English 180 - Fall, 2021

Children's Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
CRN: 32335
Time: MWF 11:00-11:50
Location: 106 Wellman
GE Areas: Writing Experience


This course offers an introduction to the concept of literature written specifically for children. We will begin by reading some of the classics of this literature in English, including fairy tales, ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, PETER PAN, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, THE SECRET GARDEN, and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. We will then spend the second half of the quarter reading 21st century middle school novels by BIPOC authors, which tell the stories of a more diverse range of protagonists than we find in those classics. These will include BROWN GIRL DREAMING, THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK, INDIAN NO MORE, and WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON. We will read at a brisk clip! But there will be time to savor our reading and our analysis of it. We will work together to: think about the stories and books that have shaped us; explore what it means to read or re-read and analyze these books as adults; think about the processes of censorship, revision, and adaptation that have enabled classics to retain their influence and audience; consider what these books tell us about the history of childhood and the importance of books and reading in that history; attend to continuity and change across time. Above all, this is a class about the pleasures of reading, imagining, storytelling, and critical analysis. Students will develop and sharpen their reading and writing skills.


First paper (20%);
final paper (25%);
low stakes, online weekly writings (30%);
concluding reflection narrative (25%)


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Indian No More, McManis with Sorell
First Rule of Punk, Perez
Brown Girl Dreaming , Woodson
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Peter Pan, J.M.Barrie
Secret Garden, Burnett
Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery
Concise edition:Folk & Fairy Tales
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Lin