Mapping Reader Responses to Young Adult Novels and Children’s Storybooks with Muslims and Islamic Themes

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Abstract or Description

Presentation given at the American Educational Research Association Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Recently, our nation’s politics have been fraught with controversy regarding Muslims and Islam. Literature for young people is commonly used by educators to address difficult topics such as these. However, few large-scale studies have compared the effectiveness of different books in opening conversations and transforming attitudes about challenging issues. This study is based upon qualitative narrative and quantitative pre-/post-survey data from over 550 adolescents and adults regarding over 30 books (with at least 30 readers each). This presentation will compare how these books were interpreted and discussed by the readers, if and how this process challenged the readers’ attitudes toward Muslims and Islam, and how the backgrounds and identities of individual readers impacted their responses.

Conference canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic


American Educational Research Association Conference


San Francisco, CA