Try a Graphic Novel this summer…

As summer vacation time draws nearer and schools in Ontario prepare for the summer break, teachers often think of ways to encourage children to read over the summer.  Inspiring students who ‘hate to read’ can be quite a challenge.  The authors of the blog  highly recommend graphic novels. (Graphic novels are not to be confused with Manga novels which are a genre unto themselves).  Graphic novels are similar to comic books in that they rely heavily on illustrations to convey meaning and the text is short.

Author Mary Ann Rodman suggests the following novels for students:

Young Adult

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans—Don Brown

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir–Maggie Thrash.

Nimona-Noelle Stevenson

In Real Life–Cory Doctorow

Middle school

Anything by Raina Teigemeier (e.g., Drama)

The Dumbest Idea Ever!–Jimmy Gownley

Roller Girl–Victoria Jamieson

Sunny Side Up–Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Into the Volcano–Don Wood.

Flora & Ulysses–Kate DiCamillo, K.G.Campbell

The Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust–Loic Dauvillier.

The Lost Boy–Greg Ruth

If you haven’t read a graphic novel, I (Cathy) suggest you try one.  The experience may surprise you.  The content can be quite sophisticated and intense.  When I taught a teacher education focused children’s literature course, I used the book Persepolis to introduce my teacher candidates to graphic novels.  Persepolis is an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi depicting her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. (The title is a reference to the ancient capital of the Persian EmpirePersepolis). The book depicts religious, political, and economic struggle.  Simplistic, but powerful.

Try one this summer!


About Dr. Cathy Miyata

Cathy Miyata is a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is also an acclaimed storyteller and writer. She has performed and lectured in Serbia, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, Mexico, the United States, Egypt, and across Canada

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