Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials One x 2-hour weekly seminar


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 8 Hours   ORAL PRESENTATION  1 day required for rehearsal and 1 day required for actual exam. 1 week apart. Room with DP and blackout ability. Small seminar room.  100%
Supplementary Assessment 0 Hours   1 x 2,500 word essay  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the generic, historical and cultural contexts of the texts studied on the moudle.

Demonstrate an ability to analyse the texts coherently in terms of the appropriate critical approaches offered on the module.

Produce informed and well-argued written work that seeks to discuss the texts with refeence to their generic, historical and/or cultural contexts and relevant theoretical and/or other debates.

Demonstrate through oral presentation a critical understanding of the themes, forms and contexts of selected children's narratives.


The module will add diversification to the portfolio of options within the department.


The module is structured as 10 x 2 hour seminars, which will address the themes of the course as they arise, as follows:
1. Stories, fairy-tale and the tradition of children's literature: selections from Grimm, Perrault, Anderson and Wilde.
2. Classic Realist Fiction for Children I: Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island.
3&4 Classic Realist Fiction II: L. M.Montogomery, Anne of Green Gables / Frances Hodson Burnett, The Secret Garden.
5&6 Animal Stories: Richard Adams, Watership Down, selections from Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book.
7&8 High Fantasy and Domestic Fantasy: J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit and J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
9&10 Autobiography for children: Judith Kerr, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, selections from Hi-Li Liang, Red Scarf Girl.

Brief description

This module examines the uniqueness of children's narrative prose, from "classic realist" texts to contemporary fantasy. It seeks to introduce students to some of the thematic crossovers between adult and child literature, and the forms of children's literature in which identiy-formation takes centre stage, such as fictional and non-fictional autobiography and coming of age stories.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not applicable
Communication Written: sustain an arguement for written work. Listen effectively and make coherent oral contrubutions to seminars. Oral presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent reading and research
Information Technology Not applicable
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills.
Problem solving Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of bodies of ideas and critical arguments pertaining to children's literatures, including identity formation, trauma and the role of narrators; Construct a rational argument to a critical problem; undertake critical or evaluative work.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods. Plan and carry out an analytical piece of writing. Produce suitably academically referenced and structured work.
Subject Specific Skills Use appropriate critical and/or evaluative skills in preenting a written argument.
Team work Play an active part in group activities in the seminar workshop.

Reading List

General Text
(1976-) Children's Literature Association quarterly. CHLA Primo search Children's literature review. Gale Research. Primo search (1996.) International companion encyclopedia of children's literature /edited by Peter Hunt ; associate editor, Sheila Ray. Routledge Primo search (1976.) Suitable for children? :controversies in children's literature /edited and introduced by Nicholas Tucker. Chatto and Windus for Sussex University Press Primo search (2001.) The Cambridge guide to children's books in English /[edited by] Victor Watson ; advisory editors, Elizabeth L. Keyser, Juliet Partridge, Morag Styles. Cambridge University Press Primo search (2000.) The Oxford companion to fairy tales /edited by Jack Zipes Oxford University Press Primo search Bettelheim, Bruno (1978.) The uses of enchantment :the meaning and importance of fairy tales /Bruno Bettelheim. Penguin Primo search Coe, Richard N. (1984.) When the grass was taller :autobiography and the experience of childhood /Richard N. Coe. Yale University Press Primo search Spencer, Margaret Meek (1977.) The cool web :the pattern of children's reading /Margaret Meek, Aidan Warlow, Griselda Barton. Bodley Head Primo search Stephens, John (1992.) Language and ideology in children's fiction /John Stephens. Longman Primo search Townsend, John Rowe (1987.) Written for children :an outline of English-language children's literature /John Rowe Townsend. Outline of English Language Children's Literature. 3rd ed. Penguin Primo search
Essential Reading
Hunt, Peter. (1994.) An introduction to children's literature /Peter Hunt. Oxford University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6