Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2015

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English, Linguistics, and Communication

First Advisor

Rigsby, Mary

Major or Concentration



Although there are more than enough children's books with female protagonists available for children to read, girls are often underrepresented in classroom literature. This symbolically annihilates girls, leading them to believe that they are unimportant members of society. In order for boys and girls to feel that they are equally vital members of society, it is important that they are evenly represented in the classroom. While past studies have indicated that the cause for this is boys' distaste for literature with female protagonists, this study investigates why boys dislike literature with female protagonists and how teachers can approach such literature so that all students can relate to it. By deeply analyzing seven Newberry award winning novels and their authors, this study examines the qualities and characteristics of female protagonists that are relatable to all students with the hopes to promote gender equality in the classroom.