Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy


The research for this study centered around three questions: 1. Do children respond emotionally and thoughtfully to the books they read, and are they able to explain these emotional and evaluative responses? 2. Does the book appeal to a child because it reflects the developmental stage of the child? 3. Does the book generate any personal associations for the child?

Fifty children from a rural-suburban school district in western New York State took part in this study. The children were members of one fifth-grade and one second-grade literature-based classroom, which represent the beginning and ending ages of the middle childhood stage of development (ages 7 - 11). The students were invited to share with the researcher a self-selected book which they were currently reading or have recently finished reading.

This study discovered that 98% of the children interviewed expressed an emotional response to their books which they could explain and all of the children had definitive opinions about their books which they could justify. The research also revealed that the self-selected books chosen reflected at least one characteristic of the child's developmental stage. In addition, this research found that 78% of the children related a personal experience, association, or feeling with the book or characters.