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Teaching Graphic Novels in the Classroom: Building Literacy and Comprehension Paperback – November 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Prufrock Press (November 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1618211072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618211071
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,173,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ryan J. Novak is a high school English teacher near St. Louis, MO, where he teaches English and mythology. His love of graphic literature began in childhood when he learned to read using the comic books that his grandfather would purchase for him at the supermarket. His interest in teaching it came from sponsoring a comic book club and seeing how students responded to different genres of graphic literature.

Customer Reviews

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I can assure you that this is high quality material.
KCP
To help integrate this beloved genre in the classroom, Ryan J. Novak has created a good how-to for doing this.
mandymarie20
If you find the act of writing or reading a graphic novel confusing or daunting, buy this book.
Arcturus Rann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arcturus Rann on March 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
Though Ryan Novak’s whimsical and intelligent book, Teaching Graphic Novels in the Classroom, is intended for use in high schools as it aligns with the common core standards, I believe institutions of higher education may find the book useful and informative. Teachers teaching graphic novels as literature is on the rise, and comic books are enjoying a renaissance in popularity thanks to the dominance of superhero movies at the box office. While recognizing the super-heroic roots of the medium, Novak divides the book in a smart way that ultimately makes the book required reading for those interested in the genre.
The first chapter of the book is dedicated to history, describing the dawn of the medium as it matured into graphic fiction and nonfiction, profiling the experts of the craft while cementing their legacies in the formation of this burgeoning field. Chapters two through eight focus on the varied genres inherent in graphic fiction, describing the superhero, fantasy, science fiction, manga, fiction, biography/memoir, and the teenage experience angles of writing graphic literature. The chapters take the form of a workbook, allowing guided practice in the various genres that the writing consultants of any Writing Center would find valuable while instructors will find assistance in engaging reluctant readers. The clever illustrations, drawn with heavy pen by Zachary Hamby, engage the reader and offer clear demonstration of the craft.
Graphic novels are often dismissed, their relevance in the classroom thought of as “less than” when compared to other forms of literature. I find that somewhat dismaying. This combination of literature and artistic expression could aid visual learners in picturing a moment, thus strengthening their ability to visualize what they read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mandymarie20 on February 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
Graphic novels have exploded in popularity beginning about a decade ago. To help integrate this beloved genre in the classroom, Ryan J. Novak has created a good how-to for doing this. Novak breaks down the book into chapters based on genre. He gives a basic background for the genre and then focuses on a particular book that exemplifies that genre. Within each of these chapters, he also highlights the giants of that genre. Luckily for teachers, Novak also includes reflection questions, essay topics, and a great primer on how to help students create their own graphic novels. While this book is catered mostly to teachers in high school, the lessons could be adapted for use in middle school.
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Format: Paperback
Novak's book contains many ready-to use ideas and assignments that appeal to a broad range of students. I teach at an all-boys high school, and while the topics and discussions in the book engage students of both genders, I find they are of high interest to my male students. Younger students--especially struggling readers and writers--love the more personal assignments found in the the section on the teenage experience (family history, my personal ghost world, etc.). My older students have benefitted greatly from using these same assignments as they take on the personas of literary figures we are studying (Beowulf, Antigone, etc.). At the end of the year, I plan to use the "Literary Justice League" project as a culminating assignment in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade classes. I look forward to incorporating more of Novak's assignments in my plans next year and to having students complete their own graphic novels.
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Format: Paperback
This textbook appealed to me on a variety of levels. First, as a reader, the text gives a thorough overview of the historical significance of the comic book/graphic novel. At every turn I learned new information that not even I (a comic book enthusiast) was aware of. The author has a knack for pointing out the cultural and societal factors that helped shape comic books, in particular comic book superheroes. His analyses of the various characters' origins made for excellent informational reading. Who knew that Superman and Batman had such deep psychological and cultural roots? Anyone who thinks that comic books are "fluff reading" will have a change of heart after reading this text!

Secondly, as a classroom teacher, I can easily recognize that this text is a great tool for anyone wanting to incorporate graphic novels into their classrooms. Although I have never taught graphic novels in my own classroom, this book showed me what I had been missing! In its pages I found enough easily-implemented ideas, discussions, and lessons to get me going. The author has compiled a thorough collection of materials here! He even includes everything from activities and discussion questions to summaries of popular graphic novels(What teacher doesn't love a handy reference like that?. Any of the eye-catching graphic organizers included in the book would appeal to teenagers.

If you already teach graphic novels in your classroom or you're thinking about it, this is the book for you!
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More About the Author

Ryan J. Novak is a high school teacher in Dixon, Missouri, where he teaches dual-credit English and mythology. His love of graphic literature began in childhood when he learned to read using comic books that his grandfather bought for him at the supermarket. His interest in teaching it as literature came from sponsoring a comic book club and seeing how passionately his students responded to different genres of graphic literature. He lives in Springfield, MO, with his wife, Lindsey.