LIT210 : Crossover Literature: fiction for children and adults

Convenor(s): Prof Rachel Falconer


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

This module explores the expanding genre of ‘crossover’ literature: books and films produced for children but read and watched by adults. While children have always ‘crossed over’ to read adult fiction, until recently there has been less traffic in the other direction. Classic works for children that have attracted substantial numbers of adult readers in the past include Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Watership Down. But since the phenomenal success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books (published from 1997), child-to-adult crossover novels have flooded the publishing market as well as the feature film industry. In the past few years, child-oriented novels have won prestigious literary awards for adult literature, such as the Man Booker and the Whitbread. In the light of this trend, the module examines crossover fiction by contemporary writers such as Philip Pullman, Garth Nix, Jennifer Donnelly, Mark Haddon and Michael Morpurgo. We will examine the particular attractions of fantasy literature to dual-aged audiences, while also tracing ‘crossover’ activity in other, less expected areas, such as historical fiction writing and magic realism.


Two 50 minute seminars, weekly.


Two essays of 2000 words, each worth 50% of the overall module mark.
Each essay must analyse at least two crossover texts in depth. In each essay, one of the texts must be on the syllabus, while the other can be a crossover text of the student's choice.

One of the essays may be replaced by a creative writing piece of 1500 words, with a 500 word critical exegesis, explaining how the piece demonstrates key aspects of the crossover genre.

Contact Details

Prof Rachel Falconer, tel: 0114 2228461

Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:33 PM (BST)


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK