In honor of Banned Books Week, author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka shared a post about Graphic Novels and Quiet Book Bans. In this blog he talks about how people often undervalue the power of graphic novels and their benefits for developing readers. As I build our graphic novel section at school, I have firsthand and secondhand witnessed the power of graphic novels in reading lives. I personally understood parts of Romeo & Juliet I had somehow missed before thanks to reading Garth Hinds' graphic novel version of the story, and I have had numerous students tell me when comparing text only and graphic novel versions of a story, "I understand the story so much better in graphic novel form!" Another perk of graphic novels: kids who haven't checked out a book to read for fun in years and don't have much confidence as readers will check out graphic novels. So bottom line, they get kids reading! In his blog, Krosoczka also shares some great resources for using comics and graphic novels in the classroom.
It's also Tolkien Week! 100 years ago yesterday (September 24), J.R.R. Tolkien penned the first words about Middle Earth. So go curl up with your favorite Lord of the Rings book or put in a dvd to celebrate this momentous centennial. Or if you don't have as much time and want to celebrate both under-appreciated books and Tolkien at the same time, you could read a graphic novel version of The Hobbit.