Graphic Novels: A Gateway To Literacy
Many of you don’t know Owly, an owl featured in the wordless graphic novels by Andy Runton. But for two boys, he is their new best friend. At a time when they were struggling to learn to read, Owly provided just what they were looking for: a deep, meaningful story that they could read themselves.
Learning to read is more than just decoding the letters on a page. It’s also knowing how a book works, understanding structure and comprehending the story itself. While it’s easy to dismiss graphic novels as just “comic books,” I would urge any parents out there that have children at home who love graphic novels or manga to give in. If Stone Rabbit, Spiderman and Fashion Kitty are what keep your children begging for more, so be it.
While they dream of being a superhero or a Babymouse with attitude, they are developing a love of books and reading. They are also making a connection with the library that will last a lifetime. Here at RCPL, we have something for everyone, including more than 4,600 graphic novels for children and more than 9,000 for adults and teens. (Did I mention they’re free with your library card??)
Yes, adults, because children aren’t the only ones who can get re-engaged with reading through graphic novels. I see plenty of adults in our library, that wouldn’t normally pick up a book, reading graphic novels. It’s exciting. I also know plenty of guys who are huge fanboys, with good reason. Maus by Art Spiegelman won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Comic books also broke color barriers by featuring the first African American superhero, The Black Panther, in 1966. Comic books and graphic novels can tackle heavy issues with words and images working in concert, in much the same fashion as a picture book. Often the images convey as much or more about the human experience as the words.
So, that’s why two boys (and many more) and I love Owly (and Batman and Calamity Jack!) Check out our great graphic novels for children and tweens!
- Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean
- Binky the Space Cat
- The Dodgeball Chronicles: Knights of the Lunch Table
- Korgi Book 1
- Nancy Drew, Girl Detective
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures
- Zeus: The King of Gods
Find all these and more at RCPL.
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