Not Just A Picture Book: The Benefits of the Graphic Novel

October 28, 2020

The year 2020 has provided many firsts; one of the more exciting ones, was the presentation of the prestigious Newberry Medal, a literary award, to a graphic novel. This exciting news elevates the authority of the graphic novel and defines its role in the development of children’s literacy skills.

How can a graphic novel be full of pictures and still aid in reading proficiency and development? Let’s look at some of the unique factors that a graphic novel offers to developing readers.

First, the feature that stands out the most is the presence of graphics. While it is well known that children can comprehend text at a higher level than they can initially read and decode text, the graphics give them the opportunity to bridge the gap between comprehension and word recognition. This powerful combination of words and graphics actually acts as a scaffolding for developing readers and allows them to enhance their skill sets.

Moreover, the images on each page act as a catalyst for a child to attempt to read each word carefully and correctly, so that the story matches the illustrations. Children who might be less inclined to carefully sound out new or difficult words in a traditional book will have to take their time and be more accurate when they realize the sentence they read doesn’t match the graphics on the page!

Graphic novels are fast becoming a preferred method for reading and learning for children of all ages. Studies demonstrate that graphic novels both support and challenge readers across a wide range of skill levels, and certainly appeal to even the most reluctant of readers.

United Through Reading is excited to share a new graphic novel that is wonderfully appropriate for the fall season – Poe: Stories and Poems: A graphic novel by Gareth Hinds. This book was sent in our Fall 2020 book give and available at your nearest story station or by direct order through the App book order form.