Graphic Novels Worth Teaching About Part 1
It is a common misconception that graphic novels and comic books are an inferior form of literacy and as such are rarely taught in schools. Personally, I would consider this to be a great loss to a child’s education. Not only does it offer youngsters a new approach to reading that may draw some students in who before had little interest in it but it also covers a wide variety of topics and culture points that are portrayed in a way they can’t be in books or on screen. Graphic novels are where literacy meets art and as such can be taught on a broad scale and will hopefully inspire young people in different ways. All to often students are taught with blanket techniques, however it has been proven that we don’t all learn in the same way. Some take things in through what they hear, whilst other may have to have things visualised. A graphic novel will encompass the senses and as such stick in their minds. Here are some excellent books that you can use in your teaching that cover a range of topics worth learning about.
By Art Spiegelman
You will likely never read a more moving, thought provoking, chilling and poignant graphic novel that Art Spiegelman’s Maus. If fact in 1992 this became the first ever graphic novel to receive a Pulitzer Prize, if this book doesn’t change your perception of the medium then it’s likely that nothing will. Maus is an autobiographical account of Spiegelman’s time spent recording the story of his fathers’ journey throughout the second world war. His father being a Jewish man from Poland who went on to become a survivor not only of the holocaust but of its most famous concentration camp, Auschwitz. Though Spiegelman’s eyes we can see the effect this had on his father after and through his father’s words we hear an incredible true story that will illuminate the horrors of the holocaust like no other tale ever has.
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
By Guy Delisle
North Korea is perhaps one of the most mysterious countries in the world. Cut off from all outside media, with only strange tales of an almost alien life leaking out of it, we seemingly know very little about the lives of the people that live there. Guy Delisle writes about places he travels to with his wife, almost as if he were a journalist. His graphic novels tell the stories of these countries’ inhabitants and their daily lives in order to help us see something other than what we may see in the news. Delisle’s book Pyongyang: A Journey in North Koreatells such a story. Whereas most reporters aren’t allowed to take a camera or bring photo’s back from this country Delisle was able to draw the life here, illustrating his experiences in order to show us what life is really like in this cut off country. At a time where North Korea is being featured so heavily in the media Delisle’s book is a great place to turn in order to study the place.