Thursday, October 20, 2011

Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers

"I hate reading" may be every librarian's worst nightmare come true. However, even the most reluctant of readers can usually be drawn in when handed a graphic novel.

Graphic novels grab students' attention. The combination of text and illustrations can often draw in even the most hesitant of readers. Like anything, reading is a learned skill; it needs to be practiced. If I can get a student to read a graphic novel, they are practicing their reading skills and they may then be intrigued enough to pick up a book that is al or mostly all text.

Reading is a crucial life skill. There is almost no job or opportunity available to people who have not learned the skill of reading. I want my students to not only be able to read, but to excel at reading. It all starts with the first book that really hooks a student - and often that can be a graphic novel.
   ~Ms. Dame, a teacher from the Shoreline School District, Washington

Personally, I have always been a graphic novel reader.  I started out in elementary school on a steady diet of Archie comics, Asterix, & Tintin.  I never was a huge fan of superhero comics (though I love the movies) & I have never gotten into manga, but I do love a good graphic novel.  It's amazing right now, the variety of graphic novels out there-biographies such as Feynman; graphic versions of popular titles such as Twilight; even graphic histories such as The Creation of the U.S. ConstitutionWhen kids come up asking for the latest Garfield, I am inclined to tell them how many great graphic novels await them out there.  Here are a few fun titles!  Some are children's fiction & some are Young Adult fiction-you decide whatat what level you want your kid reading.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (J)

The Dragon Players by Frank Cammuso (J)

Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires (J)

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel (J)

Bone: The Quest for the Spark by Tom Sniegoski (YA)

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz (YA)

Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (J)

Daniel X: Alien Hunter by James Patterson & Leopoldo Gout (YA)

Smile by Raina Telgemeier (J)

Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel adapted by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (J)

The Unsinkable Walker Bean  by Aaron Renier (J)

Stickman Odyssey: An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford (YA)

Adventures in Oz by Eric Shanower (J)

Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess by George O'Connor (J)

Sita's Ramayana text by Samhita Arni (J)

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga (J)

Trickster: Native American Tales compiled and edited by Matt Dembicki

Marvel Fairy Tales by C.B. Cebulski

Salem Brownstone : all along the watchtowers / John Harris Dunning and Nikhil Singh (J)

Babymouse: Queen of the World! by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (J)

The Little Prince by Joann Sfar ; adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (J)

Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes & Nick Bertozzi (YA)

The Castaways by Rob Vollmar & Pablo Callego (YA)

Kampung Boy by Lat (YA)

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (YA)

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg (YA)

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (YA)

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (YA)

Gabby & Gator by James Burks (J Easy)

Did you know you can also encourage your kids to read Graphic Classics such as the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, & Jack London? Look also for graphic versions of Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, William Shakespeare's Macbeth, & The Best of Ray Bradbury.

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