Monday, September 05, 2011

Gorging on Graphic Novels

The hottest books in my classroom in the first six days of 4th grade?

Graphic novels.

Maybe it's because my students have never had access to such a wide variety.

Maybe it's because my students have never so obviously been "given permission" to read graphic novels.

Maybe it's because lots of my students didn't read over the summer, or aren't fluent in English, and they need the support of the pictures in a not-babyish book.

Or all of the above.

Did you see Terry Thompson's (author of Adventures in Graphica, tweeting @terrytreads) guest post on The Book Whisperer Blog last week? He very concisely talks about how graphic novels are perfect for motivation, scaffolding, and versatility.

Each day this week, I'll be reviewing one or more new graphic novels that will be going into (or are in) my classroom library.

Luz Sees the Lightby Claudia Dávila
Kids Can Press, 2011
review copy provided by the publisher

Luz is a spunky chica who learns the hard way that she needs to make better choices for the Earth. There are blackouts in her city that cause her to realize how dependent she is on electricity. She really wants a pair of expensive imported sneakers, but she has to abandon that dream along with frequent car rides to the mall. As she becomes more enlightened (as she "sees the light") she becomes a neighborhood activist, working with her friends to turn the vacant lot in their neighborhood into a beautiful garden.

Maybe it's a bit didactic, but how many spunky chica main characters do YOU have in your classroom library??? (Me, neither. Now I have one.)

Recommended for readers in 3rd-6th grade, and a perfect tie-in for a science unit on energy.


  1. By far and away, graphic novels and Melanie Watt books were most popular in my room as well. So excited you're running this series! Will be adding to my list of books I need.


  2. I don't have many graphic novels but the ones I have are very popular and I also teach I.L. so this is great. I can't wait to see all the goodies you're going to review:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. This has been true in my class too. I need to go buy some new ones today!

  4. Anonymous11:39 AM

    They are a fave at our home with all three of my children (5th, 3rd & 2nd Graders). Our library carries everything from Odyssey and Iliad to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys GN's. They are awesome.

  5. Can't wait to read these!!!!!

  6. Thanks for the suggestions, I hadn't heard of most of these. Graphic novels are such a hit in my classroom. Have you read "The Dodgeball Chronicles"? It's from a series that is based on Camelot; I bet your kids would love it.


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