| By Sarah Robertson |
In graphic novels, words and illustrations are interwoven in an imaginative symbiosis, which can be used to present both fiction and nonfiction to students in a uniquely engaging way. The power of this literary form derives from the rich interplay between text and image. The ability of graphic novels to communicate complex stories, connect readers to those with different experiences, and bring imaginative tales to life makes them the perfect addition to your library or classroom. Moreover, the growing diversity of content and creators for graphic literature means that readers, regardless of background, can easily find examples of the form that resonate with their experiences.
Graphic novels often contain the same complex elements of traditional prose in terms of plot, theme, and character development. By reading graphic novels, students reap the benefits of classic prose texts but also cultivate a layer of additional skills, such as the decoding of images and symbols. Graphic novels allow for a unique study of literature, and can complement visual learners as well as striving readers who may be overwhelmed by text. Through graphic novels, students can become more connected to literature and acquire analytical skills that will serve them as lifelong readers.
The style of graphic novels also offers a home to diverse voices by making the content more understandable and approachable. Novels for Students, volume 64 offers the diary of a Holocaust victim in Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation; the immigrant experience of a Latina in Alabama in the 1960s in Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White; the coming-of-age story of a girl growing up in Iran after the Islamic Revolution in Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood; and the account of Congressman John Lewis’s struggle for civil rights in March: Book One. The graphic novel is a space to deliver these various experiences in a way that enables younger or striving readers access to more challenging stories and narratives.
Graphic novels also offer a space for complex, fantastical tales. Novels for Students, volume 64 includes Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes—stories that come to life through the special synthesis of words and graphics. The imaginative nature of these stories is fully served in a graphic novel.
Graphic novels are an essential asset for libraries and classrooms. The medium gives students an alternate gateway into the sometimes-challenging world of literature. The 14 graphic novels in Novels for Students, volume 64 cover a range of content and reading levels. We encourage you to incorporate graphic novels into your curriculum with Gale resources!Graphic-Novels-for-Students-Flyer