Childhood & Adolesence in Modern Fiction - CPLT3170

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Joanne Pettitt checkmark-circle


Who and what is 'a child', and what is adolescence? This module examines the representation of childhood and adolescence in a cross-section of texts from modern literature within the context of World Literature studies. Students will pay close attention to the rhetoric and techniques of storytelling woven around these themes, as well as to relevant socio-political debates, while also examining how these specific texts function across cultures.
The module encourages students to find innovative approaches to the topic, and at the same time invites them to explore the relationship between literature and childhood and the joy of reading often associated with childhood and adolescence.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

100% Coursework:

Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (2,000 words) – 60%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Burnett, F.H. (2011). The Secret Garden. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Collodi, C. (2002). The Adventures of Pinocchio. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Franklin, M. (1980). My Brilliant Career. London: Virago.
Ishiguro, K. (2005). Never Let Me Go. London: Faber.
Kipling, R. (2013). The Jungle Books. London: Penguin.
Salinger, J.D. (1994). The Catcher in the Rye. London: Penguin.
Spyri, J. (2017). Heidi. London: MacMillan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Demonstrate the ability to think critically about childhood and adolescence as cultural ideas;
Explore and re-evaluate what literature is through the ideas of childhood and adolescence
Demonstrate an ability to compare texts from different historical and cultural periods;
Evaluate the use of rhetorical devices and narrative strategies in the representation of key concepts such as childhood;
Demonstrate an understanding of the political repercussions behind texts dealing with childhood and adolescence.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.