Graphic Novels are a Good Thing
Why should kids read graphic novels or comics? Simply because children want to read them. There are some truly fantastic tales that have complex story lines and strong characters. And they are not just for boys, a couple of my favourties feature powerful girls like Zita the Space Girl and Amelia Rules.
These novels come in a range of genres: humour, mystery, fantasy, adventure, wordless, biography, myths, historical fiction and science fiction. They do help reluctant readers but they can be enjoyed by all. Even as an adult, I enjoy reading them for a change. Think of it as a throw back to your youth!
Like any book, there are some that are only appropriate for older children. This has been a struggle in the library since different parents have different views on violence in literature, much more so when it is visually represented rather than in text. What one parent considers as a rather chaste picture of violence in a classic TinTin another parent may find offensive. Often for young readers, I'll ask for parent approval of certain graphic novels. Also, they are requested to then read them at home rather than the classroom to respect the wishes of other parents. Here is a good list that I use when recommending comics for different grade levels. Graphic novels enrich and broaden a reader's comprehension skills. Of course, a child shouldn't just read comics, and in our library they are limited to two at a time, it's a matter of balance. I recommend trying out this quality form of literature!
If you're looking for a birthday gift that will be well received, try a graphic novel. There are some great lists including one from the American Library Association.
Still not convinced? Below are some articles about the benefits of graphic novels and how they can linked with the curriculum.
These Arent Your Fathers Funny Papers: The New World of Digital Graphic N...: EBSCOhost
ALIGNING GRAPHIC NOVELS TO THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS: EBSCOhost