College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


Mary Dixon


Balance, Children's Literature, Fantasy, Portals, Psychology, Self-discovery, Spirituality


Christianity | Creative Writing | Religion


The Balance of Time is a work of middle grade fantasy that explores the struggles of children in the world today. It was written with the intent to help all children understand the world and the people around them. The story follows a pre-teen protagonist as she navigates familial relationships, loss, and a world in chaos. Along with her siblings, she finds herself in a position to restore a sense of balance in her own life and in the world. The critical review, “Finding Faith Within the Fantasy: Helping Middle Graders Conquer Foes and Fears,” examines previous works of middle grade fantasy literature and the elements within them that have helped children navigate in the world for generations. The essay highlights the power of portals in literature and the journey of self-discovery children embark upon within the realm of fantasy. It also examines the divine influence within the works that helps children navigate through a world in need of balance—a world where we all must learn to live in the tension that is life.