Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Professional Reading #3

Dotinga, R. (2006, August 16). ‘Tweens’ Curl Up with Graphic Novels. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from:

Krashen, S.D. (2004). The Power of Reading: Insights from the research (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Until reading the book, The Power of Reading: Insights from the research, for my LIBR 271 class, I would never have thought to offer a comic book or graphic novel to a struggling reader. This book helped me to realize that graphic novels should not be overlooked in helping children to become lifelong readers. This particular author felt that comic books could help lead students to read more, eventually choosing to read novels. A librarian quoted in the article, “‘Tweens’ Curl Up with Graphic Novels” states, “there’s a value in and of themselves, not just as a bridge to reading ‘real books.’” Graphic novels contain vocabulary often at the same level as children’s and teen’s books, in addition, they are many more pages than their comic book predecessors. In fact, the article mentions that including the word “novel” in the title of this new genre has helped to elevate the status of the comic book.

Graphic novels are being produced for all types of genres, from fantasy to history. Popular books are even being reproduced in graphic novel format. My mom, a fifth grade teacher, has collected many Classics Illustrated comic books for her classroom library. Reading these articles prompted me to pick up a few graphic novels myself. I was instantly hooked. American Born Chinese was able to take difficult topics, such as self-identity issues and racism, and develop an incredible story with illustrations making these topics a little easier to digest. In Hereville: How Mirka got her sword, the artist was able to provide a smart and interesting girl role model as well as educational information on the Orthodox Jewish culture. These graphic novels were incredible, satisfying my intellectual and creative needs. I will definitely recommend graphic novels to tweens in the future; I believe that they would not only peak a reluctant reader’s interest, but also provide a different type of reading experience for a lifelong reader.

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