School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 516 Outline

LIS 516: Canadian Literature for Young People in Schools and Libraries

Course Outline

Fall 2017


Instructor: Gail de Vos
1-780-797-3949; (cell) 1-780-977-8227
Office hours: Upon request

Calendar Description:

A survey of Canadian children’s materials from books for babies to those aimed at the young adult market. Focus on contemporary works, trends in both publishing and content, and issues such as censorship, multimedia forms and the Internet.

Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Analyze and articulate their own reading processes and appreciation of story in various formats.
  • Evaluate and examine the significance of Canadian literature in the lives of young people in Canada
  • Critically evaluate and discuss the criteria for the evaluation of literature in terms of literary merit, media format, and the developmental needs of young people.
  • Identify and discuss issues and challenges facing the authors and illustrators, the publishers and booksellers, and the reading public today in Canada.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

After critical reading and reflection of examples of Canadian children’s literature, students will articulate the complexities of reading, evaluating, selecting and maintaining a viable collection, and challenges through required regular participation in a discussion forum.

After examination of intellectual freedom in regards to Canadian children’s literature in libraries, in tandem with required course seminars, students will critically analyze trends, practices, challenges, threats, history, research and key resources for Canadian (and other) libraries.

After exposure to diverse media coverage on the various aspects of Canadian children’s literature within or without library collections, students will understand the complexity in objectivity, perception and awareness of the inclusion of national materials in all types of libraries.

Content: General Introduction to the Field Criteria for evaluation and selection of materials. Reading needs and interests of children. The diverse body of material with appeal to young readers. Current trends, issues and problems.

Methods: Course instruction will include online lectures, assigned readings, and evaluation of texts for young people in various formats.

Course Relationships: Pre-requisite: LIS 501 (or permission of instructor).

Required Texts:

Armstrong, Kelly. The Unquiet Past. 2015. Orca.

Britt, Fanny and Isabelle Arsenault. Jane, the fox & me. 2013. Groundwood.

Carrier, Roch. The Hockey Sweater. 1985. Tundra.

Downie, Gord and Jeff Lemire. Secret Path. 2016. Simon & Schuster.

Dupuis, Jenny Kay, Kathy Kacer and Gillian Newland. I Am Not a Number. 2016. Second Story Press.

Goto, Hiromi. Half World. 2009.Penguin.     

Jordan-Fenton, Christy & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton. Fatty legs: a true story. 2010. Annick Press.

Juby, Susan. The Truth Commission. 2015. Razorbill Canada.

LaBoucane-Benson, Patti and Kelly Mellings. The Outside Circle. 2015. House of Anansi

Lawson, Jon Arno and Sydney Smith. Sidewalk Flowers. 2015. Groundwood.

Oppel, Kenneth. The Nest.  2015. HarperCollins Canada.

Robertson, David and Julie Flett. When we were Alone. 2016. Highwater Press.

Schwartz, Joanne and Sydney Smith. Town is by the Sea. 2017.Groundwood.

Wynne-Jones, Tim. The Emperor of Any Place. 2015. Candlewick.


Assignments and Weighting:

There is no examination for this course. A 10% penalty for lateness per day will be enforced for all assignments. Students have until midnight to post their assignments on the course site on the due date. Raw scores (marks on assignments) are totalled at the end of the course and converted to University of Alberta’s letter grading scale.

I. Virtual Seminar
II. Read and Reacts (3 x 5%)
III. Intellectual Freedom
IV. Final Project
V. Participation


School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.

Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure (

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy (

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.