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“I don’t care what they read, just that they do.”
I said this so many times during parent-teacher conferences, back-to-school night presentations, and even in front of my English classes. And it was true. I didn’t care what my students were reading as long as they were reading.
Even easy books that were below grade level.
It didn’t matter what my students were reading during independent reading time, just that they were reading something that they enjoyed.
Really, Graphic Novels?
For some reason, graphic novels were typically the ones that would make parents pause. There was no way the English teacher was promoting comic books, was she?
She was, but graphic novels are so much more than just comic books.
Comic Books are awesome, and of course, I didn’t care if my students were reading those, but these aren’t quite the same.
What is a graphic novel?
Unlike comic books, a graphic novel is a complete story. Comic books are more like the individual chapters of a larger story. Yes, it has text in small, digestible chunks with plenty of images, just like a comic book. But it also has a clear beginning, middle, and end like a regular novel.
Remember when you would read picture books to a child and the images helped to tell the story? You get that same benefit with a graphic novel. This helps to increase reading comprehension.
Are graphic novels available for high school students?
While we think of picture books as targeting elementary-aged children and younger, graphic novels are written for various audiences. There are graphic novels for early readers, such as Quest for the Golden Apple (Minecraft) is written for children ages 7-9, but Black Badge is written for teens 14-17 (and adults enjoy it too). Different authors write for different audiences, just like with traditional novels. You just have to look and find what is of interest to you.
Are there graphic novel versions of traditional high school novels?
We are all familiar with the required reading lists in high school. Remember having to read Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald? What did you think of the books?
I remember struggling through required reading simply because it was required. Even when I enjoyed the story, having it assigned made me not want to read it. My children are the exact same way, and this is a problem if I want them to read specific books as part of their English Literature lessons. Having graphic novel versions of traditional novels makes them more accessible.