Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Graphic novels for reluctant readers

I saw a post on instagram that read something to the effect of "there are no reluctant readers only readers who aren't getting the right books". I thought long and hard about that quote and decided to do this post about books that are in graphic novel form. Graphic novels are not only for those who like superheroes. Nowadays graphic novels encompass everything from adaptations of classics like A Tale of Two Cities to teenage angst. I will focus this post mainly on books for readers in grades 2-5. These books are all high interest and for the most part feature simple vocabulary. In any case graphic novels often help scaffold vocabulary so that is just one more advantage to these books.

Dalen and Gole: Scandal in Port Angus by Mike Deas features two friends from the planet Budap. They love racing but smell something fishy when they are thwarted at the finish line. They follow clues and discover that the trail leads to Earth and wind up teaming up with an earthling to stop an interplanetary plot.

Image result for the secret science allianceI like The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis because it shows that science is cool. The heroes in this book are not muscle bound or superpowered.When strange things begin ocurring in the city however the trio band together to solve the case. I like how there are detailed illustrations of the crafts and gizmos that the kids design. Very cool.

Zita the Spacegirl is the first in a series by Ben Hatke. Zita is a bit headstrong but she cares deeply for her friends. It is this care that leads her on intergalactic adventures because when her friend Joseph is abducted by strange creatures she dashes to save him and thus begins her odyssey through space as she battles to get back home.

Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series is fantastic. It has a manga feel to it, (the author is Japanese) and is very well written and fleshed out.  The characters all have so much depth to them. I had to wait a few weeks for the books in the series on hold at my library because they were so popular.  When her father dies Emily and her brother move with their mom to the home of her deceased great-grandfather but the house is not what it seems. They meet a strange creature called Miskit and then the real adventure begins.

August moon

August Moon by Diana Thung is one of my faves. Its main theme is friendship but throughout the book we see a strong push for environmental conservation and most striking for me, the innocence of childhood. The boy from the moon floats above everything and hangs out around the city. He befriends a girl called Fiona and she delights in playing with him. Things turn serious however when an evil corporation comes to the quiet town. Fiona is thrown into a battle for the very soul of a community.