Another addition to our school library.
The rise of the graphic novel is most welcome in our library. Tom Gates, Diary of a Wimpy Kid etc have all played their part in getting children reading and interested in books. So I was glad to see a new graphic novel aimed at girls. We have the Dork Diaries series in the library, which is also very popular, but Electrigirl offers a great combination of comic style pages and text; there’s already another one on the way!
A good read which I’m sure the girls will love; maybe a few boys too!!
Here are just a few of the tables we had laid out for the children to browse – Marvel, DC Comics, Phoenix Comics, Star Wars and a Graphic Novel table.
After time browsing the tables the fancy dress was judged by our special guests (from the local Comic Shop). They judged the winners and presented prizes.
The children then had a choice of activities; painting their own face mask, comic hero drawing, comic bookmark and making a comic strip on the laptops. After the activities the children had light tea and cakes.
On leaving the children were each given a comic and a party bag with lots of treats!
Such a successful event I will definitely be repeating this one!
This Tuesday in fact!
Plans all made, favour bags complete, activities prepared.
I sent out the letters of interest not really knowing what the level of interest would be. I needn’t have worried. I have only 30 places available but 47 children expressed an interest. I have now sent out the invitations following drawing names out of a hat!
The event is Tuesday 17th, after school 4.30-6.30pm. The children have been invited to come in fancy dress, as have the people helping. The children will take part in a variety of activities as well as browsing time around the comics and graphic novels. Can’t wait!
I’ve always had a comic section in the library along with a trolley filled with comics which goes outside at lunchtimes but I’ve noticed lately the increase in Comic Conventions. As I was looking for ideas for another junior aged library event I thought this would be perfect.
A selection of new comics
So, the plans have begun! I went to visit our local comic shop, after a chat with the owner, I purchased a variety of comic books he recommended. Explaining to the owner why I was purchasing the comics in such quantities proved to be a great idea. He, along with a few friends, are willing to come along to our event in costume! This is more than I could of hoped for and I am sure the children will love it! Fancy dress competition will now be a must.
I already have the Phoenix Comic book on a weekly subscription for the library and I have purchased a collection of graphic novels of the classics, both of which the children enjoy. So with a focused event on this genre I am sure we will entice more readers for pleasure!
Came across this article in the Times Educational Supplement. Firstly praise for Gareth Summers who took the time to find out what the boys were interested in and doing something about it.
I get annoyed when I see reports/articles about boys not liking reading. In my opinion that is just not true in so many cases. The truth is they haven’t found something that really engages them.
Fortunately, in primary school there are many boys who want to be the next Wayne Rooney so there are books which cater for their interests, football! Dan Freedman’s Jamie Johnson series of books capture the trials and tribulations of a boy wanting to succeed as a professional footballer. These books have been very popular in our library but only after I drew the boys attention to them by having a football themed display. Tom Palmer is another author who writes ‘sports’ stories; Football academy being extremely popular and recently he has written books based around rugby.
Another genre which I introduced to our library was graphic novels. We have a collection of around 30 books, many of which are the classics like Treasure Island, Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland. Again these books are very popular with the upper junior boys and they are not put off reading them because they are written in a style which appeals to them, a comic.
It is totally up to us as librarians and educators to engage every child with reading for pleasure. We need to have those conversations to find out what their interests are and start them on their journey to love reading!
Written by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton.
Just the title of this book is so appealing to many children. After all who wouldn’t want to live in a tree house let alone a 13 storey one complete with bowling alley, shark infested tank, library, a marshmallow machine that fills you when you’re hungry, to name but a few.
This book has lots to offer, it is a crazy, fast paced story that will appeal to Tom Gates and Diary of a Wimpy Kid readers with the illustrations giving as much humour to the book as the writing. There are plenty of twists and turns; keeping you guessing as to where the story is going and what the characters will invent next.
I would recommend it for early readers upwards (because it is so easy to read) although some of the humour may not be understood by younger readers.
A great addition to our library!
‘Comic Exchange Wednesdays’ in our school library; I bought second hand comic books and sold them to the children for 10p, they could keep them or read and return the following week. The children went mad for this despite the fact that many of the comics were older than their parents!
The second hand shop where I bought the comics has now run out, temporarily, I’m glad to say. A great disappointment for the children but we have now subscribed to ‘The Phoenix’ children’s comic for over a year therefore have over 50 back copies which I intend to sell during Children’s Book Week.
The Beano is still a favourite in our school setting but The Phoenix has quite a following building up now, with children loitering outside the library in anticipation of it’s weekly arrival.
Some people have been known to ‘tut-tut’ at comics as real reading material but what does it matter. Comics tell a story just as novels do. You could argue that comics make you use your imagination more fully because you can invent a whole narrative for the illustrations in the background. But, just as with books, if a child can relate to the character, imagine themselves as that character, want to be that character then surely this will make them want to return to read more!
As librarians, teachers, parents what more could we want!