NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Examining Young Adult Literature Genres, Part 4

EDUC 2000

Throughout the four weeks of this course, participants will read and reflect upon two exceptional young adult novels in the genre of realistic fiction through online discussions and assessments incorporating the following: genres, theme analyzation, real-world connections, multiple perspectives, problem-solving, and personal experiences.


Participants will:

  • examine and read young adult literature for the following: genres, analyzing themes, real-world connections, multiple perspectives, problem-solving, and personal experiences.
  • independently read two selected young adult novels.
  • answer online discussion questions.
  • reflect upon other participants discussion question answers.
  • complete online assessments at various points in the course.


Young adult novels available at schools, public libraries, book stores, and Amazon.

Character, Driven: A Novel by David Lubar (ISBN: 978-0-7653-1633-2) Amazon Link

(This novel is high school young adult literature and contains mature language and scenes – DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE IF YOU WILL BE OFFENDED/UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THIS WRITING STYLE!)

With only one year left of high school, seventeen-year-old Cliff Sparks is desperate to find a girlfriend and "come of age." But he's never had much luck with girls. So when he falls for Jillian, a new classmate, at first sight, all he can do is worship her from afar. At the same time, Cliff has to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, since he's pretty sure his unemployed father plans to kick him out of the house the minute he turns eighteen. Time is running out. Cliff is at the edge, on the verge, dangling―and holding on for dear life.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt (ISBN: 978-0-544-46222-9) Amazon Link

The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.

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