The other day I spent some time in Barnes & Noble just browsing, picking up books, and flipping through pages aimlessly. It was so nice!
One section caught me a little off guard in the children’s section, a whole wall of graphic novels! My first thought was that to my knowledge, there weren’t really enough graphic novels out there for a whole wall of these books, so I explored more. There were the classics, Dog Man, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Captain Underpants. And then there were more.
The Secret Garden as a graphic novel. The Babysitter’s Club. A modern telling of Little Women as a graphic novel.
There may be some out there who have a “bah humbug” attitude about graphic novels in the hands of children, “It’s just all pictures! It’s not real reading!” they claim. But flipping through the books on the shelf, I was so excited about this new phenomenon!
First, it’s showing the world that graphic novels aren’t just for boys. When I was growing up, only boys read comic books/ graphic novels. It was such a boy thing. But now the options of books for both boys and girls are endless! Books are gender-neutral by default, but with the vast options available now, there’s certainly a book for everyone to connect with.
Graphic novels are an incredible resource for reluctant readers. The pictures do a great job of helping tell the story, leaving fewer words on the page. For struggling readers or readers with anxiety, fewer words on the page is extremely helpful. They are also smaller, bite-sized wording on a page instead of paragraph after paragraph like a chapter book. It’s so much less overwhelming and feels doable to read one speech bubble and move on to the next.
Are graphic novels still reading though?
Oh, absolutely! Reading is reading, my friends! There are words on the page that brains are working hard to piece together and figure out. Their brains are working hard to take in the input of information between the pictures and the words on the page and create a story in their minds. It is absolutely reading!
Is there an age limit for reading graphic novels? No. Absolutely not. Reading is reading!! So if you see a high school-aged kid reading a graphic novel, celebrate the reading happening!
Graphic novels are a great resource in the reading world and I am so excited that they are gaining more and more traction as time goes on. Yay for graphic novels!
Be honest, what are your thoughts on graphic novels?