It was no surprise to me that the book Jackson took out to read (and subsequently, accidentally tore) was written in a graphic format. Comics have a long history of popularity with young children (and if I am being absolutely honest, with many an adult, as the wildly popular Toronto Comic Arts Festival can attest).
Educators have long noticed that many readers around the age of 8 and 9 gravitate towards the graphic format. In the past we called them comic books. More recently we have started publishing them in more substantial bindings and called them graphic novels if they are fiction, or graphic format if they are not.
Toronto Public Library has a large collection of these books, fiction and non-fiction alike. They are so popular, that a group of children's librarians has recently put together a list to be published next month of some great reads that are in graphic format. Here is a sneak peek at a few of the titles that will be found in that publication.
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute is the first in a series of graphic novels about a lunch lady who is also a secret crime fighter. Along with her sidekick, Betty, she investigates the strange case of an absent teacher and the creepy substitute who has nefarious plans to become the Teacher of the Year by any means possible. The book is over the top with fun, if impossible, gadgets and will be sure to grab the attention of readers who want a fast paced read. The fact that this is the first of what is now ten books means that readers will have many hours of enjoyment ahead of them.
If your reader is fond of the diary format (think Wimpy Kid), then might I suggest The Brilliant World of Tom Gates? This graphic novel won the 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and it was a well deserved award. Laugh-out-loud funny, this book chronicles Tom Gates' experiences at school and home. Set aside time to read this book, and be prepared for those around you to ask "What's so funny?" as you will not be able to keep from laughing out loud!
A great non-fiction suggestion in graphic format would be You wouldn't want to be a pirate's prisoner!: horrible things you's rather not know. This is one of a series of books that examines history through humour and presented in graphic format. Other titles in this series include Roman Gladiators, exploring the wild west, living in medieval times and the mummification process. Although told with humour, the books are historically accurate, are presented in an interesting and captivating manner, and somethings are just plain gross, a surefire way to capture the attention of the intended audience.
Does your child have some favourite graphic format books? Care to share the titles in the comments section below?