Journal of Applied and Educational Research (2017-2019)


Thematic analysis, social issues, young adult novels, Common Core standards



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The purpose of this study was to complete a thematic analysis on ten randomly selected young adult novels published in the year 2018. Novels were selected based on the criteria of (1) being published in the year 2018, (2) age-appropriate for middle and high school students, (3) written in English and (4) not being a part of a series. The novels were published in the United States or Canada. The thematic analysis was conducted to determine recurring social issues presented in the novels that are affecting young adults. The novels examined in this study are: What If It’s Us, Swing, Unclaimed Baggage, When Elephants Fly, Meet the Sky, The Chaos of Now, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Broken Things, Words We Don’t Say, and Sadie. This study suggested how to integrate the novels in a middle or high school setting and whether the novels could be used in a lesson or should be housed in a school library. Each novel was read, analyzed for themes, and categorized to determine main themes of the text. Every novel dealt with a different social issue including: addiction, death, loss, friendship, and school.

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