All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jim Braziel

Advisory Committee Members

Kerry Madden-Lunsford

Daniel Siegle

Gale Temple

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


Worlds Built on Words is a collection of three fictional short stories about how the power of words and storytelling shape the worlds of children. In "MamaLu," a young girl clings to to the stories of her grandmother who is suffering from dementia. Through MamaLu's stories, Kaitlyn finds strength and identity. In "Secret Keeper," young Eli Clay is excited by his mother's stories about the family-run funeral home, but he soon realizes that some fictional stories have a deep truth in them, and other stories are laced with hurtful lies. And finally, in "Poe," Patrick Duncan is struggling to raise his only daughter after the death of his wife. Their bedtime ritual of storytelling takes a scary turn when Poe begins to believe that the character of the Grim Reaper is real and after her father. Kaitlyn, Eli, and Poe are all shaped by the stories they hear growing up, for better or for worse. The power of words can be beautifully redemptive or devastatingly destructive. Either way, the worlds of these children are built around the words that they hear.



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