Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Michelle Beissel-Heath

Committee Members

Ferial Pearson, Megan Hartman, Susan Honeyman, Laurinda Weisse


Children's Literature;Social Justice


Storytelling is a vital part of the human experience. Stories can help heal trauma, help us all confront our monsters and inner demons, and can shape the way we understand ourselves and our place in the world. Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan Strong series are an example of the way stories can do all these things in themselves, and also address the ways stories do all of these things within Tristan Strong’s story. In the following thesis, I will examine the art and importance of storytelling, the ways in which stories can grow and change beyond their origins, and the ways in which stories can help us wrestle with and integrate issues in the form of monsters.



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