04-Young Adult Fiction The course encourages students to create work that in its appeal straddles generational demographics, and thus demonstrates what is already known, that diverse audiences, presented with the best titles in the genre, are not dichotomous. The emphasis is on generating and discussing student writing, but the course will also examine several contemporary and classic novels with pre-teen protagonists that possess a proven appeal to readers of all ages (e.g. Alice in Wonderland, Wildwood, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Golden Compass). Three significant films that similarly reach out to a multivalent audience – The Fantastic Mr. Fox, UP, and The Princess Bride –will be shown and discussed. We’ll also read/debate a number of non-fiction texts such as Neil Gaiman’s lecture, "What the @#$%&*! Is a Children's Book, Anyway?”; Joel Stein’s baiting Times essay, “Adults Should Read Adult Books”; and Catherynne Valente’s blog post, "Too Smart for Kids." The semester will be punctuated by a series of projected digital visits by relevant award-winning authors, among them, Lev Grossman, author of the New York Times bestselling YA series The Magicians. The visits will provide students with candid access to working writers, and so give them an interactive opportunity to ask questions about the various talents, skills, and traits that contribute to acclaim and success.