Six reasons why your tween should read graphic novels

light blue background with cartoon image of girl holding pencil and book sitting on top of check box with yes tick inside. piles of books and folders underneath with white background. black letters underneath read Miss Mahee's advice.
Bookish advice

Hi everyone, this week’s post will be delving into my six reasons why I think your tween should read graphic novels!! Yes, I, Miss Mahee, endorse the reading of graphic novels for all ages, young and old, whether they be a child, tween, teen, or even adult!! To find out exactly what my reasons are press the button below. Even if you are someone who’s not sure…it won’t hurt to just have a read…

Bookish Advice from Miss Mahee

To begin with I must inform you that I came to these six reasons after a lot of research from articles across the internet, professional papers, and from the 15 plus years I’ve spent working as a librarian! Ok, here goes…

1 – Graphic novels are fun and engaging.

image of girl holding book. top of dark hair showing above pink and green The Baby-Sitter's Club book. pale grey background behind.
Miss 7 reads her book!

I know this must be stating the obvious, but you must know that the captivating combination of pictures and text in graphic novels keep young readers engaged in reading. And have you seen the cool and quirky colours used in most graphic novels these days? They look exceptionally fun to read!! Even my 7-year-old niece enjoys them!!

2 – The sequence of images not only make sense to tweens, but reinforce the use of language.

One of the main answers I get when asking kids who come to my library why they enjoy graphic novels is that the words and pictures in them work together to tell the story. These are basically their words!! When asked to elaborate they proceed and give me a truncated, but really well-crafted review of what they had read!! I am always blown away by their use of language!!

3 – The growing selection of genres in graphic novels these days suit all taste and age groups.

Graphic novels are no longer just ‘boy’ reads with superheroes and villains! In this modern era of writing and publishing, graphic novels are spread across many different genres, including comedy, drama, sci fi and fantasy. Chances are you can find a graphic novel in a genre or theme your tween enjoys in your local library or bookstore!!

four-grid box. top left blue background with small pink-white clouds white letters across top reads Either Way story of a gay kid with half a face of a person at bottom. top right dark purple and black foliage with middle section showing a city skyline and two girls in middle. one girl with orange hair and other with black hair. letters at top read Shirley & Jamila save their summer. bottom right image on white background with image of family of four underneath letters that read ...hing different about dad. bottom left image of pink-blue night sky with two African boys walking in middle along path. tents on either side of them. letters at top read When..... are scattered. middle green box reads Fascinating Graphic Reads.
Graphic Reads…

4 – Graphic novels give reluctant and struggling readers confidence.

Graphic novels and comics attract this type of reader mainly because of their visual nature. Offering short and easy-to-read sentences, with visual and text cues (you know…door slams and sighs etc) for context, graphic novels are helpful for those with learning difficulties. Can you imagine the feeling of accomplishment these readers would get once they’ve completed either a page or the whole of a graphic novel? And it’s such feats as these that builds their confidence and boosts their reading skills!!

5 – Graphic novels can increase your tweens bank of words.

What most people don’t realise about graphic novels is that there is a large repository of words used on every page which gives readers an opportunity to strengthen their vocabulary. Graphic novels allow them to acquire new vocabulary, and also deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words with the combination of images and text cues in the panels.

6 – Graphic novels can increase your tween’s inference.

Ok… I had to dig a bit to figure this one out. Basically, inference refers to figuring out something based on evidence and reasoning. This is an important part of successful comprehension and a valuable life skill for young children to develop. Graphic novels can increase inference in young children by encouraging them to ‘read between the lines’ and infer meaning from the images without having a narrator to help.

image of little girl snuggled under blanket one hand on chin other hand pointing to page in book. soft light on the face. quote underneath reads We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. B.F. Skinner
On books and reading

So there you have my first set of advice. In short, if your tween or even younger child prefers reading a graphic novel to a fiction book, have a sit down and talk to them about it. If you can, have a read of it with them. You’ll find it an awesome experience!! My sister, who is a mum of two herself now, still reminisces the times I used to read the Tintin books with her fondly!! 

A small note on manga

Right, I’m not the best to comment on this. To be honest, I’ve only read a few titles in manga format. However, those young readers out there who devour these by the dozen are to be given so much admiration by all of us adults. I’m sure they have all of the skills I’ve talked about and more as reading manga looks quite challenging with the whole right-to-left sequencing and unique imagery!! 

I hope this post can assist you parents and teachers out there to give their young ones a chance to read graphic novels and comic books. I’d love to hear any feedback if you have tried one yourself!!

Stay safe and keep reading

Miss Mahee

image of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on blue armchair looking at book. speech bubble reads Reading is like a journey to new place..
On reading…

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