Linda Parsons

Headshot of Linda Parsons

Associate Professor, Marion Academic Instruction

Program Areas:

  • Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood Education
  • Literature for Children and Young Adults

(740) 725-6297

Personal Website


Linda T. Parsons is an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University at Marion where she specializes in middle childhood literacy and young adult literature.

Her research interests comprise two intersecting strands. One strand documents the personal styles, orientations, and stances that shape engagement with text and the reader’s ability to construct meaning. This research recognizes how unpredictable, complex, and powerful the act of reading may be. The second strand focuses on the analysis of children’s and young adult literature. Beyond providing pleasure, literature conveys cultural values and assumptions, so analyzing it as both a construction of and a purveyor of the culture in which it is situated is a politically charged act.

Through her research, she seeks to make visible the complexity of engaged reading, to examine readers’ responses to texts that challenge cultural norms, to examine literary constructions of reality and their relationship to lived realities, and to consider literature’s potential to deconstruct binary thinking.

Parsons is an active member of the American Library Association, the International Literacy Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the United States Board on Books for Youth.


  • PhD, Education, The Ohio State University
  • MEd, Curriculum and Instruction, Ashland University
  • BS, Elementary Education, Miami University

Research Interests


Selected Professional Service

  • Outstanding Books for People with Disabilities Committee (USBBY)
  • The Amelia Bloomer Project Committee (ALA)
  • SIGNAL Board, Director, Treasurer, Secretary (ILA)
  • Standing Committee Against Censorship (NCTE)
  • Legislation Committees (ALSC and YALSA)
  • Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video Committee (ALA)

Selected Publications

  • Crossley, J. S., & Parsons, L. T. (2022). Portrayals of deafness in middle-grade literature: Disability or diversity?. Journal of Children’s Literature, 48(2), 8-18. 
  • Parsons, L. T. (2022) Masculinities in two novelized YA “Cinderella” adaptations: Disrupting hegemonic power and relationship. Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, 36(2), 242-257.
  • Parsons, L. T., & Pinkerton, L. (2022). Poetry and prose as methodology: A synergy of knowing. Methodological Innovations, 15(2),118-126. 
  • Parsons, L. T. (2021). Cinderella’s transformation: From patriarchal to 21st Century expressions of femininity. Study and Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature, 5(1), 84-107.
  • Parsons, L. T., & Mikita, C. (2019). Bringing the housing crisis home: Novels featuring students who are homeless. Journal of Children’s Literature, 45(1), 27–37.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2018). Maligning mothers and forgiving fathers: Maintaining the motherhood mandate in response to parents in two young adult novels. The ALAN Review, 45(2), 35-44.  
  • Parsons, L. T. & Murphy, C. (2017). Mockingbird musings: Advocacy and activism in novels for middle school readers featuring To Kill a Mockingbird. The Dragon Lode, 35(2), 70-78.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2016). Storytelling in global children’s literature: Its role in the lives of displaced child characters. Journal of Children’s Literature, 42(2), 19-27.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2016). The (re)presentation of fat female protagonists and food addiction in young adult literature. Study & Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature, 1(2), 1-30.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2015). Learning from preservice teachers’ responses to trans-themed  young adult literature: Improving personal practice in teacher education.Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 
  • Parsons, L. T. (2013). An examination of fourth graders’ aesthetic engagement with literary characters. Reading Psychology, 37(1).
  • Parsons, L. T. (2012). Advocating for LGBT teens through literature: Preservice teachers respond to Luna. SIGNAL, 35(1), 7-13.
  • Parsons, L. T., & Castleman, M. (2011). “I have a dream, too!”: The American dreams  of Coretta Scott King Award characters. Journal of Children’s Literature, 37(1), 6-18.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2009). Readers researching their reading: Creating a community of inquiry, Language Arts, 86(4), 257-267.
  • Parsons, L. T., & Colabucci, L. (2008). To be a writer: Representations of writers in recent children’s novels. Reading Teacher, 62(1), 44-52.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2006). Visualizing worlds from words on a page. Language Arts, 83(6), 492-500.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2004). Ella evolving: Cinderella stories and the construction of gender-
  • appropriate behavior. Children’s Literature in Education, 35(2), 135-154.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2003). Zeely: A “foremother” of the feminist children’s novel. The New Advocate, 16(2), 149-160.
  • Parsons, L. T. (2002). ‘Otherways’ into the garden: Re-visioning the feminine in The Secret Garden. Children’s Literature in Education, 33(4), 247-268

Selected Presentations

Invited Presentations: 

  • Student Research and Creativity Symposium, Marshall University, Huntington, WV.
  • General lecture, Sanata Dharma Universitas, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 
  • Plenary address, Literary Studies Conference: Children’s literature in Southeast Asia, 
  • Sanata Dharma Universitas, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  

National & International Presentations: 

  • 36th IBBY World Congress: Athens, Greece. 
  • 37th IBBY World Congress. Moscow, Russia
  • 38th IBBY World Congress, Putrajaya, Malaysia
  • International Literacy Association, multiple US locations
  • International Research Society for Children’s Literature, Santiago, Chili.
  • National Council for Teachers of English, multiple US locations

Regional & State Presentations: 

  • The Dublin Literacy Conference 
  • IBBY Regional Conference
  • The Virginia Hamilton Conference 
  • The Youngstown State University English Festival