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Certificate in Children’s Literature

In this unique cross-disciplinary Children’s Literature Certificate, you will examine the importance of literature in the lives of children and youth around the world. You will engage with texts to examine how modes of representation shape our perceptions of children and youth in the contemporary world.

This certificate will provide students majoring in humanities-related disciplines with critical cultural, social and textual perspectives on children’s literature. You can complete your certificate alongside your existing undergraduate degree program. Learn from a diverse group of nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Explore children’s literature and culture, YA (Young Adult) literature, comics and graphic narratives, folklore, children’s visual culture and much more. 

Requirements | Course Options | Faculty

Interviews with CCY 3997, Children's Literature Research Methods 2023 Study Abroad Course Students

Nimo Jimale, Madison Delongte and Cadence Crawford from the course, CCY 3997 Children's Literature Research Methods, describe their experience being part of the 2023 study abroad course in Dublin, Ireland.

What You'll Learn

  • Study children’s literature texts throughout history and across the world, learn about what they tell us about the times in which they were produced and the ways they have shaped children and youth across time and culture. 
  • Learn to analyze and problem-solve through writing, critical thinking, and researching historical and contemporary examples of children’s literature.
  • Study examples of early children’s literature in the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections here at York.

Hands-On Experience

  • Immerse yourself in the children’s literature archive here at York to see and experience children’s literature over the ages.
  • Enjoy practical learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom, including guest lectures and academic events.  
  • Experience children’s literature across diverse media, facilitated by the cross-disciplinary approaches and courses that you can choose from when building your schedule.


To begin processing the paperwork, please reach out to Alison Halsall, CCY Coordinator, at to begin the paperwork



Children’s Literature is a field conventionally associated with English literature studies that has strong ties to childhood and youth studies scholarship. To query children’s literature is to query cultural understandings of the child.  

This certificate in Children’s Literature recognizes and values the importance of children’s literature in the study of constructions of children, childhood and youth. It reviews many of the methodological approaches that have governed, and continue to govern, literature intended for young people. It analyzes the significant ways in which children and youth are constructed differently in literature. You will consider various times, spaces, cultures, literary forms and genres.

Course Options

  1. AP/EN 2173 3.00 Children's Literature, 1590-1900 OR AP/EN 2174 3.00 Twentieth-Century Children’s Literature 
  2. AP/CCY 3998 6.00 The Child and the Book: Children's Literature Research Methods
  3. AP/CCY 4998 6.00 The Child and the Book: Honours Research Project

9 additional credits must be chosen from the following list

  • AP/GER 1791 6.00 The Fairy Tale: From Grimm to Disney 
  • AP/EN 3032 6.00 Intercultural Theory and Contemporary Children's Literature 
  • GL/EN 3636 6.00 Children's Literature 
  • AP/FR 3340 6.00 Littérature pour la jeunesse/ Literature Written for Young People 
  • AP/CCY 3685 6.00 (AP/HUMA 3685 6.00) Canadian Children's Literature and Culture 
  • AP/CCY 3687 6.0 Graphic Novels For and About Children and Youth
  • AP/ CCY 3688 3.00 Holocaust Literature for Children and Youth 
  • AP/CCY 3690 6.00 Children's Literature & Film Adaptations  
  • AP/CCY 3691 3.00 Picture Books in Children's Culture 
  • AP/CCY 3693 3.00 The Rainbow List: LGBTQ literature and culture for children and youth 
  • AP/ CCY 3697 3.00 (AP/HUMA 3697 6.00) Writing By Children and Youth 
  • AP/CCY 4144 3.00 (AP/HUMA 4144 3.00) Indigenous Knowledge and Children's Literature in North America 
  • AP/CCY 4145 6.00 Fantasy and Children’s Culture 
  • AP/HUMA 4516 3.00 Children’s Literature in North and South Korea 
  • GL/EN 4644 6.00 The Golden Age of Children's Literature (1863-1911) 
  • GL/EN 4655 3.00 A Tarnished Age: Dystopias for Children 
  • AP/CCY 4824 3.00 Imagining Anne Frank: The Girl, the Diary, the Afterlives 

For full course descriptions, please see the course calendar.


Name Home Unit Area of specialization
Cheryl Cowdy, Associate Professor Humanities Canadian children’s literature; YA literature; research methods
Alison Halsall, Associate Professor Humanities Children’s and YA literature; Graphic narratives; research methods
Danielle Russell, Associate Professor Glendon English Studies Children’s and Youth literature; American literature; British literature
Richardine Woodall, Contract Faculty Humanities; English; Glendon English Children’s literature; Shakespeare studies
Gurbir Jolly, LSTA Humanities Children’s literature and culture
Sara Thompson, Contract Faculty Humanities Children’s literature and folklore
James Papoutsis, Contract Faculty English and Humanities Graphic narratives; children’s and YA literature
Christine Verrall, Contract Faculty Humanities Writing by Children and Youth; children’s literature and visual cultures