Teachers are Using Comics to Captivate Reluctant Readers

By Dave

As a child, I really only read Archie comics, as well as some superhero stuff (Go Marvel!), but I wasn’t interested in any longer books, and if a story went on for over two dozen pages, I found myself getting bored and moving on, but now schools and teachers are using this interest in comics, or rather graphic novels to inspire reluctant readers like myself to get interested in reading as well as learning through text.

From the Miami Herald:

Under the spiffier label of ”graphic novels,” these bound books feature every stripe of hero and story. “The themes and genres can range from science to biography, and from memoirs to yes, superheroes,” said John Shableski of Diamond Book Distributors, which

specializes in comics. “Every subject is available in the format.”

These are not your father’s comic books. Superman and Wonder Woman, yes; but also graphic novel editions of the works of Shakespeare, and many classics — The Red Badge of Courage, Beowulf, Greek myths, the Adventures of Robin Hood, even Canterbury Tales.

I wonder how my reading habits would have turned out if comics weren’t so elusive, and I was able to devour as many as I had wanted as a child. Would I be more interested in reading fiction as an adult? It is an interesting thought, though I worry that not forcing the youth of today to consume long, difficult texts might just increase the dumbing down of our society, rather than just getting reluctant readers into reading.

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