The six-credit required thesis is developed according to the disciplinary perspective of the department in which the supervisor is situated, i.e., the thesis may be a literary study, a creative writing thesis, a research project involving children and books in the classroom or library, among others. The committee includes the supervisor and two thesis committee members from at least two out of the four departments in the program. Length is a minimum of 80 pages, but can go over 100 pages.

Thesis prerequisites

24 credits of course work including a Research Methods course (from one of either EDUC 500 or LIBR 505).

When a student enters the Program, the student has been matched with a thesis supervisor/advisor, based upon the statement of thesis interest from the student’s application to the MACL Program. The Chair acts as a general advisor. By the end of the second term (if the student is full-time) or within the second year (if the student is part-time), the student should consult with the supervisor/advisor and other faculty members among the four departments whose interests are relevant to the student’s area of interest. This will lead to a refining of the thesis topic.

After the student has settled on a thesis topic and supervisor, usually based on the thesis idea at entry to the Program, although students may change topic and supervisor, a thesis committee is chosen. The committee is chaired by the supervisor and includes two additional members, drawn from at least two out of the four departments in the program. The committee will be constituted by the thesis supervisor, who will contact other members of faculty to establish the committee. The student may suggest appropriate faculty. In certain circumstances, it may be possible to include an external thesis committee member or examiner. The supervisor and thesis committee will discuss any course work which may be needed in conjunction with the student’s independent investigations.The thesis committee will approve the formal thesis proposal.

All students who complete a thesis at UBC are required to deposit a copy of the thesis in the UBC Institutional repository, cIRcle ( You may search for MACL theses in cIRcle by specifying the Children’s Literature degree program ( A list of thesis titles is available below.

Creative Thesis Options:

A Creative Writing thesis in the MACL Program may be written in one of two ways: solely with the creative writing component or a creative work combined with a theoretical or critical academic component (a “hybrid” thesis). Students who elect to do a solely creative thesis with no academic component will have their full theses deposited in cIRcle. Students who elect to develop a hybrid thesis are only required to deposit the academic portion. This choice may affect students’ options for professional publication of works based on the thesis after graduation. Students who wish to develop a creative or hybrid thesis should consult with their thesis supervisors. A table comparing thesis options is available for download here.

List of completed theses by title

Thesis Titles from the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program, 1999 – 2012

  • “Advanced, Forthright, Signifficant [sic]: A Bakhtinian Analysis of Geoffrey Willans’and Ronald Searle’s Molesworth Series.”
  • “Applying Critical Race Theory to Multicultural Children’s Books: Race and Racism in Korean-Canadian Books.”
  • “Arthur Unknown.”
  • “Beyond the Word/Image Dialectic: A Visual Grammar for Contemporary Picturebooks.”
  • “The Big Shoes of Little Bear: The Publication History, Emergence, and Literary Potential of the Easy Reader.”
  • “Block Magic: Categorization, Creation, and Influence of Francesca Lia Block’s Enchanted America.”
  • “Bridging the Two Solitudes: Translated French-Canadian Children’s Literature from 1900 to 2004.”
  • “Canadian Cultural Identity, Disillusionment, and Isolation in Contemporary Realistic Canadian Young Adult Fiction.”
  • “Canadian Historical Picture Books as Purveyors of Canadian History and National Identity.”
  • “Cheating Fate: A Young Adult Novel.”
  • “The Child and the Gothic Body: A Study of Abjection and Nineteenth Century Influences in Selected Works of Contemporary Gothic Children’s Literature.”
  • “A Comparative Analysis of a Selection of Hungarian Folktales in English.”
  • “A Content Analysis of ‘What is Canadian’ in a Collection of Rare and Historical Canadian Children’s Books 1799-1939 in the University of British Columbia’s Rare and Special Collections Library.”
  • “Crowgirl’s Amazing Adventure Scrapbook: A Graphic Novel.”
  • “Daughters of the Land: An Ecofeminist Analysis of the Relationship between Female Adolescent Protagonists and Landscape in Three Verse Novels for Children.”
  • “Fishtailing: A Young Adult Novel.”
  • “Fuzzy No More: A Junior Novel.”
  • “Girls and Green Space: Sickness to Health Narratives in Children’s Literature.”
  • “Heroes and Heroines: A Feminist Anaylsis of Female Child Protagonists in The Epic Fantasies of George Macdonald, C.S. Lewis, and Philip Pullman.”
  • “Holocaust Literature for Young Adults: A Content Analysis of Disturbing Elements in Selected Memoirs.”
  • “Interpretations of History and Culture in Japanese- and Chinese-Canadian Picturebooks: A New Historical Approach.”
  • “Issues and Challenges Facing Immigrant Children as Portrayed in Children’s Literature.”
  • “Journeys of Faith and Survival: An Examination of Three Jewish Graphic Novels.”
  • “Language through Literature: Real Language Experiences in an Adult ESL Classroom.”
  • “Mapping Urban Childscapes: The Imaginary Geographies of Contemporary North American Picture Books.”
  • “Narratives of Transformation: Orphan Girls, Dolls and Secret Spaces in Children’s Literature.”
  • “Nature and Grief: An Ecocritical Analysis of Grief in Children’s Literature.”
  • “No Place Else: Attachment to Land and Region in Canadian Realistic Fiction for Young Adults.”
  • “Not All Work Is Depicted Equal: A Purposive Study of the Portrayals of Work and Power in Ella Enchanted and Fairest.”
  • “Outlaws of Laar: A Junior Novel.”
  • “Preadolescent Boys’ Paths to Reading: Balancing Identity and Agency.”
  • “Project: Family: A Junior Novel.”
  • “Queering Christianity: The Journey from Rigid Doctrine to Personal Theologies in a Selection of YA Literature with LGBTQ Content.”
  • “The Reality of Print Literature Resources in a Representative Sample of Urban Child Care Centres.”
  • “Risk-O-Rama: How to Avoid Dying in Middle School, or at Least Not Get Seriously Maimed.”
  • “The Self between Two Worlds: Cultural Authenticity in Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.
  • “The Seventh Bulb: A Middle Grade Historical Novel.”
  • “Shaping the Children’s Literature Canon: An Analysis of Editorials from The Horn Book Magazine, 1924-2009.”
  • “Spaces of the Holocaust: Alternative Narrative Forms in Briar Rose, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Book Thief.”
  • “Spinning the Wheel: A Comparative Study of the Use of Folktales in Nazi Germany and in Contemporary Holocaust Fiction for Young Adults.”
  • “The Spirit of White Bear Island: A Junior Novel.”
  • “Tales of the Fey: The Use of Traditional Faerie Folklore in Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy Novels.”
  • “This Is What Dreams Are Made of: The Effects of Adaptation of Popular Tween/Teen Girl Novels, Films, and Screenplay Novelizations on Constructions of Varying Femininities: The Princess Diaries and the Lizzie McGuire Movie.”
  • “Transformations of ‘Tam Lin’: An Analysis of Folktale Picture Books.”
  • “Vision of Community: A Feminist Re-Reading of Elizabeth Goudge’s Children’s Novels.”
  • “Water Damage: A Novel for Young Adults.”
  • “What Do Young Adults Read? A Qualitative Study into What Texts Grade 12 Students Value – Past, Present, and Future.”
  • ‘“What’s in a Name’: An Examination of Meanings and Symbolic Use of the Names in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
  • “Where Hope Lives: An Examination of the Relationship Between Protagonists and Education Systems in Contemporary Native North American Young Adult Fiction.”

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