As one of the first universities in the country to embrace children’s literature as a serious subject of study and teaching, the University of Minnesota has a rich and fascinating history. To learn more about how the program has evolved and about all the exceptional contributions to the field of children’s literature, please explore our timeline or watch the video below.

The Children’s Literature at UMN site is maintained by Dr. Marek Oziewicz and his graduate students. Additional contributions are made by students in the children’s literature courses.

Site Features: 

Courses: Here you will find details on children’s literature courses. The U offers courses on diverse literature, speculative fiction, picturebooks, graphic novels and so much more! Many of the courses are structured in seminar formats will allow for an immersive experience with the elements of children’s and YA literature.

Features: On a monthly basis, we feature work written on topics relevant to the field of children’s literature that are written by students, faculty and other children’s literature enthusiasts. Articles may include spotlights (“Booklight”) on authors, event highlights, novel studies, reviews, and deep plunge commentaries.

Reviews: Our reviews come in multiple formats.  Short reviews provide a general overview of the book with a brief commentary.  Often, students (many of whom are pre-service teachers) contribute these reviews as part of children’s literature coursework. Students may also contribute Book Briefs, which are brief summaries, often linked to resources for classroom practice. And finally, we have more extensive reviews that view literature through a critical lens.

Events: The University of Minnesota offers two major children’s literature author events each year. Past events have included Jane Yolen, Jon Scieszka, Peter Brown, Pam Munoz Ryan and many others! You will also find additional resources for finding children’s literature author events.

For Educators: From articles to pedagogical resources, we strive to create projects and resources that can assist educators in their classrooms as well as help to foster a love of literature within their students.


Marek Oziewicz is the Marguerite Henry Professor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Oziewicz studies the power of stories to nurture empathy and understanding across cultures. His research is focused on speculative fiction and literature-based cognitive modeling for moral education, global citizenship, environmental awareness, and justice literacy. He is the author of One Earth, One People (McFarland 2008)—the winner of the 2010 Mythopoeic Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies—and of Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction (Routledge 2015). Learn more.

Current Children’s Literature @ UMN Writers and Editors (current and former graduate students):

Our former graduate students: