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News in Youth Services

Monday, January 11, 2016

Offer Kids a Graphic Novel

Imagine opening up a book with colored scenes so vivid that you can image yourself there.  Or a book with black and white images, whose texture you can feel as you go through the book.  Imagine looking at windowed panels and panes that lead you through the realm of the world the book has to offer.  Sound exciting?  Sound inviting?  Welcome to the world of graphic novels. 

You probably remember growing up on comic books and your parents and teachers telling you that you weren't really reading.  But if they stopped to look at the vocabulary used in the comic book or the illustrations that told the story, they might have taken those words back.

The best thing about graphic novels is that they are written in short bursts of text and often in fun fonts with lots of vivid images bringing the story alive to all kinds of readers, regardless of their language.  For struggling readers, graphic novels provide an alternative format of reading that support students with concise text, paired with detailed images which help them decode and understand the text.   There is less text to decode, so they don't feel as overwhelm, yet they are exposed with new vocabulary and effective language usage.

Graphic novels are still wonderful reading material for skilled readers, too.  The text in these novels have to be succinct, so they model for readers how to communicate stories in short, brief text.

What's fantastic about graphic novels is that they come in an array of genres such as fantasy, science fiction, fiction, biography and classics.  There are even outstanding nonfiction resources for learning science or about famous people, places and events.  Graphic novels are even getting recognized for awards.  This year the title, Sidekicks by Dan Santat has been nominated for the Bluestem Award.  Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi and Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka were previous year's nominees.  

 Youth Services offers a lot of different choices in graphic novel titles.  Looking for Big Nate?  We got it.  Looking for Baby Mouse?  We got those.  Looking for titles by Raina Telgemeier?  Of course, we have her books.  Stop by the YS desk and we can help you find some great choice.  If you need help proving that graphic novels are good reading choices, we have research on that too!

Graphic Novels catalog
Raising a Reader
Using Graphic Novels with Children and Teens

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