Children's Literature - Online english courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Children's Literature

Little girl diving into an open book
ENGL 237/3.0

A critical study of literature written for children or appropriated by adults for the nursery. The emphasis will be on distinguishing the characteristics and cultural significance of a variety of works from the medieval to the modern period.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the summer term


This course takes as its focus the history and critical analysis of children's literature in Britain from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, with an emphasis on nineteenth-century works for children.

The first half of the course concentrates on poems, short stories, and excerpts of other prose works included in the anthology From Instruction to Delight and is designed to survey the development of a literature shaped specifically for children from its beginnings to the Golden Age of the nursery at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The second half of the course will sample various genres in children's literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such as animal stories, fantasy, historical fiction, trauma literature, and picture books. Our historical and geographic lens will expand to include works published in the United States and Canada. Central to our study will be an examination of the construction of childhood across the centuries; an extended consideration of the intersections and relationships between literature, politics, philosophy, commerce, religion, economics, and art; and an investigation of the dynamics between literature written for adult audiences and books read by children.

A foundational principle of our course is that children’s literature performs important socio-cultural work and that the best examples of works read by young readers invite well informed, thoughtful, sophisticated, and engaged close analysis. As we progress through our course we will interrogate hackneyed clichés and popular assumptions such as that the primary function of books read by children (past or present) is to stimulate the imagination of the child; that children's literature is simplistic, conservative, or moral; that children are naturally sweet, innocent little angels; and that childhood is a period of sweetness and light safely removed from adult concerns.


Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.