Additional Resources for Librarians and Educators
To all educators, librarians, school personnel – this is for you. We know that sometimes the hardest part of anything can be knowing where to begin, and we want to make sure that you don’t feel that way about using comics as educational tools. To help you out, here are some of our favorite resources for comics, plenty of lists and blogs to help you find fantastic comics. They can give you ideas on what to have students read in any topic at any grade level – be it something light-hearted and funny for an elementary classroom or something serious and complex for a high school classroom. Please use any of these resources to find a graphic novel or comic that is a perfect fit for you and your classroom.
Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List
The Texas Library Association (TLA) is the largest state library association in the country. This specific list, The Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List, is created by a committee of public and school librarians. While their recommended reads are generally best for grades 6-12, the titles on the list don’t adhere to any particular curriculum – so feel free to give it a look and pick one that intrigues you the most.
ALCS Graphic Novel Reading List
The Association for Library Services to Children (ALCS) is a division of the American Library Association and is the world’s largest organization dedicated to library support and services for children. The ALSC provides recommendations and reading lists as well as numerous other resources in order to promote professional development, the enhancement of library services, and to promote reading and books. This particular reading list is for new and classic graphic novels that are full length stories, not collections, and are told in typical paneled, sequential graphic format. It consists of novels that are popular in addition to critically acclaimed and come widely-recommended and well-reviewed. This 2018 Graphic Novel Reading List includes three lists for different levels from Kindergarten-Grade 2, Grade 3-5, and Grades 6-8. The lists include the title of the novels, their authors and illustrators, the publishers, and brief descriptions, as well as ISBN numbers so they are easy to find at any library.
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
Every year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (aka YALSA) prepares a list of graphic novels that they recommend for teen readers. Each list contains books only published within the last year and a half, so all the titles are current and should be easy to find at your local bookstore or library. For each title, they offer a brief summary, publisher and author info, as well as the ISBN number, to ensure that finding a copy is as seamless as possible. Their lists go all the way back to 2007, giving you plenty of new titles to look at and enjoy.
No Flying No Tights boasts a massive amount of love for comics, graphic novels, and manga. Their website collects reviews for a wide variety of stories, breaking things up by genre and age range. They also include reviews for anime series, if you’re looking for something to watch in the classroom to break up all the reading. Not only that, but they provide lists of comics that they recommend for all age ranges, as well as discussions about current things happening in the world of comics, such as the value of adult content and whether the classic Watchmen is a good place to start. Other features include interviews with writers, recommended titles for fans of other titles, and ideas for anime clubs ranging from middle school all the way up to college.
Diamond Bookshelf’s Katie’s Korner: Graphic Novel Reviews for Schools and Libraries
Pop Culture Classroom’s Director of Education, Dr. Katie Monnin, has been writing graphic novel reviews and lesson plans for Diamond Bookshelf for over eight years. With hundreds of printable graphic novel reviews and lesson plans to choose from, educators can find graphic novel resources for early readers, middle level readers, and high school readers.
Good Comics for Kids
Presented by the venerable School Library Journal, “Good Comics for Kids” is a collaborative blog covering kids’ comics written by a group of librarians, parents and writers. The blog was founded in 2008 with the goal of covering kids’ comics for readers from birth to age 16 with breadth and depth through a mix of news, reviews, interviews and previews, written with enough accessibility to appeal to both casual readers and serious comics fans. Recent interviews have featured a wide variety of creators including such luminaries as James Kolchaka, manga artist Misaka Rocks, and indie artist Paul Pope and Jeffrey Brown. This invaluable site covers everything from picture books to Banned Books Week with verve, insight and clarity, providing a terrific resource for parents, kids, and fans alike.
Atyourlibrary.org is the public website for the American Library Association’s public awareness campaign, the Campaign for America’s Libraries, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians. The goal of www.atyourlibrary.org is to provide information and recommended resources that everyone can take advantage of by connecting with their local library and librarians. The site provides new articles and links every week and updates content daily. This great list, divided up by reading ages, is a “best of the best” list of graphic novels for children created as a development tool for librarians by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). The list features a wide variety of stories and characters from different periods in history ranging from Herge’s famous explorer Tintin to Jeff Smith’s epic Bone to modern classics like Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.