Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joshua Reid

Committee Members

Scott Honeycutt, Alison Barton


Bibliotherapy—the process of utilizing literature for its therapeutic properties—has been around for centuries; however, it wasn’t until a surge of research in the 1920s that the process became recognized as an adequate method of therapy. With the rising mental health crisis looming over the United States, the time to develop, establish, and advocate for a bibliotherapeutic curriculum in K-12 public education is now. Using literary works such as Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet, Helena Fox’s How it Feels to Float, and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, this thesis establishes the literary, therapeutic, and pedagogical reasoning for the implementation of such a curriculum. Using this thesis, further research could be conducted to strengthen the argument herein. Research confirms that increased levels of reading leads to an increased level of empathy. Not only could a bibliotherapeutic curriculum produce a more empathetic society, but it could support the mental health of the nation’s children, adolescents, and young adults.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Saturday, June 15, 2024