Growing up I was one of the kids that didn’t want to read. I hated reading because it took too long to get to the end. I also disliked it because although I had a good imagination I found it hard to imagine while what I was reading. I rarely finished a book completely. I would sometimes quit halfway or I would use the trick of reading just the beginning, middle and end. We used to have to write book reports and I would just try to fake my way through. Then I got introduced to graphic novels. They were easy reads and they were more interesting because of the pictures. I could imagine each scenario because it was laid out on the page. The images still left me with the ability to fill in the gaps. It basically helped me play a movie of the book in my head. This is what got me into reading. Then I started reading other books like Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Vampire Books etc…
I believe that graphic novels could have a great impact on kids. They are not only easy reads but they are great for making your imagination more realistic. Students these days have more technology in their lives. They read less and they have less time in their lives to pick up a book and read. Graphic novels can be good for students who don’t have much time. In schools, I think a graphic novel per grade should be studied. Kids can learn to study them more thoroughly and see how the pictures tell more than just what is simply written in words on the page. Artists put a lot of thought into each image and there is always more to a picture than what is on the surface. It’s as though you are reading a book and analysing it. This could also help students be more imaginative and artistic.
Graphic novels are also a great way to get students who have trouble reading to pick up a book and read. For them they may see more in the images than in the text written on the page. It would be a great way to get there reading levels up. If you studied it in class then they could keep up and they would be able to participate more because they are able to stay at the same pace as everyone else.
When doing research I came across a site which gives a few names of graphic novels that deal with social issues. Link: “http://www.bookcentre.ca/newsletter_nov2014”. “This One Summer” is actually on the site and although I believe that when I got to the end I had trouble coming to terms with the book not having resolved certain issues, I also would have to agree with others who said that the book does show the realism of a summer at a cabin and about how some issues are dealt with within a family. It shows that going through a miscarriage is difficult and that it does put a lot of women into this phase of depression where there other child becomes neglected. Students would possibly be able to relate to this.
I also agree with the aspect of bringing graphic novels into a social studies class only because everything you read in social studies can become a little overwhelming. So much information needs to be remembered and it’s hard being in this day and age and trying to imagine what the soldiers went through or what life was like back then. Graphic novels would be a great way to help bring imagery into the picture and help kids visualize what was happening back then.
I am very pro graphic novels but that is only because of past experiences. I got a lot out of graphic novels and they helped me start enjoying reading. Although the ones I did read, weren’t exactly the kind you would bring into a class because they were very fantasy based, they did help me use my imagination and they brought out my creative side. Graphic novels should be brought into schools but they should also be taught and analyzed to a certain extent with teachers. It just opens up a new world for some readers.
I thought I would share a link to not a graphic novel but to a video of a woman using images that she is drawing in sand to depict a story. It shows just how powerful images can be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5bdMyOWLHg
– Jabin Teja