Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


In the context of schools experiencing an influx of students from a more diverse range of cultures, and with a goal of assisting librarians to better serve these students, this qualitative research focuses on the presence of cultural diversity in transitional chapter books and, when present, identifies whether characters modify culturally determined behaviors. The cultural diversity within books, especially transitional chapter books, can allow newly independent readers an opportunity to deepen their identification with and connection to reading. The value of identifying with a character in a book is established in prior research (Alter, 2016; Goodale, 2012; McNair & Brooks, 2010). With the aim of identifying books that represent the range of cultural identity and that will engage new readers, several research questions were explored. These questions addressed embedded messages, illustrations supporting culture, and the choices characters made affecting their cultural identity. The research sample consisted of the books from two lists - separated by ten years - the School Library Journal recommended list for 2009 and 2019 in an effort to observe a change in cultural perspective as represented in books for youth.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Joan Bessman Taylor, Graduate Faculty First Reader

Second Advisor

Karla Krueger, Graduate Faculty Second Reader

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (45 pages)



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