume
  5. The Arrival (2006), Shaun Tan
  6. The Birchbark House (1999), Louise Edrich
  7. Black and White (1990), David Macaulay
  8. The Book Thief (2005), Markus Zusak
  9. Boy Meets Boy (2003) or Every Day (2013), David Levithan
  10. Brown Girl Dreaming (2014), Jacqueline Woodson
  11. The Cat in the Hat (1957) or The Lorax (1971), Theodor Seuss Geisel
  12. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Roald Dahl
  13. Charlotte’s Web (1952), E.B. White
  14. The Chocolate War (1974), Robert Cormier
  15. The Classic Fairy Tales (1999), Maria Tartar
  16. Coraline (2002), Neil Gaiman
  17. The Diary of a Young Girl (1952), Anne Frank
  18. Feed (2002), M.T. Anderson
  19. Forever (1975), Judy Blume
  20. The Giver (1993), Lois Lowry
  21. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997), J.K. Rowling
  22. The Hunger Games (2008), Suzanne Collins
  23. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007), Brian Selznick
  24. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), C.S. Lewis
  25. The Little House (1942), Virginia Lee Burton
  26. Little House on the Prairie (1932), Laura Ingalls Wilder
  27. Little Pretty Pocket-Book (1744), John Newbery
  28. Little Women (1868), Louisa May Alcott
  29. Monster (1999), Walter Dean Myers
  30. Out of the Dust (1997), Karen Hesse
  31. The Outsiders (1967), S.E. Hinton
  32. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1975), Mildred Taylor
  33. Snowy Day (1963), Ezra Jack Keats
  34. Speak (1999), Laurie Halse Anderson
  35. The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant (1931), Jean de Brunhoff
  36. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), Beatrix Potter
  37. The Three Pigs (2001), David Wiesner
  38. The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 (1995), Christopher Paul Curtis
  39. Through My Eyes (1999), Ruby Bridges
  40. Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), Shel Silverstein
  41. Where the Wild Things Are (1963), Maurice Sendak
  42. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), Frank L Baum
  43. A Wrinkle in Time (1963), Madeleine L’Engle

 

Core Critical Texts

  1. Bernstein, Robin. Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (2011)
  2. Clark, Beverly Lyon. Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Children’s Literature in America (2003)
  3. Cadden, Michael, ed. Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature (2011)
  4. Coats, Karen, Shelby A. Wolf, Patricia Enciso, and Christine A. Jenkins. Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2011)
  5. Martin, Michelle. Brown Gold: Milestones of African American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002 (2006)
  6. Nel, Philip, and Lissa Paul, eds. Keywords for Children’s Literature (2011)
  7. Nikolajeva, Maria, and Carole Scott. How Picturebooks Work (2001)
  8. Nikolajeva, Maria. Power, Voice and Subjectivity in Literature for Young Readers (2009)
  9. Nodelman, Perry. The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature (2008)
  10. Tribunella, Eric, and Carrie Hintz. Reading Children’s Literature: A Critical Introduction (2013)
  11. Trites, Roberta Seelinger. Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature (2000)

 

 

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