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I'm so sorry that I was on vacation last week and missed your discussion on comics and graphic novels! As a former teacher who used comics with students from 7th grade to 12th grade, I think I might be able to lend some help! My first suggestion for some help with visual literacy is the bible of comics studies, Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics". It's a must. And while you're right, that graphic novels aren't "magic tools", much of their power lies in their engagement of struggling readers. I kept a box of my own kid-friendly comics in my classroom for years, and even my most reluctant readers devoured them. It's the action, the use of images to fill in the blanks when they struggle with vocabulary, and embracing of their culture that encouraging the use of comics provides that makes a big difference. As far as suggestions go, for sixth graders the first volume of "Bone" by Jeff Smith, "American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang, the wordless "Korgi" series by Christian Slade are great starting points. I review kid-friendly comics at, so you'll find tons of suggestions there as well. Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you should need anything else. I hope this helps! Keep up the great work!
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Aug 9, 2011