Monday, June 13, 2011

Graphic Novel Reading-Thanks to Book-A-Day

I had no idea how I would manage Donalyn Miller's Book-A-Day Challenge. I knew that summer would provide some days that I would have lots of time to read, and some days that I would have almost no time to read. When I asked Donalyn about this, she said, "Pick short books. Think picture books and graphic novels." So, while I've done lots of novel reading, I've also plugged in lots of graphic novels and picture books. The things about Book-A-Day for me so far, is that it has changed my mindset about reading. So far, in the two weeks of summer, I have read a book every day. But I have been careful with my selections when the day is already packed.  This has actually given me the chance to catch up on some reading that may never have made it to the top of my pile. I have caught up on some picture book and graphic novel reading on those days when I don't have hours to commit to reading. An added bonus about the Book-A-Day challenge.

This week, I read several graphic novels.

Bambinowas the first graphic novel I read this week.  It is a short biography from the Capstone Graphic Library collection. I was impressed with this biography of Babe Ruth for many reasons. First of all, it is a thin book-pretty accessible for lots of kids. Secondly, the book only focuses on the one season in Babe Ruth's career when he beat his own home-run record. I like the focus on the one season, rather than a book about his whole life.  The book packs a lot of information and I find myself more interested in Babe Ruth than I had been.  I am going to look into more of the books in this series.

I then read Zebrafish by Peter Reynolds and Fablevision.  I think kids will like this one a lot.  First of all, it is about kids who form a band.  So many kids will love the whole idea.  The kids want to make a difference in the world and plan a benefit concert. The book deals with issues of growing up, illness, making a difference, and friendship.  A quick read that I think will give middle graders lots to talk about.

I also read Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. This is more of a young adult novel. I see it as more middle school/high school.  The story is about a girl named Paige who moves to New York City. It is a growing up story in which Paige learns to be herself, explore her feelings through her art, make friends, fall in love and more.  There are a few edgy parts to the book--one that makes it perfect for middle school/high school.  A great story about a character I came to love early in the book.  I thought this was a well-done book trailer on the book.

Finally, I read SMILE by Raina Telgemeier.  This is one that's been on my stack for a while. This is a great middle grade/middle school novel. It is pretty autobiographical from what I read from the author. Raina is in sixth grade when she falls and knocks out her two front teeth. For years, she has to undergo orthodontic work to put her mouth back in order--a hard age to be going through this.  This book chronicles lots of the experiences and weaves the story of being a middle schooler, dealing with friends etc. with the dental treatment that is a constant part of Raina's life. This is definitely one of my favorite middle grade graphic novels.

So, I thank Donalyn Miller for this Book-A-Day Challenge. It is not turning out as I expected but my mindset to read a book-a-day is allowing me to get to books that may have remained on my pile for years.


  1. I too am loving the #book a day challenge. I am going to have to check out that Babe Ruth GN for myself! It would be so cool to be a kid reader in today's world. I would have killed to have a GN on a sports star when I was a kid.

  2. Unfortunately, I couldn't carry enough picture books in my luggage to make the #bookaday challenge in the pure sense of it. But I'm going for the "overall summer reading goal" sense of the challenge -- I know that by the end of the summer, I will have read AT LEAST and maybe MORE THAN a book a day, if I count every chapter book and every picture book I've read.

  3. Oh Frankie, what a fantastic list! I have read Page by Paige and Smile. Both with strong characters for sure. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm really getting into Graphic Novels because my students are teaching me to dive into. Interesting how that happens, right? Love it.

  4. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Zebrafish sounds really good, thank you!

  5. I've got some graphic novels I want to read too! I'm going to spend a day reading and reviewing a few. Thanks for the tip and some books to add to our collection!


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