For those parents and educators out there, some great news came out of the American Library Association (ALA) conference a couple of weeks ago: Diamond Comic Book Distributors released a list of 101 graphic novels, by grade level, that will satisfy the Common Core Learning Standards. In English: the government and education administrators are finally getting it – comic books and graphic novels help kids learn.
If you’re reading this, I don’t need to convince you of this fact. The visual interest; placing objects in a linear sequence of events; tackling deep storylines while still holding a reader’s interest – we’ve known this for years. Graphic novels are finally getting some respect! Let’s support this – parents, get your kids to the library, the book store and the comic book store and get them some books! Educators, put some graphic novels onto your classroom library bookshelves, and head over to Reading With Pictures to check out the scholarly articles and curricula other educators have uploaded there – and feel free to share your own. It’s free!
If that wasn’t cool enough, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund just released a free guide, “Raising a Reader! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read!”. It’s a great resource for parents, educators, or frankly, anyone who wants to get kids excited about comics and reading. If you’ve got a comic book store, check it out – talk it up! If you work in a bookstore or a library – make a bookmark with the URL! The more kids we get reading – the more kids we get reading comics and graphic novels – the more the medium will finally get the respect it deserves as an educational medium.
“Raising a Reader!” is written by Dr. Meryl Jaffe, an instructor for Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Online Division. Babymouse creator and three-time Newbery Award honoree Jennifer L. Holm writes the introduction, and Eisner Award winner Raina Telgemeier and Eisner Award nominee Matthew Holm created some wonderful art for the piece. The PDF is available for download at the CBLDF site.
Now get some kids reading!