The Benefits of Graphic Novels

For many of us as parents, the idea of a graphic novel brings to mind comic books filled with fights between superheroes and villains.  Today though, more and more authors are choosing to reimagine their young adult or children’s books in a graphic novel format as well as regular book format.

For a struggling reader, especially an older child, graphic novels can be a terrific resource that will give your child the confidence he needs as a reader.  And confident readers will often enjoy the change of pace that a graphic novel brings to their reading.  Here are just four of the benefits of letting your child read graphic novels.

Graphic Novels Hold a Child’s Interest.

Because graphic novels are stories told using both pictures and words, the books easily capture the interest and attention of even the pickiest readers.  Children of all reading levels with love the idea that they are reading a “comic book.”  The pictures grab their attention so that the story can then draw them in and keep them interested.

Graphic Novels Encourage Struggling Readers.

It is often hard to find age appropriate material for readers who have a hard time reading.  For example a 4th grader who is reading at a 2nd grade level is usually not interested in 2nd grade books.  Because a graphic novel has pictures to accompany all the wording, it is easier for a below-level reader to understand what is happening in the story.  The end result is a child who gains confidence because he has found a story that he can read at a level he is interested in.

Graphic Novels Teach a Reader to Picture the Story.

One goal for fluent reading is the ability to picture the story in your mind as you read it.  For many children, this is a tricky thing to understand.  Whether your child struggles with the words themselves or with comprehending the story, the pictures in a graphic novel will help your child picture the story as it happens.  From there you can remind yourself as they read other books to imagine what pictures would be in a graphic novel of the book.  This teaches them to imagine the story as they read which leads to better understanding of the book.

Graphic Novels Come in Many Types.

Graphic novels are no longer just comic books.  You can find many kinds of graphic novels to suit your child’s interests.  Here are some great examples:

  • Redwall by Brian Jacques – a fantasy adventure story
  • The Sons of Liberty by Alexander Lagos – the American Revolution in graphic novel form
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – an adventure story involving Greek gods and goddesses
  • The Adventures of Tintin by Herge – a whole series about a boy who travels all over the world solving mysteries

These are just some of my favorites, but you can find a list of 100 graphic novels for children on Goodreads.  So if you have a struggling reader, a child who has a hard time understand the stories they read, or just a child who wants something new to read, why not try a graphic novel?  What are your favorite graphic novels for children?

Photo by: Enokson

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