Studies in Children’s Literature

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
ENGL 2112
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course explores works of literature specifically intended for children and young adults, as well as traditional influences on children's literature, such as folk and fairy tales and moral tales. Students will read works reflecting a variety of literary genres, as well as contextual and/or critical material related to the works being studied.
Course Content

All second-year English literature courses share the following features:

  1. Students are presumed to be proficient in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor or discussed in class.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials. These may include autobiographical or biographical material; literary criticism or theory; unassigned texts by the author under study; relevant cultural or intellectual history; or other arts, such as music, film, or fine arts.
  4. Readings and topics will vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives/outcomes for this course.

In English 2112, students will examine at least two full-length novels as well as some of the following:

  1. Traditional literature, such as folk tales, fairy tales, and myths
  2. Early didactic/instructional works (prose and/or poetry)
  3. Children’s verse (poetry and nursery rhymes)
  4. Picture books and other illustrated works
  5. Dramatic works
  6. Short fiction
  7. Criticism and theory as it relates to the work of particular authors under study.
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. Lecture/discussion;
  2. Group work;
  3. Peer editing;
  4. Group or individual presentations;
  5. Independent research;
  6. Instructor feedback on students’ work; and
  7. Individual consultation.


Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
  2. A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments (essays, essay-based exams, journals, paragraphs). A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
  3. A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).

According to the College Evaluation Policy, the final grade awarded to each student shall consist of at least three separate assessments. No single assessment will be weighted at more than 40% of the final course grade.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any second-year English literature course, the student should be able to

  1. use with increased proficiency the skills of literary analysis taught in first-year English courses;
  2. recognize the significance of the literary and other contexts (such as biographical, historical, mythological or philosophical) of a work being studied;
  3. read critically and use in essays secondary sources (such as criticism or other texts by the same author) as an aid to comprehending the primary text(s) being studied;
  4. read critically and independently texts not discussed in class; and
  5. formulate a thesis on a given subject in one or more specific works, and to develop this thesis using suitable textual evidence.

Upon completion of English 2112, the successful student should also have a deeper understanding of

  1. read with an awareness of the intended child audience;
  2. understand key issues in children’s literature, such as didacticism and social attitudes towards children and childhood, as reflected in literary texts; and, where appropriate, identify typical features of literary genres and modes, such as realism and fantasy, and discuss their effect on plot, character and theme;
  3. understand some of the wide variety of critical approaches to children's literature, such as postcolonial, gender/queer theoretical, intertextual, postmodern, and critical race approaches.
Textbook Materials

Texts will vary depending on the instructor, and may include shorter readings compiled in custom course packs.

Three sample reading lists follow:

Golden Age Children's Literature

  • MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin
  • Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Barrie, Peter Pan (drama)
  • Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
  • Hale and Hale, Rapunzel's Revenge
  • Hallett and Karasek, eds. Folk and Fairy Tales (includes critical essays on fairy tales and adaptations such as Disney's)

Boys and Colonialisms

  • King and Monkman, A Coyote Columbus Story
  • Stevenson, Treasure Island
  • Selections from Uncle Remus
  • Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • Achebe, Chike and the River
  • Coursepack including a selection of fairy tales--Grimms, "The Brave Little Tailor;" Calvino, "The Neapolitan Soldier"; poems--Milne, Steveson, Lear; and short critical selections from Nodelman, The Pleasures of Children's Literature; Higgonnet, Girls, Boys, Books, Toys: Gender in Children's Literature; Kohl, "A Plea for Radical Children's Literature"


  • Tolkien, The Hobbit
  • Alexander, The Book of Three
  • Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  • L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (original or 2012 graphic novel adaptation)
  • Coursepack including Kleist, "On the Marionette Theatre;" Campbell, "Stages of the Hero's Journey;" LeGuin, "Why Americans Are Afraid of Dragons" and MacDonald, "The Fantastic Imagination"



Any two university-transfer first-year English literature courses, or one university-transfer first-year English literature course and one university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course.  


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Acsenda School of Management (ASM) ASM SOCI 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Athabasca University (AU) AU ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ENGL 218 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN ENGL 270 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to 2016/08/31
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ENGL 270 (3) 2016/09/01 to -
Columbia College (COLU) COLU ENGL 1st (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) EC ENGL 200 lev (3) 2013/09/01 to -
Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) FDU ENWR 1102 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENGL 2XXX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) NVIT ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
North Island College (NIC) NIC ENG 1XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Okanagan College (OC) OC ENGL 212 (3) 2014/05/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 1XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 2XXX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU ENGL 1XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ENGL 2XX (3) 2013/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL 212 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL 1st (3) 2014/09/01 to 2020/08/31
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL 1st (3) 2020/09/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 1XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ENGL 280 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 2XX (1.5) 2014/09/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ENGL 232 (3) 2013/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.