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Assistant Director

Deborah Wooten is professor of literacy studies at the University of Tennessee. Before joining the university faculty, she taught elementary school for 23 years. Her résumé includes experience in the rural schools of Mississippi and in the urban classrooms of New York City. For decades she has been a passionate advocate for children’s and young adult literature.

She serves on the Board of Directors for Children’s Literature Assembly (National Council of Teachers of English/NCTE) and Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (International Literacy Association/ILA). She has served as co-chairperson and regional co-leader of ILA’s Children’s Choices as well as a committee member for the ILA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Award, Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, and Paul A. Witty Short Story Award. In addition, she was a member of the United States Board on Books for Young People’s Outstanding International Book Award committee.

Currently she serves on the ILA’s National Books for a Global Society Book Award. She is the lead editor for her most recent book, Children’s Literature in the Reading Program: Engaging Young Readers in the 21st Century (5th edition) published by Guildford and co-branded by ILA (2018). One area of Wooten’s research interests includes creating strategies for students to use with children’s literature while fostering them to learn and want to read.


Contact Information
A224 Jane & David Bailey Education Complex
1126 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996

Phone: 865-974-0334
Email: dwooten1@utk.edu