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Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Children's Literature

Directing Professor

Hillary Homzie


In the creative portion of the thesis, Penny for Your Thoughts, 17-year-old Layton Parker is miserable in his job working retail and in his life in general, but when he accidentally develops the ability to mind control costumers, things start to look up. However, he quickly learns the powers have their drawbacks. He can’t make anyone love him, every time he uses them his health gets a little worse, and he is seeing and conversing with a possibly imaginary Abraham Lincoln. When unrequited love sends Layton spiraling towards the dark side, he concocts a master plan of revenge that eventually leads to the loss of his first girlfriend and the loss of his powers. The critical paper compares Penny for Your Thoughts to Going Bovine, What We Keep is Not Always What Will Stay, and Everybody Sees the Ants by looking at genre classification, common themes, and the use of the literary device of “magical helpers.”