North American Options Module Reading List

Prospective applicants please note: do see for further information on how and why to apply to the M(Res.) in Children’s Literature at the University of Reading the CIRCL web-page on how to apply.

‘North American Children’s Literature’ Reading List

This module aims to raise questions about the ‘Americanness’ of ‘American children’s literature’ through the reading of a wide range of texts labelled ‘American children’s literature’.

What constitutes national and cultural identity? How do critics define this, and how do they relate it to the reading of texts, or to notions of ‘literary history’ or genre?

How are ideas of ‘society’, ‘culture’, or ‘history’ used in criticism to produce ideas of identity and to read texts as relevant to such identities?

Primary texts to be read may include:
(but this may vary with availability and/ or student choices)

Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Lemony Snicket, The Unauthorised Autobiography of Lemony Snicket
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
Jack London, White Fang
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Mildred Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry
Ursula LeGuin, The Wizard of Earthsea
Judy Blume, Forever
Robert Cormier, After the First Death
Dr Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham.

For secondary reading, the suggested text is:
(please note however that this text is expensive, and you are not expected to buy it yourself: do look up a library copy)

Peter Stoneley, Consumerism and American Girls’ Literature, 1860-1940, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Students’ Views

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