Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Reading Education


Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education


College of Education


Marjorie E. Madden, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Susan Browne, Ed.D.

Committee Member 2

Robert Eisberg, M.A.


Complex Themes, Elementary Reading, Literacy, Multicultural Literacy, Reading, Sensitive Topics


Language arts (Kindergarten); Oral reading


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Language and Literacy Education


This case study was conducted to find what happens when a parent reads multicultural books to their young child at home. The qualitative data collected was used to determine the child’s reactions to the similarities and differences between them and the characters, as well as how multicultural books can be used to address sensitive topics and complex themes in the home. A caregiver, the researcher, collected data from read aloud sessions with her five-year old daughter. After reading seven multicultural books together, the research found that the child was able to make simple and concrete connections with the physical appearance and actions of the characters in the story. Complex themes were best discussed with books that had high quality pictures and when the emotional state and physical setting were ideal for the child and caregiver. Through reflective journaling, the caregiver notes feelings of inadequacy, hesitation, and fear when discussing sensitive topics with her daughter, but found that the support of the book created a shared space that challenging conversations could happen at home.