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February 10, 2020

For the Love of Graphic Novels

For the Love of Graphic Novels

By: Allison Kartman

“Psst”… want to know a secret most children’s librarians really want you to know? Graphic novels are real books! Graphic novels ARE real reading! Yes, really. Reading is reading!

Our society is an ever increasing visual society. Emojis, texting, GIFS and memes are all visuals we now use to communicate. It just makes sense that kids would gravitate towards books in a visual medium as well. Graphic novels are complete and expertly woven stories, just told in a visual format.

It is a rare day that we see the library shelves full of the likes of Dog Man, Big Nate, or ANY of Raina Telgemeier’s wonderful works. These titles are so popular that they receive some of our highest circulation numbers.

With the vast array of genres (fantasy, sci-fi, realistic, and historical fiction), graphic novels are a fun way to help create a genuine love of reading. According to an article from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund publication, “there has been a dazzling burst of nonfiction graphic novels, making them extraordinary resources for learning about science, famous people, places and events in and out of classrooms.”

Learning about the civil rights movement? Check out the award winning series March by John Lewis.

Many classic books are also being adapted into graphic novel format as well! Did you know you could check out a graphic novel of A Wrinkle in Time?

And graphic novels aren’t just for kids. Check out HEPL’s extensive adult graphic novel collection as well! I personally just finished Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley. A memoir about the author’s struggle with fertility, pregnancy and her birth experience. I have rarely cried while reading but both Kid Gloves and Knisley’s picture book You are New have produced some rare tears for me.

Recently, New Kid by Jerry Craft won the Newbery Medal, a first for a graphic novel! This medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in the past year.

Graphic novels are gaining in popularity, with no signs of slowing down. Don’t miss your chance to experience this awesome storytelling format. Stop in the library for some further recommendations from our librarians!