Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Lynne Barrett

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Shawn Christian

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

John Dufresne

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


young adult, contemporary, football, high school, fiction

Date of Defense



HAIL MARY is a young-adult novel narrated by autistic, sixteen-year-old Aiden Wright. At a post-football game celebration, he is drawn into a fight, leading his brother, team star Brandon, to intervene, only to be accused of assaulting the police officer who shoots and seriously injures him.

After ambiguous videos leak online, Aiden uses his technological skills and ability to focus, seeking more evidence. Asking tougher questions and demanding more from those around him, Aiden grows, gaining allies and making others see him as a human, rather than viewing him through his disability and race.

Here, as in Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, high-school-aged characters work against a corrupt and racist system. Set in contemporary South Florida, HAIL MARY shows the lived experience of young people seeking to do more, across racial and social divides, with what they have and who they are.





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Rights Statement

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