In today’s society, a large percentage of individuals are entering the workforce without the proper literacy skills for which to be successful. Many programs and studies have been conducted to develop methods of eliminating this problem, however most have failed to consider the role of student engagement and motivation in improving the literacy skills among today’s youth. In this study, I looked at award-winning, student chosen books through the Children’s Choice Project Reading Lists and analyzed them for key features. To develop this criteria for which to analyze the books, I first began with the books themselves, collecting notes of each book and then determining the following features of the books: overall book length, chapter length, genre, illustration on the front cover, main character demographics, author demographics, and additional features. Using my findings from the analyses of each of the books from the 2013-2015 Reading Lists, I developed a book profile that educators can use to inform instructional practice focused on better meeting the students’ interests and preferences as a means of motivating and engaging them more effectively. Teachers can utilize reading ladders, book talks, and classroom libraries to provide students with books that interest them as well as showing them connections with other books such as multicultural literature and “classic” literature.

Semester/Year of Award

Winter 12-2-2015


Diana Porter

Mentor Department Affiliation

Curriculum and Instruction

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Curriculum and Instruction