Have you finished all your Christmas shopping, or do you still have 10 gifts to find? If, like me, you like to give books as gifts, it can be a challenge to strike the right balance between a book you know someone will enjoy and a book that will give them a new experience. Graphic novels have been my new experience this year.
I am emphatically not a graphic novel reader–I have nothing against the format, but it’s just not something that I tend to pick up on my own. My 5-year-old son, however, loves comic books and my elementary school librarian mother, who also grew up loving comic books, has been helping him out by recommending graphic novels for kids his age. Since I seem to be destined, for at least the next 12 years, to be around a graphic novel reader, I’ve been trying to dip into the format a little further. As I’ve done so, I’ve come up with a few guidelines for helping graphic novel lovers lure us non-GN readers into the format.
- Choose a story to match your reader, just as you would for a regular novel. I’m not a huge fan of superheroes, which are what first come to my mind when I think of graphic novels. So a graphic novel about Superman is probably not the best bet when recommending for me. But a graphic novel version of Romeo and Juliet, adapted by Gareth Hinds (nominee for the 2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list)? Or a historical graphic novel set about the Boxer Rebellion in China (Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang, 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature)? Yes, please! While it may be a no-brainer, this is definitely the most important tip I can offer–just like you have to find the right story for the right reader with regular format books, you must do the same with graphic novels. Those of us who aren’t familiar with the format may not realize there’s a graphic novel with a story for us, so prove us wrong! Continue reading Graphic Novels for Non-GN Readers