Claudia Mills

Claudia Mills

Claudia Mills, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and an M.L.S. degree (with a concentration in children’s literature) from the University of Maryland, is Associate Professor Emerita of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a past president of the Children’s Literature Association. The author of over 60 books for young readers, most recently The Lost Language, her first verse novel (Holiday House), and Boogie Bass, Sign Language Star, in her After-School Superstars series (Holiday House), Mills has published over two dozen scholarly articles on children’s literature, including work on Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Maud Hart Lovelace, Betty MacDonald, Rosamond du Jardin, and Eleanor Estes. Her edited collection, Ethics and Children’s Literature (Ashgate, 2014), won the Best Edited Book Award from the Children’s Literature Association.

Areas of Expertise

  • Ethics, Applied Ethics, Political Philosophy
  • Analytic study of children's literature
  • Creative writing of books for children

Courses Taught

  • Genre Study in the Craft of Writing for Children-Creative Nonfiction
  • Genre Study in the Craft of Writing for Children-Chapter Books


  • Ph.D., Princeton University
  • M.L.S., University of Maryland
  • M.A., Princeton University
  • B.A., Wellesley College

Publications & Articles

  • Ethics and Children's Literature (editor), Ashgate Press, 2014
  • Zero Tolerance, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
  • Annika Riz, Math Whiz, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014


President of the Children’s Literature Association 2013-14

Over 25 published articles on children’s literature in such journals as Children’s Literature, The Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, The Lion and the Unicorn, and Children’s Literature in Education.

Three ALA Notable Books of the Year: How Oliver Olson Changed the World, Gus and Grandpa at Basketball, 7 x 9 = Trouble!

Research Interests

I am most interested in exploring how children’s authors portray the moral growth of their characters in ways both heavy-handed and subtle. Children’s texts encode the expectations that adults have for children and so they are fascinating cultural documents that lay bare our deepest hopes and fears for our children. I love excavating these through close analysis of children’s texts.