Date of Publication


Degree Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Megan Norcia, Associate Professor, English


This paper explores the representation of diversity in young adult novels published since 2000, focusing specifically on the representation of disability and LGBTQA+ characters and issues, in order to illustrate the gaps being filled by the writer's young adult novel. The writer examines several young adult novels, each featuring a protagonist that is disabled, LGBTQA+, or otherwise connected to the protagonists of the writer's novel, Blackjack. Though disabled and LGBTQA+ characters are not new developments in the genre, recent years have seen an increase and improvement in these representations, though there continues to be an absence of intersectionality. The writer argues that progress has been made in the diversity of young adult novels, but still has a long way to go in terms of both diversity among characters and diversity among authors.