MA Reading Lists
and Course Descriptions
A note on the buying and finding of texts
Over time we have had many requests for reading lists from both prospective students of the M(Res.) in Children’s Literature in the Department of English of Reading University and other, generally interested, people. Some people wish to see reading lists to get a more detailed idea of the content of the M(Res.) in Children’s Literature at Reading, perhaps with the aim of applying for the course, while others have already applied, and would like to buy books in advance or start doing some reading to prepare for the course.
Please note that prospective students may wish to check with us which books it may be useful for them actually to buy and/or read as course preparation: students should be aware that – as with any reading lists – course materials vary over time and are used to differing extents during an actual course. In the past, some students have gone out and bought books in advance, despite this warning, and then been frustrated that they were not actually used on the course, so don’t buy without asking us, unless you are prepared to take this risk!
One further note: unfortunately, specialist books in children’s literature tend to go out of print rather quickly. Because they are essential, however, we include them here, but getting hold of them may involve being prepared to hunt through libraries, share books, or scour second hand bookshops! For the MA in Children’s Literature at Reading we make sure that we hold sufficient copies of these out-of-print materials for our students in our Reading University library at the Whiteknights campus or at the Special Collections at the University archives at the Museum of English Rural Life. Remember also to use the resources of the internet further: take a look, for instance, at our CIRCL Other Interesting Sites web-page.
If you are looking for second hand texts, useful links to second hand-bookstores or internet delivery and/ or book search companies include
Some course texts are available on the Web
- J. J. Rousseau, Emile
- Mrs Sherwood, The Fairchild Family More generally, many Nineteenth Century texts can be found on this Project Gutenberg site.
- Children’s Literature Association Scholarly Resources (you need to search their links in turn to various resources for both children’s literature texts and criticism).
- Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories’
For a wider audience too we hope these lists may help to provide a guide for their own reading in the rapidly developing and exciting field of Children’s Literature Studies. Enjoy your reading!
M(Res.) in Children’s Literature Reading Lists
There are four taught modules on the M(Res): Theory of Children’s Literature, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Children’s Literature, Global Children’s Literatures in English and Myth, Folktale and Popular Culture in Children’s Literature. The modules are all taught across the two semesters and all contain a ‘set’ element and optional elements chosen by staff and students together each year.
- Theory of Children’s Literature (tutor: Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein)
- Global Children’s Literatures in English (convener: Dr Sue Walsh)
- Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Children’s Literature (convener: Dr Neil Cocks)
- Myth, Folktale and Popular Culture in Children’s Literature (convenors: Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein and Dr Neil Cocks).
For a list of past MA dissertations see the MA dissertations page.