I started a new discussion at Read On today asking people to share student’s current favourite reads, with a view to starting some recommended lists for various age groups. Please join in when you get the chance – it will be interesting to compare notes.
When answering my own question first thoughts were about our comic collection, maybe because this was discussed on OZTL last night. Here is a bit of what I posted to that discussion, plus some local additions to the literature:
At Patrician Brothers our graphic novels are a big hit across the board. Like certain series books (Harry Potter, Deltora Quest, Alex Rider, Darren Shan) they have an appeal to reluctant and avid readers alike. In this sense they are a real boon in our efforts to develop a reading culture. Whilst many boys read books as well, some are having their first (and maybe only) positive reading experience with comics.
Earlier in the year I was travelling home on the train from our athletics carnival with the boys and was chatting with one of our very avid Year 8 readers. He was reading a graphic novel and said to me that it was actually taking him longer to read than a novel (and he is a very fast reader). We had an interesting conversation about why that might be. I don't think we should undervalue the visual.
Favourite links to resources on this topic:
Secret Origin of Good Readers
Free book download. Check down the page for the 2006 version. Plenty of quotes,links, annotated reviews, information for librarians and teaching activities.
The "Decline" of Reading in America, Poverty and Access to Books, and theuse of Comics in Encouraging Reading by Stephen Krashen, Teachers CollegeRecord, February, 2005 (More in Krashen's book The Power of Reading - search here for local publication details)
Di Laycock of Barker College has published an article and completed an action research project on graphic novels, adding a much needed Australian flavour to this field:
Developing a Graphic Novel Collection, Synergy, Vol.3, Num.2 (PDF)
Getting graphic with guys: Using graphic novels to engage boys in school reading From this page choose IBSC 2005/06 Action Research Project from the menu on the left.
Okay, I know you don't have time for all this reading. Maybe in the holidays?