Book Reviews

Graphic Novels

By Barbara Bietz

grtaphic novelsOver the last few years, graphic novels have been gaining in popularity. At first glance, graphic novels seem to be updated comic books. Initially, some teachers and parents expressed concerns that graphic novels aren’t “real” books. In fact, graphic novels can be the perfect books for reluctant readers, and for kids who simply enjoy the artistry in the graphics. The early versions were often books from Japan featuring popular characters. Today, graphic novels are available in a variety of story lines for all age levels. Along with the increased popularity and acceptance, critical praise has been given for select books in this genre.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick about a young orphan named Hugo. The 12- year-old boy lives in the walls of a train station in Paris and is responsible for keeping all the clocks working. When Hugo finds a mechanical man that belonged to his father, he sets out to bring the creation to life. The illustrations and text take the reader on a vivid ride through the boys’ journey of discovery. Ages 9- Adult

For the younger set, the Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm is a charming introduction to graphic novels. The first book is titled Queen of the World!
Babymouse is a smart and sassy 9 year-old school girl (in mouse form) who longs for a more exciting life. Babymouse and her friends resemble any group of kids you might find around the lunch table. Babymouse longs to be invited to Felicia Furrypaws party. With a vivid imagination, Babymouse is always having great adventures. The illustrations are adorable, the storyline appealing, and sure to put a smile on readers faces.

How To Draw Graphic Novels by Victor Davila. This is a terrific source for kids who like to draw, or just want to know more about how these books are created.

There are a lot of graphic novels available to readers today. Keep your mind open to the genre. There is something for every reader!

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at www.BarbaraBietz.com
Barbara Bietz

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