“They call these graphic novels now.”

* * * * * 1 Nice Folks Voted

Library Bookshelf

I’m sitting in a library right now. Not five feet away are a mother and her young son. He looks close to six years old and doesn’t appear to be enjoying this place to much.

Not ten minutes ago they registered to join the Summer Reading club. Kids earn little toys and stickers if they read so many books. I love the thought of kids reading, but can’t shake the concern that once the short geniuses find they could easily whine and get better stuff, they’ll push these books off like a bad dream.

The reason I’m writing in, is the librarian picked a few books for the little boy’s grade level. They were comics. As the librarian pitched these I saw the familiar face glaze over the mother. This was going to be a hard sell.

The mother said she’d rather have him read books, but these comics would do. The librarian corrected her and said these were now called “graphic novels”.

“Sure”, the mother said and chuckled while rolling her eyes. “Sure.”

The little boy is now being drilled with phonics flashcards. “What’s this? What’s this? What’s this?”, says mom in a shrill tone. Clearly she is annoyed. Within seconds he hates his existence. “You need to learn this to get into Second Grade. You do want to go to Second Grade don’t you?”

No wonder he hates to read.

- Josh

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6 insightful ideas to ““They call these graphic novels now.””

  1. AvatarWasd (version 3.4.12 Limited Edition)

    I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry, or dance like a monkey. I would attempt all three, but I just so happen to be at a library right now as well.

    *looks around for any graphic novel-hating mothers*

    I can understand the desire of a parent for their child to first become acclimated to reading “real” books first. A lot of teaching methods try to make children read the pictures, and not the words. But a graphic novel is still an appealing medium for those who are visually-oriented.

    Were these thin, papery comics? Or actual graphic novels, as in manga and etcetera?

    Reply to this comment.
  2. AvatarJosh Farkas
    Author Comment

    Wow, you are quick sir. I was still trying to post this and not get caught by mom, who clearly thinks I’m a child molestor. (A white male, alone, in a library on a weekday afternoon – I will be arrested soon.)

    And it seems like we may be in the same library! (Waves to invisible WASD)

    These seemed to be pretty harmless early-reader comics created with the sole purpose to ease little guys like this one into reading. As far as I could see they looked ideal to get him interested. The librarian did a great job selling these as short and fun reads.

    My wife is a teacher and during this summer she had a class on comics for early readers. It hurts to know that for every excited classroom, there is a place that would sacrifice their child in hopes to avoid an infected medium. :(

    Reply to this comment.
  3. AvatarWasd (version 3.4.12 Limited Edition)

    Meh, too much free time. (me for posting fast, and you for watching children at the library. Reading fetish?)

    Unless you live in Texas near a podunk beer-barn city, I doubt we’re in the same library. Though the thought was entertaining.

    Ah, I thought that maybe the librarian was trying to interest her in manga and the like. Not exactly “easy reads” for the children of America. Them Japanese eat it up at a young age, though.

    I was always a big reader; I read through Moby Dick in 3rd Grade. I may have not understood the whole thing, but I still recall the gist of it. The librarians at my school (before I became homsechooled) usually had to kick me out so they could close down. The thought of children being discouraged to read is saddening to me. That’s probably why graphic novels and comics are being targeted towards young children: it makes reading look fun to an audience that become disheartened by grammar and phonics.

    Reply to this comment.
  4. Avatarlovetoread

    speaking of graphic novels, i just finished this awesome one called mateki;the magic flute based on one of mozarts classical operas..it was fantastic and had some really beautiful illustrations..its great if u love those graphic novels!

    Reply to this comment.
  5. AvatarHarlequin

    I think we should all meet up at the same library someday and promptly get kicked out for being noisy.

    Reply to this comment.
  6. AvatarJosh Farkas
    Author Comment

    I think we should all meet up at the same library someday and promptly get kicked out for being noisy.

    Ha! We’d be extreme library talkers to the MAX.

    Reply to this comment.

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