Popular Forms 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.

‘Popular Forms of Children’s Fiction’ Reading List

This module aims to examine texts that may, in a variety of ways, be seen as ‘popular’.

This will include books published in series (Goosebumps, Babysitters); books marketed by genre (Point Horror); comics, magazines and media.

Through these texts, important questions of critical approach will be raised. These will include questions of value and hierarchy, the construction of ‘authors’ and authority, notions of originality and repetition, ideas of the ‘contemporary’.

Above all, the very idea of the ‘popular’ will be carefully considered. How does it function in existing critical languages? Is it thought a part of, or as apart from, children’s literature? Where would one place Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl? Disputed cases such as these will help to mark out the frontiers of debate.

This suggested outline may be modified to take into account specific interests of the students. The reading list for this course therefore may include the materials mentioned here, with further material selected by, and with, the students.

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