Open Access Graduate Research Paper
The purpose of this study was to analyze graphic literature for respectful and authentic portrayals of immigrants to help librarians and classroom teachers build culturally inclusive library collections. The study sought to answer the question of how immigrants are portrayed in elementary level graphic texts. Nine books were chosen utilizing reviews from authoritative sources along with the Wilson’s Children’s Collection and Wilson’s Middle and Junior High Core Collection databases to ensure the study was comprised of high-quality literature. The selected texts were analyzed to determine the themes present in both the text and illustrations. Results of the study found the most commonly occurring themes, or those that are present across most of the books, to be: Family Stressors, Creation of a New Social or Cultural Identity, Anti-Immigration Climate, and Acculturative Conflict. However, this analysis revealed more prominent themes across the selected literature; themes are prominent when they are fundamental to the advancement of the storyline in multiple books. These prominent themes include Family Stressors, Adversity Faced in the Homeland, and Difficulties During the Immigration Process. Themes that are present across some of the books, but play a major role in very few texts include Pride in Heritage and Support from Community. Finally, the theme of Social Mobility is not found to be present in any of the selected literature. This research aids librarians and classroom teachers in identifying literature to build an inclusive library collection which promotes empathy for others and provides immigrants an opportunity for self-reflection.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Division of School Library Studies
Joan Bessman Taylor, Graduate Faculty First Reader
Karla Krueger, Graduate Faculty Second Reader
1 PDF file (56 pages)
©2020 Jennifer K. Stanerson
Stanerson, Jennifer K., "Gazing at scattered stars: Immigration through the lens of elementary graphic literature" (2020). Graduate Research Papers. 1448.