It’s already half way through January (gasp), which means I’m linking up with Quick Lit over at Modern Mrs. Darcy to share short reviews of what I’ve been reading. Instead of giving you a peek at my nightstand, I’ve decided to mix things up a bit and talk about my 9-year-old daughter’s latest obsession: graphic novels. Today’s graphic novels have changed from manga and superheroes to interesting and engaging novels that just happen to be illustrated.
My daughter loves to read, but it has been difficult as of late to get her to read anything but graphic novels. And who can blame her? They can be downright addictive. At first I was worried that graphic novels would stunt her growth as a reader. One of the greatest things about reading books is envisioning the characters, setting, and events taking place in your own mind. Graphic novels do that for you.
But then the middle school language arts teacher in me kicks in. Reading is reading. Ya, maybe little Timmy is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the 87th time, but I have a whole other slew of books he might like when he’s done. Plus that book has a surprisingly high reading level even though I see no real value in it. The point is, my daughter is gaining plenty of literacy skills from reading graphic novels and she’s fostering a love of reading, which, as we all know, is priceless.
Lately, I’ve been finding myself sneaking into my daughter’s room and stealing her graphic novels. At first I started reading them just to see what they were all about and to make sure they were age-appropriate. But then I found myself actually liking them. These things were pretty good. And they left me with a good feeling inside unlike reading the Walking Dead graphic novels. Those things are disturbing.
Here are a few graphic novels you might consider stealing from a nearby child.
Although, if you get caught, I’ll deny any involvement.
El Deafo – This autobiographical novel chronicles the author’s hearing loss at an early age and her experiences in school. Going to school with a hearing aid doesn’t seem cool at first, but Cece soon discovers she has special powers. I love this book about learning to be comfortable in your own skin and accepting others. I also love all that the characters are rabbits.
Ghosts – We are huge fans of Raina Telgemeier around here. We’ve read Smile, Sisters, and Drama. But my favorite would have to be Ghosts. Themes of family, friendship, and courage with bits of Mexican culture sprinkled in makes this a great read.
Roller Girl – Ok, nothing is more badass than a roller derby girl. This coming of age story tells of a girl’s journey learning roller derby, navigating friendship, and realizing she might be stronger than she thinks. I just might go out and join a roller derby team now!
American Born Chinese – I’m sorry, but this book is just cool. It’s one of those things I can’t fully describe. It has an indie feel to it; the characters are quirky, but well-developed and relatable. It’s the story of two boys trying to navigate middle school and their own identities. The author does a really good job of developing each story individually and then melding them together.
Babysitter’s Club: Kristy’s Great Idea – So… I saw this book at my local library and FREAKED out! Growing up, I looooved Babysitter’s Club. I was more of a Claudia. And then I saw that Raina Telgemeier illustrated graphic novel versions of BSC… o.m.g!!!! I brought these home and my daughter didn’t even want to read them! I immediately administered a DNA test to make sure she was really my daughter. Apparently she is. Nonetheless, they’re awesome and you should read them just to reminisce.