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Is it okay for kids to read comics or graphic novels? The answer is yes! I know some parents are skeptical about that answer, but even the experts agree. Additionally, I know from personal experience that graphic novels and comics are good for kids. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia in 4th grade. It was very difficult to get her to read anything. She said she hated reading and forcing her to read didn’t help. Reading needed to be fun and enjoyable. Graphic novels as we know them now were not readily available at the time. However, she did find one series that she would read--the Garfield comic books by Jim Davis.
If we want our kids to be lifelong readers, we need to make sure that reading is fun. Graphic novels and comics naturally bring fun into the picture (no pun intended). This format helps build vocabulary, inference skills, and reading confidence sharpens visual cues, and inspires creativity. The skills gained from reading comics and graphic novels can benefit all readers, not just reluctant or struggling readers. There are graphic novel versions of classic literature, like Anne of Green Gables and plays from Shakespeare. There are even non-fiction graphic novels about dinosaurs, ocean animals, historical events, and more! So, when your kids ask to read a comic or graphic novel, remember how this genre has grown and diversified, and be confident in the knowledge that these books really can enhance reading skills.
If you’re on board, here are a few recommendations:
- American Born Chinese; Saints; and Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
- Roller Girl; All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
- Comics Squad; Squish; Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
- Smile; Sisters; Drama; Ghost and more by Raina Telgemeier
- Bone by Jeff Smith Explorer by Kazu Kibuishi
Early Literacy Specialist
Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library