Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why I recommend "Getting Graphic: Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy With Preteens and Teens (Literature and Reading Motivation)"

by Michele Gorman

Since I have become the graphic novel specialist here at the library, I thought I would read Michele Gorman’s “Getting Graphic.”

If you are new to adding graphic novels to your library, this is a wonderful fast read. It’s filled with reviews and resources that will help you get on the right track when it comes to adding more graphic novels to your collection. For example, one of the ideas Gorman discusses is specifying that you will be adding graphic novels in your collection development policy. I did not even think of that because where I work, we are not very strict with what can and cannot be added in regards to type/genre. However, I can see how that would be important to have written out in an official document at other school libraries, who have to deal with meager budgets and also are restricted by curriculum.

I am happy to say that comparing our catalog to the list in her book, we are on the right track with having a pretty good core collection of graphic novels.

I did not think that graphic novels would be so popular here but when I created a display last month, kids were pulling them off the display and reading them and also checking them out.

Another great idea Gorman points out is that these books are transitional between plain text and visual media. Graphic novels do teach visual literacy and are not just “comics” in the negative sense of the word. They are a bridge between paper and the computer in a way if you think about it. You scan the images, you analyze and infer information from those images and you also gather more information by reading the text.

So, if you need a little help and are not too sure what graphic novels should be added or if you should even add them to your collection, this is a wonderful resource.

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