Graphic novels. A unique and fantastic way to get the older kids reading and discussing a story, especially when they are about noteworthy subjects such as war, disabilities, and civil rights. We now have three graphic novels to choose from (which is so exciting!).
DOGS OF WAR: Dogs were often used in the time of war and while the stories of the military canines are fictionalized accounts based on the brave actions of the dogs from WWI through the Vietnam War, it still conveys the importance of non-human assistance in times of made-made disaster.
EL DEAFO: This is a memoir of the author’s journey of hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent adjustment to her new disability. Read more about the author and the book here, in this fantastic blog post.
MARCH (book one): John Lewis, civil rights activist, presents the first part of his story in this historical account.
In addition to our three graphic novels (hope to acquire more this year!), we have two stories that have plenty of amazing art or illustrations interspersed within the text-
I FUNNY: A story that uses humor about a boy in a wheelchair who aspires to become a comedian and his struggles with his bullying cousin.
THE STRANGE LIBRARY: As strange as the title, this book is about a boy who is lonely, a girl who is mysterious and the pair of them trying to escape an oppressive library with an intense sheep man.
Not only are graphic novels a fantastic idea for a bookclub for the kid types, but there are also webcomics. They are just what they sound like. Comics found only on the web, “a rich, diverse medium where young creators learn their craft and established creators branch out in new directions.”1 Many have been discovered and printed as graphic novels. Often times, the authors/illustrators start out creating fan art and it then morphs into their own unique story. “I started out posting on Tumblr…There’s an audience for every story, including-especially!-the ones skipped over by mainstream publishers, often because the focus on or are created by minority groups”- Katie O’Neill, author of webcomic Princess Princess.2 Perhaps, after a discussion about the book, a follow up meeting/gathering could be arranged where the group creates their own version of a webcomic around the same theme as the book, showcasing the storytelling and artistic talent of the kids in the group.
Comic books and graphic novels are a great medium. It’s incredibly underused. -Darren Aronofsky
For more about the webcomics and how to get started/where to go, click on the link in one of the footnotes in the body of this blog.