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Published July 20, 2016

Comics. They’re not just for collectors.

In August we’ll be celebrating Kids Comics all month long. In addition to loads of back to school themed events, we’ll have tons of amazing new and backlist kids comics available for order (KidsComicsOrderFormAug2016).STL008636

Comics and Graphic Novels are a wonderful tool to add to your arsenal of encouraging children not just to read, but to LOVE READING. Below are just a few benefits they can offer your young reader that we’ve collected from around the web.

In general, Comics and Graphic Novels are great for encouraging reading by attracting new readers and students of all ages and skill levels. They also can help parents and educators reach the most challenging student demographic: young adult males.

With illustrations that provide context clues to the written word combined with the power to capture and maintain the reader’s interest and the ability to inspire confidence by providing non-threatening practice and experience, they are ideal for early reading. With new or renewed confidence, readers will be encouraged to progress to more challenging texts.

Comics and Graphic Novels also have the power to make dynamic and relevant connections to help parents and educators teach complex social issues, historical and current events, folklore and mythology, as well as popular culture.

Comics are a great way to encourage reading and they’re especially ideal for reluctant readers,

“For those readers whose reluctance stems from an ongoing struggle to decode text or comprehend stories, they may be unable to visualize in their minds. For such readers, comics are ideal — by their very nature, comics use the combination of visuals and text to tell a complete story, thereby increasing a student’s visual literacy and acting as an assistive device. Far from being easier to read, though, comics are actually just as challenging as traditional text: the student is engaging in higher-level reading skills because he or she must be able understand the sequencing of each panel while following the text and art at the same time. As Brenda Pennella, a fifth grade teacher from Williamsport, PA, put it:

“With graphic novels, the scaffolding necessary to build solid readers is in the architecture of the genre. The illustrations not only support the text, they are a part of the text. Students are given context clues within the subtle and sometime not so subtle expressions, symbols and actions of the characters within the story. Vocabulary is also supported within the illustrations and text. The framework or grid layout of this art form lends itself perfectly to the predicting strategies needed to reach higher-level understanding in reading comprehension.””

Comics and Graphic Novels can also be a useful tool for English as a Second Language

“the odds are good that your students have already read comics in their native language. Take advantage of this fact by having students bring in their own comics to translate into English”

Consider that “The presence of comics in a junior high school library resulted in a dramatic 82% increase in library traffic and a 30% increase in circulation of non-comic books. (Dorrell & Carroll, School Library Journal),” and imagine the good they can do in your own home.