Editor’s Note: Papercutz recently sponsored a special edition of SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL’s “Extra Helping” newsletter focused on “using Comics to teach”. For the next few days, we’ll be running excerpts from that issue on our blog and linking back to the original articles. If you’re an educator who is already using graphic novels in your classroom or you’re contemplating taking the plunge, these articles should prove invaluable.


Good stuff: ten great graphic novels for schools; online resources; information about publishers; and other recommended reading.

Online resources

cbldf_logo_shadowComic Book Legal Defense Fund (CLDF) A nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium.

Reading With Pictures  A national organization that advocates for the use of comics in the classroom. Their graphic textbook Comics that Make Kids Smarterhas just been published by Andrews McMeel.

No Flying, No Tights  Graphic novel reviews by librarians.

Good Comics for Kids Graphic novel news, reviews, and interviews by librarians and other critics.

The Comic Book Teacher High school English teacher Ronell Whitaker reviews graphic novels and discusses how he uses them in the classroom.

Comics in Education  Gene Luen Yang, the author of a number of acclaimed graphic novels includingAmerican Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints, is also a high school teacher. This website is the online version of his Masters degree in education project and includes information on the history of comics in education and the use of comics in education as well as other resources.

Diamond Bookshelf This monthly newsletter from Diamond Book Distributors, which specializes in graphic novels, features information about graphic novels for children and teens, as well as graphic novel lesson plans.


Additional reading

Banned Books Week Handbook, available for free download from the CBLDF website.

CBLDF Presents Manga; Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices, edited by Melinda Beasi (Dark Horse, 2013)

Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom: Essays on the Educational Power of Sequential Artedited by Carrye Kay Syma and Robert G. Weiner (McFarland, 2013).

contentareaUsing Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning: A Guide for Middle-Level Educators by Meryl Jaffe (Maupin House, 2013)

Graphic Novels in Your School Library by Jesse Karp (American Library Association, 2012)

GraphicNovelClassroomThe Graphic Novel Classroom: POWerful Teaching and Learning with Images by Maureen Bakis (Corwin Press, 2011).

Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom by Katie Monnin (Maupin House, 2010). The author is an assistant professor of literacy at the University of North Florida.

Graphic Novels and Comic Books edited by Kat Kan (Reference Shelf, 2010). A collection of essays on using graphic novels in libraries and classrooms, including writings on graphic novels as literature and interviews with Marjane Satrapi, Gene Luen Yang, and other creators.

22_tencentThe Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008). A very readable account of the anti-comics movement of the 1940s and 1950s and the effect it had on the industry in subsequent decades.

Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom by Stephen Cary (Heinemann, 2004).

The Power of Reading: Insights From the Research (Second Edition), by Stephen D. Krashen (Heinemann/Libraries Unlimited, 2004). Krashen devotes a chapter to comics as light reading.


You can read the full article on the SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL website.


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