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6 Reasons Why Graphic Novels Rock!

A few years ago, I was hardcore against graphic novels. Even as a kid, I hated comic books. "It's not real reading,” I reasoned,"It's lazy and way too simplified.” But then…I started hearing people talking about graphic novels in new ways, especially as a way to hook kids who haven't found their reading-joy yet. Then I read the blog post that Bill Ferriter wrote about why graphic novels are problematic. I was like, “Yes! Maybe I'm not a book snob after all!” And then I read the comments in his post, full of passionate arguments against him. My head was spinning, and I had to rethink everything. Color me surprised. So I decided to read one. Just to see. My very first graphic novel was Bad Island by Doug TenNapel. And boy, was I hooked! It was so different from everything I thought I knew. Things often turn out that way for me. Now I read about 10 graphic novels a year (out of about 100 books total). I love them.

6 Reasons Why Graphic Novels Rock!

  1. That "I did it" feeling - Graphic novels read pretty quickly, and some of our readers really benefit from that sense of achievement. "I finished a whole book!"

  2. You are a reader - Many kids come to reading with a sense of defeat. Graphic novels help them start to see themselves as readers. They build confidence.

  3. Momentum - Sometimes I think of graphic novels as a gateway drug... "Oh look! There are more books over there!"

  4. A whole different level of literacy - Many adults think of graphic novels as too easy and not "real reading," but the opposite is actually true. Unlike in straightforward text, all the emotions and nuances of a story are implied in a graphic novel. Readers are doing much more than just reading the words, they have to read on multiple levels AT THE SAME TIME. The words, the visuals, the layout of panels, the colors - it all has to be interpreted.

  5. Complex, heavy issues - Graphic novels often take on more difficult themes than other types of books for kids. Because the content is less dependent on long explanations, you will find graphic novels chock full of hard hitting themes like divorce, death, war, refugees, bullying, and difference.

  6. THEY'RE FUN! - I don't think I need to explain this one. Reading is fun and graphic novels are sometimes just the thing to convince us of the joy of reading!

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