The Thesis

Process and Committee Requirements

Before registering for the thesis, MACL students must complete 24 credits of course work, including required courses on the history of children’s literature, contemporary children’s literature, and research methods. Please see Degree Requirements for details.

Students entering MACL are matched with a thesis supervisor based on their research interests as expressed in the application, but they are free to arrange for a different supervisor if their research interests change or they encounter faculty who are especially well suited to supervise their work. Towards the end of their course work, students should begin refining their thesis topic in consultation with their supervisor and other faculty whose research is relevant to the student’s area of interest.

After settling on a topic, the student will choose a thesis committee in consultation with the supervisor. Normally thesis committees are comprised of the supervisor and two other faculty members. The committee must have representation from at least two of the four academic units that support MACL, and at least half the committee must be members of the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies. Hybrid creative theses have both a creative and an academic supervisor. In certain circumstances, it may be advisable to include a committee member from outside the four MACL units, either as a third or (in rare cases) a fourth committee member. The thesis committee will discuss any course work or ethics approval which may be needed in conjunction with the student’s independent investigations. In the case of academic theses, the candidate and committee will meet to discuss a proposal comprising the introduction, literature review, and methodology, upon which the thesis committee will formally approve the thesis project. Completed academic theses are typically about 100 pages, while the academic component of a hybrid thesis is usually about 30 pages.

All students who complete a thesis at UBC are required to deposit a copy–or, in the case of hybrid creative theses, a copy of the the academic component–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 and types is available below.

A table comparing thesis options is available for download here.

For details on thesis formatting, contact the UBC Library Research Commons at Koerner Library, or this guide summarizing their thesis formatting workshop.

Creative Thesis Options

A Creative Writing thesis in the MACL Program may take two forms: either a stand-alone creative work 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. For details on applying for a hybrid thesis, or for more information on taking creative writing courses during your time as a MACL student, please consult this page.
A table comparing thesis options is available for download here.

List of Completed Theses from the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program, 1999 – 2020

  • Bakst, Kira Shelby – "Hide and seek: A methodological approach to the development of a short story anthology." (Hybrid)
  • Leung, Elizabeth – “Get off my cheeks hue!” Liberal humanist hierarchies, posthumanism, and the artificial lifeforms of Final Space." (Hybrid)
  • Moorhouse, Kelsey Elisabeth – "Heroes, adolescents, and artists: The quest of the adolescent female-identifying artist in young adult fantasy literature." (Hybrid)
  • Moser, Caitlin – "Brilliant and Some Kind of Happiness: A close reading of two middle-grade novels' direct and symbolic representations of depression." (Academic)
  • Salazar, Luiza da Costa Laborne – "A story in three dimensions: Theme parks as inhabitable story spaces and selected artwork and text from 'Verne's Journey.'" (Hybrid)

  • De La Vega, Valeria – "Between metaphors, a documentary : Reimagining war and violence in Colombia through picturebooks." (Hybrid)
  • Hathaway, Lauren – "Monstrous emotions : An examination of emotional content in a picturebook in translation." (Academic)
  • Matte-Kaci, Leïla – "Thawing the snow queer : Queer readings of Frozen's Elsa." (Academic)
  • Miettunen, Anita – "The Fractured Life of Becca Crease, a novel: Exploring a teenager’s relationship with a non-binary parent, family resilience, and language in the middle grade novel, The Fractured Life of Becca Crease, an exegesis." (Hybrid)
  • Rodríguez Saavedra, Verena Selene – "My name is Alice, not Alicia": A non-fiction picturebook biography." (Hybrid)
  • Sun, Kevin – "False truths : Misused reductionist handles examined through Canadian literature." (Hybrid)

  • Anctil, Emily – “Sharing Spaces: An Examination of the Relationship Between Child-Constructed Spaces and Spatial Empowerment in a Selection of Children’s Picturebooks.” (Academic)
  • Boyle, Caitlin – “‘Ah, Music, A Magic Beyond All We Do Here’: An Analysis of Matilda the Musical and Its Application in Creating Musical Adaptations of Children’s Novels; Selected Songs from The Boy Who Lived: A Musical Adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” (Hybrid)
  • Hall, Lacey – “The Many Faces of the Unreliable Narrator: An Analysis and Typology of Young Adult Novels and Their Narrators.” (Academic)
  • Maguire, Lauren – “Into Neverland: A Novel: Exegesis: Exploring the Ambiguous Portrayal of Death in Peter and Wendy and Into Neverland.” (Hybrid)

  • Hirsch, Russell – “Isle of Knots: A Novel for Young Adults: Exegesis: Religion in Isle of Knots and Related Fantasy Fiction for Youth.” (Hybrid)
  • Smith, Meaghan – “An Examination of Literary and Structural Aspects of Shaun Tan’s Picturebooks and Their Conveyance of Social Issues.” (Academic)

  • Forrester, Kathleen – “Jaida: A Novel: Exegesis: The Queer Possibilities of Jaida.” (Hybrid)
  • Nugent, Cynthia – “Tenets of Selected Picturebook Scholarship Applied to the Practice of Adaptation of the Picturebook, The King Has Goat Ears, to a Picturebook App.” (Hybrid)

  • Baker, Kaline Elizabeth – “Media as a Social Institution: The Power Dynamics of Media in the Young Adult Dystopian Fiction of M.T. Anderson and Suzanne Collins.” (Academic)
  • Balko, Rachel Mary – “Every Saturday at Midnight, a Novel: Exegesis of Every Saturday at Midnight, a Novel.” (Hybrid)
  • Henderson, Susan – “The Hunger Games Fanfiction as a Community Practice: Forming Identities in Online Communities.” (Academic)
  • MacDonald, Laura Danielle Laughlin – “Ella: a Novel: Exegesis of Ella, a Novel.” (Hybrid)
  • Owen, Christopher – “Systematic Oppression in Children’s Portal-Quest Fantasy Literature.” (Academic)
  • Tulloch, Bonnie – “A Spoonful of Silly: Examining the Relationship of Nonsense Verse and Critical Literacy.” (Academic)

  • Azad, Nafiza – “The Road of the Lost” (Creative)
  • Dror, Stephanie – “The Ecology of Dystopia: An Ecocritical Analysis of Young Adult Dystopian Texts.” (Academic)
  • Eastwood, Janet Elizabeth Robbins – “Better and Happier and Freer Than Before: Agency and Subversion of Genre in Diane Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving CastleCastle in the Air, and House of Many Ways.” (Academic)
  • Ehrenholz, Karen M – “Remembering and Reuniting Fragments: An Autobiographical and Theoretical Exploration of Children’s Stories Offering Healing and Hope to a Young Child.” (Creative)
  • Frederico, Aline – “Playfulness in E-Picturebooks: How the Element of Play Manifests in Transmediated and Born-Digital Picturebook Apps.” (Academic)
  • Fujita, Midori – “Many Faces of Albus Dumbledore in the Setting of Fan Writing: The Transformation of Readers into ‘Reader-Writers’ and the Implications of Their Presence in the Age of Online Fandom.” (Academic)
  • Harrison, Megan – “Representations of Trauma and Culture in the Guatamalan Refugee Experience in Juvenile Fiction.” (Academic)
  • Kesanakurthy, Yashaswi – “Material Girls: Examining the Effects of Subject/Object Relationships on the Protagonists of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Hiromi Goto’s Half World.” (Academic)
  • Loo, Roberta Helen – “Katniss’ Fluid Identities: Gender Performance and Media Influence in the Hunger Games Trilogy.” (Academic)
  • Quintana Crelis, Laura – “An Approach to Arabian Nights, and its Influence on The Legend of the Wandering King, by Laura Gallego Garcia.” (Academic)
  • Schembri, Natalie – “‘I’ll Tell You What: I’ll Just Steer’: An Examination of Metafictive Narrative Strategies in a Selection of Picturebooks by Mo Willems.” (Academic)
  • Wong, Einar Christopher – “The Magic of Hogwarts: A Critical Examination of Teachers in Harry Potter.” (Academic)
  • Zhao, Lingyun – “The Publishing of Youth-Literature in China.” (Academic)

  • George, Claire Elizabeth – “Mentor-Apprenticeship Roles in a Selection of Young Adult Novels.” (Academic)
  • Li, Yan Ling – “Chinese Family Values in a Selection of Chinese-American and Chinese-Canadian Children’s Novels on the Immigrant Experience” (Academic)
  • Wilson-Scorgie, Dorothea Jane – “Every Last Bit of You” (Creative)

  • Kim, Sae Yong – “An Analysis of a Selection of English-Language Korean Folktale Picture Books.” (Academic)
  • Matson, Stacey – “Arthur Unknown.” (Creative)
  • Taylor, Karen Ann – “Her Knowledge of Flora and Fauna Came Mostly From Fiction: The Adolescent as Green Subject in Three Canadian Young Adult Novels.” (Academic)
  • Weisman, Kathryn Jean – “Shaping the Children’s Literature Canon: An Analysis of Editorials from The Horn Book Magazine, 1924-2009.” (Academic)

  • Bittner, Robert – “Queering Christianity: The Journey from Rigid Doctrine to Personal Theologies in a Selection of YA Literature with LGBTQ Content.” (Academic)
  • Tassiopoulos, Vasiliki –  “The Self between Two Worlds: Cultural Authenticity in Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.” (Academic)

  • Dunford, Laura – “The Child and the Gothic Body: A Study of Abjection and Nineteenth Century Influences in Selected Works of Contemporary Gothic Children’s Literature.” (Academic)
  • Freilich, Molly Alyssa – “Drunk Sincerity: A Young Adult Novel.” (Creative)
  • Grafton, Janet Marie – “Girls and Green Space: Sickness to Health Narratives in Children’s Literature.” (Academic)
  • Kirk, Bryannie – “Spaces of the Holocaust: Alternative Narrative Forms in Briar RoseThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Book Thief.” (Academic)
  • Langford, Megan – “Nature and Grief: An Ecocritical Analysis of Grief in Children’s Literature.” (Academic)
  • Wilcox, Mary Elizabeth – “Canadian Cultural Identity, Disillusionment, and Isolation in Contemporary Realistic Canadian Young Adult Fiction.” (Academic)
  • Yamakami, Brenda Karen Akimi – “Interpretations of History and Culture in Japanese- and Chinese-Canadian Picturebooks: A New Historical Approach.” (Academic)

  • Campbell, Caitlin Anne – “Heroes and Heroines: A Feminist Anaylsis of Female Child Protagonists in The Epic Fantasies of George Macdonald, C.S. Lewis, and Philip Pullman.” (Academic)
  • Grant, Brianne Alia May – “Where Hope Lives: An Examination of the Relationship Between Protagonists and Education Systems in Contemporary Native North American Young Adult Fiction.” (Academic)
  • Johnson, Jennifer Erin – “Not All Work Is Depicted Equal: A Purposive Study of the Portrayals of Work and Power in Ella Enchanted and Fairest.” (Academic)
  • Kim, Won – “Language through Literature: Real Language Experiences in an Adult ESL Classroom.” (Academic)
  • Walker, Elizabeth Jean Milner – “’Advanced, Forthright, Signifficant’: A Bakhtinian Analysis of Geoffrey Willans’ and Ronald Searle’s Molesworth Series.” (Academic)

  • Andersen, Caralyn – “Tales of the Fey: The Use of Traditional Faerie Folklore in Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy Novels.” (Academic)
  • David, Danya Sara – “Journeys of Faith and Survival: An Examination of Three Jewish Graphic Novels.” (Academic)
  • Kim, Carolyn – “Applying Critical Race Theory to Multicultural Children’s Books: Race and Racism in Korean-Canadian Books.” (Academic)
  • Ozirny, Shannon – “The Big Shoes of Little Bear: The Publication History, Emergence, and Literary Potential of the Easy Reader.” (Academic)

  • Brisson, Geneviéve – “Preadolescent Boys’ Paths to Reading: Balancing Identity and Agency.” (Academic)
  • Dodwell-Groves, Laura – “The Seventh Bulb: A Middle Grade Historical Novel.” (Creative)
  • George, Kallie – “Spinning the Wheel: A Comparative Study of the Use of Folktales in Nazi Germany and in Contemporary Holocaust Fiction for Young Adults.” (Academic)
  • Harrison, Sandi Joy – “No Place Else: Attachment to Land and Region in Canadian Realistic Fiction for Young Adults.” (Academic)
  • Szilagyi, Andrea Katalin –  “A Comparative Analysis of a Selection of Hungarian Folktales in English.” (Academic)
  • Valleau, Geneviéve Mai Yuhk – “‘What’s in a Name’: An Examination of Meanings and Symbolic Use of the Names in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” (Academic)
  • VanSickle, Victoria Lynn – “Daughters of the Land: An Ecofeminist Analysis of the Relationship between Female Adolescent Protagonists and Landscape in Three Verse Novels for Children.” (Academic)

  • Brown, Maryn C. – “Outlaws of Laar: A Junior Novel.” (Creative)
  • Cobban, Michelle – “Bridging the Two Solitudes: Translated French-Canadian Children’s Literature from 1900 to 2004.” (Academic)
  • Goerzen, Christy Sharon – “Narratives of Transformation: Orphan Girls, Dolls and Secret Spaces in Children’s Literature.” (Academic)
  • Walker, Lori L. – “Risk-O-Rama: How to Avoid Dying in Middle School, or at Least Not Get Seriously Maimed.” (Creative)
  • Wilkes, Diana Lynn – “Water Damage: A Novel for Young Adults.” (Creative)

  • Anderson, Kirsten – “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.” (Academic)
  • Black, Marilynne V. – “Canadian Historical Picture Books as Purveyors of Canadian History and National Identity.” (Academic)
  • Brymer, Lois Marylin – “Canadian, Eh?: 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.” (Academic)
  • Obera, Sheri Louis – “The Reality of Print Literature Resources in a Representative Sample of Urban Child Care Centres.” (Academic)
  • Phillips, Wendy Jean – “Fishtailing: A Young Adult Novel.” (Creative)
  • Shoemaker, Kathryn E. – “Crowgirl’s Amazing Adventure Scrapbook: A Graphic Novel.” (Creative)
  • Warry, Michelle Joselin – “Vision of Community: A Feminist Re-Reading of Elizabeth Goudge’s Children’s Novels.” (Academic)

  • Hamer, Naomi Elana – “Mapping Urban Childscapes: The Imaginary Geographies of Contemporary North American Picture Books.” (Academic)
  • Hornberg, Brian Alan – “Beyond the Word/Image Dialectic: A Visual Grammar for Contemporary Picturebooks.” (Academic)
  • Maggio, Lauren Ann – “Project: Family: A Junior Novel.” (Creative)
  • McKinlay, Amanda Ellen – “Block Magic: Categorization, Creation, and Influence of Francesca Lia Block’s Enchanted America.” (Academic)
  • Pfitzenmaier, Audrey – “Cheating Fate: A Young Adult Novel.” (Creative)
  • Roseman, Aviva R. – “Holocaust Literature for Young Adults: A Content Analysis of Disturbing Elements in Selected Memoirs.” (Academic)

  • Mullen, Ginger – “Transformations of ‘Tam Lin’: An Analysis of Folktale Picture Books.” (Academic)

  • Steffes, Donna Marie – “What Do Young Adults Read? A Qualitative Study into What Texts Grade 12 Students Value – Past, Present, and Future.” (Academic)

  • Fuzzy No More: A Junior Novel.” (Creative)
  • “Issues and Challenges Facing Immigrant Children as Portrayed in Children’s Literature.” (Academic)
  • The Spirit of White Bear Island: A Junior Novel.” (Creative)