Graphic novels more than just comic books

Editor, The News:

Graphic novels, once viewed as comic strips on steroids, are much more than meets the eye. They attract all kinds of readers — the reluctant reader, the nonreader, the fluent reader, and the reader who reads in school, but rarely for his own entertainment.

Graphic novels have taken on a new life that teach science, social studies, and moral lessons. This year’s Newberry Winner is a graphic novel titled “New Kid” by Jerry Craft. Jordan, a seventh grader, has been transferred from his city school to a more academically progressive school where he is one of the few African Americans. Jordan’s struggle to maintain his identity with his city friends while trying to “fit in” with his new school environment makes for a storyline that any middle schooler can appreciate.

Other graphic novels worth checking out are the following:

1. “Trees: Kings of the Forest” by Andy Hirsch. It shares how trees can sense what is happening in the environment around them. It even asks the question, “Do trees talk to one another?”

2. “Becoming RGB: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice” by Debbie Levy. It is delightful to see the genre of biography being used within the genre of graphic novels.

3. “Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas” by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks. The novel shares the knowledge gained by these three women scientists as they study chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.

Share a graphic novel with a child in your life today.

Todd Cole

New Castle

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