Author Biographies

Laura Davis is a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville studying Young Adult Literature as a tool to promote critical empathetic discourse. She hopes to return to the secondary classroom or teach at the university level: whichever best allows her to impart her love of YA on readers.


With the findings of Wood-Barcalow, Tylka, and Augustus-Horwath (2009) as a framework, this essay offers an analysis of two texts portraying fat protagonists: The Summer of Jordi Perez and the Best Burger in L.A. by Amy Spalding and To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin. I examine the authors’ depictions of fat characters to determine if the characters align with Wood-Barcalow, Tylka, and Augustus-Horwath’s (2009) definition of body positivity. Using critical content analysis (Short, 2017), I consider how relationships, environment, and self-concept support and work against body positive attitudes. This essay also includes suggestions for how educators can use these texts and others to promote transformative discourse (Mirra, 2018) in their classrooms.

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