Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


For this study the author identified two criteria to be examined in junior novels. These criteria originally came from Stephen Dunning's five categories which he suggested as representative criteria against which the literary quality of the junior novel could be measured. The two categories chosen were structure and characterization in the novel. Each aspect of these two categories was defined and then applied to twenty-one junior novels that were fiction. The twenty-one novels examined were chosen from G. Robert Carlsen's list of popular books depicting adolescent concerns in the 1977 and 1978 English Journal. Each book was then measured numerically against each criterion on a continuum from zero to two. "Two" indicated the criterion was fully developed, "one" it was partially developed, and "zero" indicated the criterion was missing. In order to rank as good literature, each novel exa.11ined had to meet 75'JG of the established criteria in the "two" column, or twelve out of the fifteen criteria listed. In order not to reject the hypothesis statement, 50% of the total number of books examined had to meet the criteria for structure and characterization of good literature. The study showed that eight (38%) of the twenty-one novels met 75% of the established criteria. The author then rejected the hypothesis statement that popular young adult novels do meet the criteria established for structure and characterization of good literature.

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Master of Arts


Department of Library Science


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