Last week, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on a new graphic novel course offered at Hazel Park Middle School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Not surprisingly, at least to Stone Arch staffers, the instructor, Linda Morrison, raved about her students’ interest in the course and their reading progress. All was good in the world . . .
The real story, however, came the day after the article’s publication. In several follow-up responses, a number of people voiced strong opposition to the course, stating, “Comic books have no place in a curriculum.” This type of public feedback shocked us, to say the least. Hadn’t graphic novels secured their place as a respected literary genre? Didn’t the New York Times, the National Book Foundation, and even the Pulitzer Prize Board embrace the format long ago? Wasn’t the Maryland State Department of Education Comic Book Initiative enough to prove the benefits of graphic novels for reluctant readers? Maybe we’ve read too many comic books, but it sure felt like we’d slipped into the Bizarro world.
Have no fear! We were rescued from the depths of disillusionment by the most likely of heroes—the students themselves. In the original article, one of Morrison’s students, Noushoua, exclaimed, “Reading graphic novels makes you want to read more.” Can entertaining, inspiring, and educating students really be that simple? Well, at Stone Arch Books, we believe it can!
Check out our website for tons of graphic novels your readers will want to read. And while you’re there, browse our Educator Resources, sure to help calm any, um, unearthly fears.
Senior Editor, Stone Arch Books