Check check check check check it out

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So I lied, this is my last post.  Everyone keeps speaking of the desire to know of a few more titles, so I figured, what the hey, why not.

 

  1. Lunch Lady Series
  2. Baby Mouse series
  3. Amulet Series
  4. Zita the Spacegirl Series
  5. Drama
  6. Smile
  7. Freshman
  8. The Kite Runner
  9. Parker
  10. Sin City
  11. Rapunzel’s Revenge
  12. Electric Girl Series
  13. Anything by Satrapi
  14. Calamity Jack
  15. Coraline
  16. Hikaru No Go series
  17. Ninja Baseball Kyuma Series
  18. Stone Rabbit Series
  19. Otto’s Orange Day
  20. The Beast of Chicago
  21. Benny & Penny in the Big No No
  22. Stinky
  23. Pirates Don’t Eat Porridge
  24. Who’s Got Game?
  25. Love and Rockets
  26. Our Cancer Year
  27. Vietnamerica
  28. American Born Chinese

Articles and Thoughts

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So, this will most likely be my last post on this blog, as the semester is coming to a close and I have websites to redesign.

Nonetheless,  I wanted to share some of my final thoughts and some articles I think would provide some insight.

While I enjoyed the class, it wasn’t exactly what I had signed up for.  As an MLS student specifically focusing on youth services, I was expecting there to be more insight as to how graphic novels exist within a children’s department, thoughts on collection practices and just overall, more younger titles.

I was hoping that with our professor’s connections to the local public library, that we really would have had more interaction with them as well as their insight on collection development.

In our class of MLS students, I’m the newest in the bunch. So while I understand that 672 is a seminar, I really would’ve liked a more hands on approach from our professor.  Whether it was when the discussion got out of hand, or simply setting a focus on how our readings affected youth.  I know that this is the first time this course has been taught, but based on all the hype I got from one of the Deans and how awesome it was going to be, I was a little disappointed.

Now that I’ve probably put a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, I’m just going to briefly mention a few articles that I think would be vital to add to this class.  Because I accessed them from school and printed them out, I will just print author and title.  Also, rather than give you a long explanation, I’ll just give a brief summary as to why they may be important.

1) Defining Identities Through Multiliteracies: EL Teens Narrate their Immigration Experiences as Graphic Stories by Robin L. Danzak.

Liked this article for a few reasons, first being provided great great great programming idea that can be utilized in a library (though this is used in a school).  I also really appreciated it because it talks about how Graphic Novels reaches a population we chose to not discuss this semester: non-native english speakers.  (EL means english learners).  I think that for all of the MLS students in this course, this is a must read

2) Discovering Greatness: YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens List by Joy Kim and Rachael Myers.

For the skeptic out there, who questions how librarians do what we do (we don’t just run around Barnes and Noble blind folded, just FYI) or for someone who has never heard of YALSA or the Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, this article provides insight as to how the books for the list are chosen, the importance of the list, and so on.  My only complaint is that they continually cite one school library, which is at Horace Mann.  I’m familiar with Horace Mann, and let me just say that the librarian there probably wants for nothing.  So while it doesn’t provide insight as to how to afford the books, it does provide insight on how to collect feedback and utilize the list.

3)Expanding Literacies through Graphic Novels by Gretchen Schwarz.

Just a short article on how Graphic Novels develop both artistic and traditional literacy.  One of those “research” articles that we don’t “use'”.  But seriously, think it would be great in explaining the importance of GN to anyone who is reluctant.

4) Teens and the Future of Reading  by Michael Cart  &  Teenage Reluctant Readers and Graphic Novels by Clare Snowball

Yes, I know those are two articles, but they more or less talk on the same thing, and are short.  They both take a stance similar to that from one of my favorite movies (if you can name the movie that this is similar to without looking it up, I will give you a prize…I’m dead serious, I have extra prize bags from HCI class).  That stance being “buy them, and they will come”.  The articles talk about how teens may be reluctant to “traditional” methods of fiction, they are gobbling up graphic novels and that there is something to be said for that.

Well, that’s it on my end.  To all the people graduating, best in luck and keep in touch! (because lord knows i need a job in a few years).

Castle Waiting & My Friend Dahmer

imagesI really enjoyed Castle Waiting, I thought the art work was beautiful, detailed and very intricate.  The story was one of intrigue, I kept reading on and on, wanting to make sure that Lady Jain was okay and that that little evil demon thing didn’t cause any problems for her.

I appreciated how the author took stories we are all familiar with on some level (Sleeping Beauty, 3 Little Pigs, etc) and made them her own.  Medley may have borrowed beloved characters but she developed their fictional lives, gave them personalities and brought them out of the typical light in which we view them.   The female characters were strong and independent, while the male characters were just sort of there for filler.

Really my only complaint is the impending sense of doom I kept feeling while reading. Why was it wrong for Jain to be pregnant? Does her husband find her?  What becomes of those ghosts in the library?  Our experience with stories tells us that authors don’t just typically bring this information up for no reason, that these aspects are part of the plot and are usually points of conflict within the story.  But alas, nothing.  These points were all mentioned in the beginning, but never developed.

I have heard that these points are all resolved in Volume 2, but the complete Volume 2 (with the latest epilogue and conclusion) isn’t available until May 15.

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After I finished Castle Waiting,  I took the initiative to read My Friend Dahmer, a graphic novel about the  author’s high school years with classmate Jeffrey Dahmer.  This graphic novel is on many a list for great graphic novels, especially for teens.

Let me say that I sort of feel like an idiot for falling for all the hype about this GN.  To be honest, I didn’t think it was that great.  Backderf’s extreme Robert Crumb and RAW style illustrations provide a very eerie and truly scary feeling to Dahmer and the situation, but to be honest, that’s it.  There’s really no story here.  Backderf even says that he didn’t interact with Dahmer that much and that he used a lot of FBI transcripts to write the novel.

In my opinion, it was the illustrations that made this graphic novel as great as people keep saying.  Their grotesque, and exaggerated forms make  you feel like Dahmer may jump out of the page and attack you.  The images foreshadow that break, that moment where Dahmer loses it all, and even after it happens, the images haunt you.

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But the fact remains that if Jeff Smith had done this story, if he had been the one who had gone to school with Dahmer and had written this book, the reaction wouldn’t be the same.

In this case, the art really does make the story.

Jerusalem & Web Comics

This week, I’m dividing my post into two sections: part 1 will be my thoughts on Jerusalem the second part will look at webcomics.

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So let’s start off this section on Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem with a truthful statement: this is the graphic novel I was looking forward to reading the most this semester.   Let’s follow that up with another truthful statement: I could not finish it.   Last week I asked how a person from  Pyongyang may feel if they read the same titled graphic novel by Delisle.  I think I now know the answer- angry and disgusted.

To me Delisle’s book was so off base and so ignorant and so rude that I could not finish it.  I lived in Jerusalem for 2 months….2 months and I did not go in or leave as ignorant as Delisle.

But, I can’t criticize him because those are his experiences.  Originally I was going to produce a list for you all of things that were “wrong” with his observations, but then I realized  that they aren’t wrong if it is how he interprets them.  As a result, on Friday in class John has given me permission to talk about my own time in Israel, specifically Jerusalem, and show you my pictures.

The one thing that I really do want to mention though is how if you asked any person who lives in Jerusalem or Israel for that information, about the area that Delisle lived in, they would not consider it Jerusalem.  Unlike Delisle’s depiction, Jerusalem really is a melting pot, because it is the life center to so many religions and peoples.

A few other things that bothered me that don’t have to do with objective perception: it is widely known amongst those who plan to travel to and from Israel, including organizations like Doctors without Borders, that unless you are Israeli or Jewish (which by El Al’s standard means your mother is jewish) YOU DO NOT FLY EL-AL.  They are very very very protective and judgmental, for whatever reason.  My family who lives in Israel does not even fly El Al.  Numerous airlines have hubs in Tel Aviv, so while I understand Delisle’s frustration, who ever booked his flight for him was a real moron and didn’t do their research.

This next bit really goes without saying, but there’s a reason why everyday people and tourists are not allowed near border areas.  The fact that Delisle not only put on the vest that identified him as part of a group, and then wandered away from the group and was separated when there was the incident with the rocks and mortar just really emphasizes to me how stupid Delisle is.  I understand that you may be curious but where is your common sense.

Finally, a last bit about the Dome of the Rock.  Due to safety concerns, no one aside from Muslims are allowed inside the temple.  Yes, this is a bone of contention for many people, but again, it is a safety issue, mainly because a bomb had gone off within the area around it a few years ago.  Nonetheless, this too is widely known within Israel or learned by anyone who does research prior to their trip (I researched times to visit and learned I could not).  I was truly disgusted by Guy’s attempt to “pretend” he was a Muslim man so he could get in.

 

Moving on from the anger, let’s end this sucker on a happy note:

I loved some of the webcomics that John sent us.  Particularly these 3:

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UnshelvedGirls with Slingshots, and The Oatmeal. 

 

Webcomics like comic books, really are a personal preference.  These three stood out to me the most because of their sense of humor.  I like blatant, almost satirical humor.  Although it isn’t a webcomic, my favorite comic strip Pearls Before Swine is available online. I;ve included two of my favorites below:

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Here is my issue with Webcomics though.  Now with the end of Google Reader, I have to go and look up each site individually (with the exception of Unshelved  which I can subscribe to) and read them all . As Jenni stated in her comment to Jenna, it just makes me spend more time online than I really really need to.

I think some of the webcomics would be great to incorporate into the collection, whether it be through a list of ones to follow (like a recommended reading list) or a page on the website under the teen section.  However, it should be remembered that these links and pages would need to be checked on a regular basis in case they became dead or no longer updated.

Short Spring Break Special!

Over break I decided to curl up with a nice big stack of tradeback comic books on the beach, because I’ve always been interested in XMen, Batman, and Superman as those are the ones that have always floated around my house. Thanks to the help of Matt at Vintage Phoenix I was able to make out off like a bandit.

The first one I read is Grant Morrison’s New X-Men which came out around 2001. Book 1 is centered around the storyline that there is a movement to exterminate all mutants from the Earth, with Professor X’s (Charles Xavier’s) mind and body both severely indisposed, it is up to Jean Gray and the rest of the X-Men to save the entire mutant race as well as the Professor from annihilation. While Morrison’s New X-Men does start from the beginning of the story line which I really really like and appreciate, there is no background information given about the characters. This wasn’t much of an issue for me because I know about a majority of the characters on my own, but I was frustrated by the lack of explanation about Emma Frost’s issues with the X-Men, since last X-Men I read she was a good guy. The other tidbit I noticed was that although Magneto was killed, there was no mention of him being Charles’ brother, much of story focuses on Charles’ deceased twin, Cassandra who is looking to kill all the mutants of the world. Needless to say when the wheels of this plane hit the ground in 3 hours I’ll be heading over to see Matt for Book 2.

The second book I began is the widely acclaimed Batman Hush. I’m only a few pages in so more on that later. I also have what I think is the Amazing Superman which is also very highly recommended. Unfortunately my Dad took it out of my bag before I could touch it.

In other tradeback news, the Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 3 aka the next Miles book, comes out March 20. Then the single issues will come out once per month

Gotta go-wheels up! Sorry for the lack of pictures!!

Dennis Rodman, North Korea, and Me

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We could not have picked a more appropriate time to read Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang.  Lately, this capital of North Korea has been in the news much more than usual as flamboyant, former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman has journey to the city to meet with the new Dear Leader on some sort of “diplomatic” mission, sanctioned by Vice Media and HBO….not the U.S. government.  If you want to read more about Rodman’s trip here are a few good places to start: here and here.

I will be making mention of Rodman again at the end of the post.

Anyways, I’ve been lucky enough to travel many places, but never to Asia….and certainly  not to North Korea.  My grandfather was stationed in North Korea during the Korean War, but he never talked about his time there (though I’ve seen many a picture).  Aside from the pictures, the closest I have ever been to Pyongyang is in either James Bond movies or Team America (something tells me I don’t need to remind everyone of the dear leader’s image in the movie, but just in case, you can see it here).

Although I know about the Korean conflict and have a general sense of what life is like in North Korea, this graphic novel really opened my eyes.

The two images I can’t get out of my mind are the depiction of the rice rationing in North Korea, as well as the the fact that there is not a single handicapped or disabled person to be seen in North Korea.

First the rice: the way the rice is distributed, a majority goes to the army officials, skilled workers, soldiers and diplomats.  Political prisoners and their families receive 250 grams of rice a day, which is half of what the daily ration is at refugee camps everywhere else.  Finally, there’s everyone else, which is about 5-6 million people.  These individuals are left to fend for themselves.  According to the Dear Leader this is fine, because only 30% of the population needs to survive for North Korea to be a victorious society (p.47).  Needless to say, this reality horrified me.

Second: the disabled.  Even when Guy asked his guides the insisted that no one is born in North Korea with disabilities- everyone is born strong and able-bodied.  Statistically speaking, that is not possible.  Which means that these individuals are removed at birth.  All I can think about is the concentration camps of World War II and how those were disabled were sent to concentration camps or automatically killed.  My heart aches for the parents and children and families that have been torn apart in North Korea because of this.

One quote that Delisle wrote that sticks in my mind is on page 76, where he talks about how people in North Korea live in a “mute, hidden terror.”   Although they have no other choice (since they cannot leave), I am not sure I would be able to handle that.

While I do not know much about the inner-workings of the UN or what actions have been taken to stop these humans rights violations, the one thing I do know is that Dennis Rodman should have read Pyongyang before making his trip….especially before stating that Kim Jong Un is an “awesome guy” and that both his father and grandfather are “great leaders”.  Rodman saw such a limited and controlled specimen of North Korea, that his experience seems unreal.

To end this on a lighter note, did anybody else love the fact that Delisle brought 1984 to North Korea with him, and then shared it with his translator? Orwell would’ve been proud!

Tapping into Your Audience

Although we read Dead Enders this week, I’ve chosen to focus on the readings about audiences for graphic novels from Graphic Novels for Libraries and Archives. 

 

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I think Zabriskie’s essay on how graphic novel’s help teens own the library and their collection brought up some great points and ideas.  Personally, I’m a fan of the “read your fines down” program.  At the beginning of November, I attended YALSA in St. Louis and had the opportunity to go on a tour of the library branches in the area.  One of the branches serves a demographic quite similar to that of Queens Central, and has the same read your fines down program.  They also allow younger patrons to earn library dollars by working at the library.  These earned dollars can pay for the cost of rented headphones, library fines, and so on.  Patrons earn these dollars by working in the YA and Children’s area; helping other students find books and cleaning up the area.  One little boy I spoke to said that he liked the job so much that as a result, he was going to be either “a librarian or a secret agent”. 

I also found the interviews Zabriskie conducted with the students about the ways in which they identify with the characters to be very poignant.  I would love to read a follow up interview in which the patrons are asked their opinions about Miles Morales. 

Gavigan’s essay also brought up some food for thought, though I felt the essay was missing a lot of substance.  Again when I was at YALSA I had the pleasure to meet author Torrey Maldenado.  Torrey writes urban fiction, particularly with boys in mind, and participated in a panel discussion on how to improve the dire statistics that Gavigan mentions with regards to young adult male readership.  The panel also consisted of 3 teenage boys who all stated that they preferred to read books that they could relate to.  If Gavigan had more information in her article, it would have been interesting to compare her data to the information that these young gentleman shared.

Finally, I’d like to reflect on Boyer’s essay as I think she brings up a key point: there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to sharing graphic novels with untapped audiences.  I believe just like everything else, how you share graphic novels and buy them depends on your patrons. 

Through my own browsing I have noticed that many graphic novels are now what I would call “re-releases” of what are considered to be some classic works, such as A Wrinkle In Time,  The Invisible Man, Tale of Two Cities and so on.  It would be great to see these worked into the school curriculum whether it be in the classroom as the option for a book or the summer reading.  I think some really great discussions would arise comparing the novel format to the graphic novel format and the take away from the story. 

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Marjane and Me

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I LOVED THIS READING. I LOVED IT. I loved it so much I read it in less than 24 hours.

For you world history buffs who know that Persepolis used to be the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, you’ve probably guessed that this book has something to do with Iran- and you would be correct.

The Complete Persepolis is an autobiographical account of  Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian only child who grew up in Tehran during the most poignant and turbulent years of Iran’s history- the 1980s and the 1990’s.

I’ve always been interested in the history of the Iranian revolution, particularly because of a relative who served and worked for military intelligence during this time.  I’m also interested in it because I think it is important that we understand that not all people in Iran are bad or have extremist views.

I enjoyed seeing the role Marjane’s family played in the revolution, particularly that of her Uncle Anoosh and her maternal Grandfather.  I appreciate and understand why Marjane’s parents worked so hard to shield her from that reality, allowing her to develop her own thoughts and beliefs.

Also, I have to say, I really loved how God would come and talk to Marjane , there was just something about that depiction that made me smile.   I also liked how in her mind God looked so much like Karl Marx.

One of the parts I connected the most with was when Marjane returned from Vienna. I’ve had similar experiences in my own life where I’ve felt that I could not share experiences or thoughts because of the burden to others- but more importantly, I felt that I connected well with the culture shock.

Last year I lived in Jerusalem on my own (I’m trying to hold back on this because I’m so excited to compare the Jerusalem story we’re reading with that of my own).  Clearly, I was not away for 4 years such as Marjane, but the cultural experiences were similar.  The cultural shock Marjane experienced when she returned was similar to that I experienced when I got there.  I received numerous glares and stares for wearing a t-shirt or a tank top underneath a v-neck long sleeve shirt- even when I was with my very religious cousin.   I even had one waitress spit at me when I went for ice cream at a parlor across the restaurant I had just eaten meat in, because you are not allowed to eat them together.   I could also relate to Marjane’s need to constantly defend herself, whether it was in Tehran or Vienna.  Many expected my views on our nation’s foreign policy to reflect my visit and time in Israel.   Finally, I could relate to that feeling of nobody understanding me that Marjane felt at Old Lady Heller’s and the Nunnery.  For the first two or three weeks on my own, I just remember feeling like the culture was so different and that no matter what I did I was never going to fit in and I was going to hate my experience.  Luckily for me, my experience got better -unfortunately Marjane’s did not.

Overall, I really loved this reading.  I felt that there were parts that I could relate to , whether it be the relationship with God, culture shock, dealing with school, etc.  I also loved it because of the insight it provided for an area of history and current events I am so very interested.  I’m very interested in seeing the movie that was made of these graphic novels, so Professor Walsh, if you’re reading this- PLEASE LET US WATCH IT!

I think graphic novels are a great way in which to share life stories, because the imagery really helps develop the story.  In this case, I am not sure if Persepolis would have been as engrossing as a read if I could not see the look on Marjane’s face when the bomb went off in her neighborhood or I could not see how impossible it is to draw a live model when they are completely covered in traditional clothing, head to toe.

I’m looking forward to reading the biographies that are coming up and comparing them in terms of the message that is shared through the imagery.

Miles Morales is Spiderman

 

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I have to say, I am lovin this new Spider-Man storyline, aka Peter Parker is dead and Miles Morales is the new kid in the suit.

Few things I noticed:

  • The suit that Nick Fury gave Miles looks exactly like that of Venom’s.
  • Towards the end Volume 2, Miles refers to his shocking powers as his “venom powers”.  Does anyone with more experience with this series know if this foreshadowing or just coincidence?
  • A majority of the black (I’m not sure if they are African-American or Afro-Caribbean) men in the book look similar, to the point where I had to go back to the first volume and confirm that the man Dr. Osbourn is speaking to/threatening is NOT Miles’ father.   The characteristics of these two men are very similar to that of the Detective that Miles encounters are the end of Volume 2.
  • Also question: Peter was still in high school when he died? So what, Gwen just skips the rest of high school and moves to Paris because there are no consequences for her actions?
  • Also, isn’t Spider-Girl Peter’s daughter, at least in the alternate universe comics she is, so who is this Spider-Girl and where did she come from?
  • Is the mutant/ X-Men storyline that was randomly thrown in at the end of Vol. 1 supposed to introduce the reader to the existence of The Scorpion,  or is just a poorly placed ad?

Overall, in general terms of the storyline and so on, I really enjoyed this new storyline. I’m taking my authenticity eyes out for a moment and just looking at from a regular Joe-Schmo.  I actually want to read the rest of the series.  I enjoy Miles’ story, and I’m rooting for him to stay at the Charter school and succeed.  I’m also rooting for his Dad to be supportive and for someone to kick Uncle Aaron’s butt.  I’m also hoping that Ganke continues to play a roll in the story, more than the supportive friend more as the Q to Miles’ James Bond.

Okay, now back to reality.  While I appreciate the work of Brian Michael Bendis, and the tapestry that he has woven to create Miles’ tale, it isn’t authentic.  It is the story of a Afro-Caribbean teenager living in Brooklyn told by an Orthodox Jewish boy from Cleveland, Ohio.

While Bendis does not hide who he is, I am bothered that this is Marvel’s response to a desire for diverse and multicultural characters.  It is not enough to just create the characters and tell a story, that story needs to be told and shared by someone who can write from experience.  There are so many Latino comic book authors who could have told a story, all be it fiction, that would be more authentic.

Marvel has no more right to pass off the story of Miles Morales as an “everyday” life for a boy in Brooklyn (with the exception of that spider thing) than I do to tell the story of a Irish Catholic woman who lives in Southie.  Yes, I may know a woman like that and I may have visited her and I may be able to imagine it, but when I am trying to pass off her story as a tale of diversity and multiculturalism I’m in the wrong.  Without those live experiences, I’m just another writer.

I think what bothers me the most is that Marvel believes that this is okay and adequate response.

I hope I have been able to take a step back and adequately explain myself.  After studying Multicultural Children’s literature for a majority of my undergrad and all of my grad careers, I sometimes find it difficult to explain in layman’s terms.

Exploring Middle School Graphic Novels

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This week for class we had to read Spiderman.  It was neat to see the evolution of the character and the storyline but honestly I felt like I was running into a brick wall, over and over and over.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Spiderman and Superhero comics, but reading the trade paperback of the early Spiderman (The Amazing Spider-Man Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1) is a killer.  I appreciate that each story is analogous in itself, and that you don’t need to read the previous one to understand aspects of the next one, but after a while it is very boring.

While I have yet to get further into the second Spiderman reading Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1, I will by class on Friday.  I’m trying to save most of my Spiderman observations until next week, when we will have finished reading the new Spiderman….aka no longer Peter Parker.  I have to say, I’m really intrigued to learn how he dies.  I’m not sure if that story is even shared, but still, I want to know.

In the meantime however, I have taken to picking up a few other graphic novels.  For our final project in class we need to come up with a hypothetical day of programming for a public library surrounding the topic of Comic Books and Graphic Novels.  My group deciding to divide the work up by age range, and I was given the age of middle schoolers/tweens.  Anyone who has worked in a library or even attended library programming can tell you how difficult it can be at times to come up with activities for this age group, because sometimes they want to be with the older kids, but the activities aren’t appropriate.  As Dana Back’s stated in my class last semester, just because a 12 year old believes they are a teenager, doesn’t mean they are.  Some ideas I came up with for programming include: Graphic Novel Book Trailers, as well as a book talk for those who aren’t sure if they are interested in Graphic Novels or Comic Books.  I don’t want to say any other ones or else no one will be surprised when we come up with our presentation 🙂

Anyways, before I could come up with programming, I decided to explore graphic novels that are popular with that age group (for my sake, I call it grades 5-8).  I checked out the following titles/series: Amulet, Zita the Space Girl and The City of Ember. I’m particularly excited about City of Ember because the novel version is on my to-read list.  Also, since Bone is popular with middle school age students, I decided to continue reading that series.  I have 2 more books to go (there are 9 total).  So far, I’ve read Amulet and Zita.   One thing I like about both of these graphic novels is that the heroes/heroines are the same age as the intended audience.  This is true of literature for this age as well, but there’s something about seeing someone your age battle a bad guy, but still have that sheer look of terror on their face.  Which leads to another aspect I like, seeing the characters makes them more real, their actions and reactions are true to their intended audience.

From a literacy standpoint, I could see how these graphic novels are excellent for “reluctant readers”.  The story line combined with the visual imagery make you want to keep reading.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when Amulet Book 1 was over. I actually ran across the street from my favorite reading spot to the public library to see if Book 2 was in.  Needless to say it is not and I have placed it on hold.

Speaking of libraries that reminds me….I also checked out graphic novels that have come up in conversation time and again in class.  I believe that in order to understand something it really helps if you have a sense of its origins, history and influences.  As a result, I decided to check out Sin City and Watchmen.  While I’ve only started the latter of the two, I plan to finish them up soon.  My hope is that by next week’s entry I will be able to share my thoughts on at least one of them, and any connections I have made to other readings we have done.  Until then!