Reading Is Reading: Graphic Novels Are Not the Enemy

Graphic novels are a popular choice for children and tweens, however, many parents do not see them as “proper” reading material for their children. I recently heard a parent tell their child to check out a "real book." Many parents seem wary of the graphic novel section perhaps because their own parents were the same way. Things have been changing over the last couple of decades, but to many grownups, comic books represent disposable "trash" culture, the reading equivalent of junk food.

I want to make the case for graphic novels, especially for parents of reluctant readers.

The path of literacy development is different for every child. It depends on a variety of influences (domestic, economic, and educational to name a few). It is a given that literacy development is a necessity for all children, and it drives librarians just as much as it drives teachers and parents. But when it comes to children who struggle with literacy, I think it starts with nurturing a love of reading.

For me, math was my Achilles heel. I struggled with understanding and learning math throughout my educational career. I was forced to undertake upper-level math based on what grade I was in and what level I should be on, which made my anxiety grow. As a result, I grew to resist and resent math.

As a librarian, that is something I want to avoid with children who are struggling with reading. I believe that if a child is more interested in graphic novels or non-fiction books, I believe those interests should be encouraged. This approach lets a child's own self-motivation drive their reading development.

Just as importantly, children need to be allowed the time to enjoy their personal favorites. No matter what they are reading, their skills will be growing at the same time, and their love for reading will grow too.  

There are many reasons why graphic novels are a benefit to children’s literacy development. Click the link below to find out more! 

Raising Super Readers: Benefits of Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Below are just some of the great new graphic novels for middle grade readers available at your library

For a more comprehensive list, visit the American Library Associations’s Best Graphic Novels for Middle Grade Children of 2022

This blog was originally published by HCPL blogger Kelsey D.

Apple Crush

Anne of West Philly

The Aquanaut

Isla to Island


Smaller Sister