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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Elisabeth Gruner


Young Adult (YA) novels are geared towards young adults. They are meant to be in between children’s books and adult novels but the three occasionally overlap one another. As a general theme, Lee Talley says that contemporary YA literature “question[s] the power structure, rebel[s], or embrace[s] one’s ‘individuality’” (5). Power structures come into conflict with individuality and result in problems that the protagonist overcomes to become an adult or a step closer to one. The problems are concerned with the identity of the protagonist. What kind of person do they want to be? What does their family, religion, race, etc. think they should be? How do these differing ideas cause conflict and how are they resolved? The YA novels in this study focus on writing as a way to work through the problems between power structures and individuals. Writing acts as the tool to help adolescents carve out their place in the world, and aids them in working through who they are as people.

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