Kelsea Abston

Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

Shelly Sanders

Secondary Advisor

Laura Carroll

Committee Reader

Jeremy Elliott


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many national and global issues have been brought to light such as the Taliban government takeover in Kabul, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the mental health crisis. By using the following three novels - The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - intertwined with literary theories and pre-established research regarding the use of literature to facilitate discussion, this paper intends to show howYoung Adult literature can help readers - teens and adults alike - to understand the weight of such events and to empathize with those affected. This paper will also provide lesson plan ideas for classroom utilization of the novels as well as sample discussion questions for a more informal book club layout. Overall, this paper seeks to show that Young Adult literature is a vast resource for all which can promote awareness and understanding of the world at large.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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