This module is designed to introduce you to a wide range of literature written for, by and about children from antiquity to the present day. It will focus on all kinds of narratives and forms including novels, poetry, non-fiction and images. Each book will be read alongside some critical text or alternative material to provide a theoretical approach to the reading and critical assessment of the works studied. The module will give you an overview of ideas about children and the development of the critical theory of the 'invention' of childhood. By dealing with discrete subjects (eg. ideas on education, ideas about origin and identity, children at work) writings will be studied by theme while distinctive historical and cultural assumptions in different periods will be taken into account. You will be asked to develop your own critical faculties and be given the tools to allow you to make critical judgements in comparing and contrasting the range of works under discussion.