Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


The purpose of this literary qualitative content analysis is to determine whether fathers are portrayed in non-stereotypical parenting roles in current children’s books that librarians can use for recommendations for students and teachers. This study evaluated the portrayal of fathers in non-stereotypical gender roles and the diverse representations of fathers in 19 Iowa Children’s Choice Award winners between the years 2000 and 2019. Utilizing evaluation standards introduced in DeWitt et al. (2013) and McClearly and Widdersheim (2014), the roles of fathers of both major and minor characters in the areas of nurturing, disciplining, caregiving, companionship, and employment were recorded as well as their activities and behaviors. Of the 19 books analyzed, close to three-quarters (14) had at least one father character, of either a major or minor character, who was portrayed in a non-stereotypical role. One example is Gus, the uncle and eventual adoptive father of Charlie in Wish by Barbara O'Connor (2016), who is characterized as a quiet, easygoing man with a calm, slow way about him, who gives Charlie a nickname, and tells her she is a “ray of sunshine at the end of a long, sorry day” (p. 196). Nonetheless, overall, the role of the father character continues to be stereotypical as 52 fathers of major or minor characters maintain the traditional role of a father.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Karla Krueger, First Reader

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (55 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download