Children's Fantasy on Two Sides of the Atlantic

C. S. Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle

Meet the Class

Peer Review Guidelines

Into the Wardrobe

Pictures of Lewis, his people, his places

Hear Lewis's voice

L'Engle Homepage

The Tesseract: a L'Engle Bibliography

Class Blogs

April 10 – May 3, 2006
Class Blogs
Instructor: Dale L. Sullivan


Description: The study of two writers of children's literature from similar traditions but from different sides of the Atlantic. Most classes are discussion-based rather than lectures. We will read three works by Madeleine L'Engle and a selection of The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, discussing the works as fantasy and as rhetoric. We will also speculate about how child, adolescent, and adult readers would read these works differently and about how teacher’s might use these books in class.

Assignments: Students will create their own reading journals on weblogs (I would suggest Blogger) and will write three papers: one on L'Engle, one on Lewis, and one on both. The weblog posts should be no less than 200 words in length each and should be “reader response” sorts of entries: What passage grabbed your attention? Why? What other characters, stories, or situations did it remind you of? How does it relate to your own life outside the literary world? How do you think a reader of a different kind would respond to the same passage? If we arrange travel, then the weblogs may be on the field trip experience.

Students will also write one major paper, which they will negotiate with the teacher. It may compare and contrast the two major authors, or it may focus on one author, work, or theme.

Here is a more thorough set of instructions on these activities and assignments.

Required Texts: Besides the books listed below, students will also need access to online computers and the WWW.

  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Madeleine L'Engle, Madeliene L'Engle
  • Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
  • Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Complete Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)

General Schedule:

  • Weeks 1 and 2: C. S. Lewis. Five weblog posts due during the reading: LWW, VDT, SC.
  • Weeks 2 and 3: Madeliene L'Engle. Five weblog posts due during the reading: WT, WD, STP.
  • Week 4: General Discussion and Paper Preparation. Final paper due May 3.

Detailed Schedule

Evaluation: Ten point increments (90-100=A; 80-89=B; 70-79=C)

  • Weblogs, 50%
  • Major Paper, 50%
  • Attendance and participation in discussion will be taken into account when I assign grades. I will increase overall score for the class if the student has been actively engaged in the class, and I will subtract points from the overall score of the class if the student has been absent or unengaged in the class.

Supplemental Readings

Some of these readings require a username (english) and password (minard).

Lewis and On Lewis

L'Engle and On L'Engle

Travel by Train or Bus