Growing Future Readers with Graphic Novels

Summer is winding down here in Traverse City. It has been so much fun watching folks explore our newly rearranged kids section. There is so much enthusiasm for children’s literature, and I love getting to share in that experience by helping kids and families find the right book! One of the most popular sections that has grown a ton is graphic novels. This has been a fun section to expand, especially with recent growth in early graphic readers — thanks Dav Pilkey for paving the way with everyone’s favorite, Dog Man! Kids are so excited to find the ones they know and discover new favorites.

Over and over though, we see the resistance, parents and caregivers worried about “real reading”, encouraging their kids to find a lengthier novel without pictures. As a parent myself, I get where the worry comes from. We know what an  important role literacy plays  in growing young people into healthy adults. It can feel stressful if your child isn’t reading where their peers are or are reluctant to pick up a book. We are reminded to make sure they are reading every day, and on the academic side of things, it can be worrisome if your child isn’t reaching milestones when they are expected to. 

So, here’s why you should feel okay about them picking up a graphic novel — graphic novels grow readers! Teachers and reading specialists all agree that literacy is gained with more reading, making graphic novels a great option for kids that are reluctant to read. They are accessible and give kids that rewarding feeling of finishing a book. And then, feeling excited about the next book in a favorite series keeps the momentum going.

There is a lot of decoding that happens when reading graphic novels. Interpreting illustrations and relating it to the text is an important skill for developing readers. I also think that illustrations can help some kids understand concepts that might go over their head normally. Facial expressions and body language can reveal a lot, helping with comprehension when they are encountering a new concept or social situation they are unfamiliar with.

Reframing graphic novels as “real reading” gives kids a chance to feel proud of their reading ability and success. I think we should definitely keep encouraging them to pick up those chapter books, building their reading stamina, but don’t be afraid to let them enjoy a graphic novel along the way as well!

 

Crunch (A Click Graphic Novel #5) By Kayla Miller, Kayla Miller (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kayla Miller, Kayla Miller (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9780358414216
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Clarion Books - August 30th, 2022

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza By Mac Barnett, Shawn Harris (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Shawn Harris (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780063084087
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 10th, 2022

Garlic and the Witch By Bree Paulsen, Bree Paulsen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Bree Paulsen, Bree Paulsen (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9780062995117
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 6th, 2022

Grumpy Monkey Who Threw That?: A Graphic Novel Chapter Book By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780593306055
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Random House Studio - September 27th, 2022

Hooky Volume 2 By Míriam Bonastre Tur, Míriam Bonastre Tur (Illustrator) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780358693093
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Clarion Books - September 6th, 2022

Invisible: A Graphic Novel By Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Gabriela Epstein (Illustrator) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338194548
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - August 2nd, 2022

Lemon Bird: Can Help! By Paulina Ganucheau Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780593122679
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Random House Graphic - August 23rd, 2022

Pizza and Taco: Too Cool for School By Stephen Shaskan Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780593376072
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - June 28th, 2022

Ride On By Faith Erin Hicks Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250772824
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - August 16th, 2022

Sir Ladybug By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780063069060
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 29th, 2022

Speak Up! By Rebecca Burgess, Rebecca Burgess (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Rebecca Burgess, Rebecca Burgess (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9780063081192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 13th, 2022

Stick and Stone Explore and More By Beth Ferry, Kristen Cella (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Beth Ferry, Kristen Cella (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780358549369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - June 7th, 2022

Swim Team By Johnnie Christmas, Johnnie Christmas (Illustrator) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780063056763
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperAlley - May 17th, 2022

Two-Headed Chicken By Tom Angleberger, Tom Angleberger (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tom Angleberger, Tom Angleberger (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781536223217
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Walker Books US - August 31st, 2022

Waffles and Pancake: Flight or Fright: Flight or Fright By Drew Brockington Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316500449
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 7th, 2022

Witches of Brooklyn: S'More Magic: (A Graphic Novel) By Sophie Escabasse Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780593119334
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - September 6th, 2022