Graphic Novels

Choosing your graphic novel

Now that you have learned all about graphic novels and how to read them, you get to select which one you are going to read.

That is right; you get to pick. Yay!  There are, however, some criteria that you will need to follow.

  • this is a fictional narrative written originally as a graphic novel
  • It is of interest to you, but you have never read it before
  • It is at both your reading and maturity level

This means that it should not be:

  • a comic book featuring super-heroes and the like
  • non-fiction (though these do get called graphic novels)
  • a series of stories
  • an adaptation of another work (whether it is Kung-fu Panda or Macbeth)

Process of choosing

Go to the library where you can browse the graphic novels in the youth section and talk to the librarian.  If your local library is small, someone there can help you to order your selection from a local branch.

You can also find out what the library has available for download.  Usually, they have books that you can read on an iPad, Kindle or laptop. 

Although you will find a lot of material if you type "free graphic novels online" into a search engine, there is so much to look through and they tend to be of marginal quality. 

Some works to consider

If you haven't read a graphic novel before, you might consider one from any of the following series: Digger, Bone and Scott Pilgrim.  They are all popular and highly-regarded. 

If you are up for something more challenging, take a look at Maus, published by Art Spiegelman in 1986.  It deals with the Holocaust, so it isn't all light reading.

Blankets, by Craig Thompson, is more challenging still. This coming of age novel addresses topics such as questioning religion, becoming sexually aware, and dealing with handicapped adults as a teenager.  It is considered a masterpiece of the genre.

A couple of more things...

Once you have made your selection, discuss it with your teacher. Since this is an independent study, you shouldn't expect your teacher to be familiar with  the novel that you selected.

Lastly, make sure that you have looked at the two-part assignment for this unit.   You have to do the first part as you are reading your graphic novel.