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Why Graphic Novels

Experienced parents know that the amount of reading their child does will directly and positively impact his reading fluency and vocabulary development. That is why graphic novels, once relegated to the category of lowbrow reading, have experienced a surge in popularity.

You may think that the graphic novel is primarily for mainstream American children who are peppered by snack-size visual and audio bombardment. If you desire that your children slow down and feast on the written word, you may cringe at the idea of a graphic novel version of Moby Dick. But before you issue a home-wide ban on these books, consider the following.

If you have a reluctant or beginning reader, your first concern should be fluidity and competency. You will find that the graphic novel illustrations draw your child in even as the vocabulary becomes more complex. Then, because the graphics are so attention-grabbing, children often find themselves reading for pleasure.

If your reluctant reader is an older child, your primary concern may be making sure that he is culturally savvy. With graphic novels, vocabulary is introduced via contextual clues, making great literature accessible to more children. The interesting pictures and snappy dialogue (with little-to-no narration to bog the reader down) will encourage independent reading and learning. As the child's competence and confidence grow, his joy in literacy will increase.

Even if your older child is a competent reader, he will enjoy taking a break from the verbally intense books characteristic of higher-level learning. A 2006 study found that the amount of reading children did for fun decreased from the time they were eight through their teen years. Graphic books can re-engage them in the delights of reading for leisure and learning.

Some children may never read for pleasure. But most children, from the reluctant, faltering reader to the brilliant but easily bored adolescent will find graphic novels intriguing.

Check out these titles:

24 hour history

24-Hour History

Five books in one, recommended for ages 8 and up. Includes:

  • The Apollo 11 Moon Landing
  • The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
  • The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • D-Day
Amazing World War II Stories

Amazing World War II Stories

Four books in one, recommended for ages 8-14. Includes:

  • Navajo Code Talkers: Top Secret Messengers of World War II
  • Night Witches at War: The Soviet Women Pilots of World War II
  • U.S. Ghost Army: The Master Illusionists of World War II
  • The Unbreakable Zamperini: A World War II Survivor's Brave Story
Disasters in History

Disasters in History

Eight books in one, recommended for ages 9 and up. Includes:

  • The Apollo 13 Mission
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • The Challenger Explosion
  • The Donner Party
  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
  • The Hindenburg Disaster
  • Shackleton and the Lost Antarctic Expedition
  • The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The Faithful Spy

The Faithful Spy

Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address

Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Graphic Shakespeare

Graphic Shakespeare

Five classic plays in one book, recommended for ages 7 and up. Includes:

  • Hamlet
  • Macbeth
  • Julius Caesar
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
American History

Graphic U.S. History

Set of 13 books, recommended for ages 10 and up. Includes:

  • The New World
  • The Fight for Freedom
  • The U.S. Emerges
  • Problems of a New Nation
  • Americans Move Westward
  • Before the Civil War
  • The Civil War
  • The Industrial Era
  • America Becomes a World Power
  • The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression
  • World War II and The Cold War
  • The Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam
  • Globalization

Irena - Book 1: Wartime Ghetto

Recommended for ages 13-16.

lost trail

Lost Trail

Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Stealing Home

Stealing Home

Recommended for ages 9 and up.

True Stories of War

True Stories of War

Three book set, recommended for ages 8-14. Includes:

  • True Stories of the Civil War
  • True Stories of World War I
  • True Stories of World War II
The United States Constitution

The United States Constitution

Recommended for ages 14+

The Search and A Family Secret

World War II Stories

Set of two books, recommended for ages 10 and up. Includes:

  • A Family Secret
  • The Search