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Graphic Novels

Graphic novels have become an essential component of library collections for both children and teenagers, and they have enormous potential for classroom use. This page compiles graphic novel information and resources to help you learn more about this genre of publishing for youth.

  • Review Journals
  • Awards and Recommended Lists
  • Understanding, Using and Defending GNs
  • Graphic Novel Web Sites

  • Review Journals

    Graphic novels have become such a mainstay of library collection development that they are typically reviewed in most professional review journals. Go to our Review Journals links for information about professional review journals.

    Awards and Recommended Lists

    Graphic Novels for Libraries: Recommended Titles for Children and Teens. A bibliography developed by former CCBC librarian Hollis Rudiger.

    Great Graphic Novels for Teens: This annual list of recommended GNs from the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association began in 2007.

    Eisner Awards: These are the comics industry's own awards, recognizing excellence in a variety of categories.

    Understanding, Using and Defending GNs

    Web Resources:

    Comic Books and Graphic Novels: Digital Resources for an Evolving Form of Art and Literature: The Association of College and Resource Libraries of the American Library Association publishes College and Research Library News. This online article from February 2005 offers terrific information for comics enthusasists, scholars and librarians, with links to a wide variety of comic-related resources.

    Dealing with Challenges to Graphic Novels
    This resource page from the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom summarizes key messages for libraries regarding graphic novels, and offers general tips on responding to a complaint or challenge.

    Defending the Purchase of Graphic Novels: This perspective from the CCBC was provided in response to a question submitted to our What IF . . . Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom forum.

    GNLIB: Graphic Novels in Libraries: "Hundreds of Librarians Can't Be Wrong" is the tag line of this listserv that provides the opportunity to discuss graphic novels and the whys and wherefores of graphic novel collections in libraries. The site allows non-members access to the archives. There is also a useful links page.


    It's No Joke: Comics and Collection Development by Christine Pyles. Public Libraries (November/December 2012)

    In Defense of Graphic Novels
    by Kathryn Strong Hansen. English Journal (November 2012)

    Graphic Novels in the Secondary Classrooms and School Libraries by Paula E. Griffith. Journal of Adolescent & Adult LIteracy (November 2010)

    The Young and the Graphic Novel by James Bickers. Publishers Weekly (February 19, 2007)

    Expanding Literacies through Graphic Novels by Gretchen Schwarz (English Journal, July 2006)

    Graphic Novels 101: FAQ by Robin Brenner. Horn Book Magazine (March/April 2006)

    Graphic Novels 101: Reading Lessons by Hollis Margaret Rudiger (Horn Book Magazine March/April 2006)

    Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom. (The Council Chronicle, December, 2005)

    In a Single Bound: A Short Primer on Comics for Educators by Drego Little (New Horizons for Learning, March 2005)

    Schools Turn to Comics as Trial Balloon by Ylan Q. Mui. (Washington Post, December 13, 2004)

    Hamlet Too Hard? Try a Comic Book by Teresa Méndez (Christian Science Monitor, October 12, 2004)

    Getting Graphic at the School Library by Kat Kan (Library Media Connection, April/May, 2004)

    Using Graphic Novels to Attract Reluctant Readers by Philip Crawford (Libary Media Connection, February, 2004)

    Graphic Novels for Multiple Literacies
    by Gretchen E. Schwarz (originally appeared in Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, November, 2002)


    Collection Development:

    • Cornog, Martha and Timothy Perper, eds. Graphic Novels: Beyond the Basics: Insights and Issues for Libraries. Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
    • Crawford, Philip Charles. Graphic Novels 101: Selecting and Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy for Children and Young Adults: A Resource Guide for School Librarians and Educators. Hi Willow, 2003.
    • Fletcher-Spear, Kristin and Merideth Jenson-Benjamin. Library Collections for Teens: Manga and Graphic Novels. VOYA Press, 2011.
    • Goldsmith, Francisca. Graphic Novels Now: Building, Managing, and Marketing a Dynamic Collection. American Library Association, 2005.
    • Karp, Jesse. Graphic Novels in Your School Library. American Library Association, 2012.
    • Lyga, Allyson and Barry Lyga. Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A Definitive Guide. Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
    • Miller, Steve. Developing and Promoting Graphic Novel Collections. Neal-Shuman, 2005.
    • Pawuk, Michael. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More. Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
    • Rothschild, D. Avila. Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Booklength Comics. Libraries Unlimited, 1995.
    • Serchay, David S. The Librarian's Guide to Graphic Novels for Children and Tweens. Neal-Schuman, 2008
    • Thompson, Jason. The Complete Guide to Manga. Ballantine Books, 2007.
    • Weiner. Stephen. 101 Best Graphic Novels. NB Publishing, Inc., 2003.

    Classrooms and Curriculum:

    • Carter, James Bucky, editor. Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel. NCTE, 2007.Cray, Stephen. Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom. Heinemann, 2004.
    • Gorman, Michele. Getting Graphic: Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy with Teens and Preteens. Linwood. 2004.

    Graphic Novels as a Literary Art Form:

    • Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work. SeaStar Books, 2000.
    • Eisner, Will. Comics and Sequential Art. Poorhouse Press, 1985.
    • Eisner, Will. Graphic Storytelling. Poorhouse Press, 1996.
    • Klock, Geoff. How to Read Superhero Comics and Why. Continuum, 2002.
    • McCloud, Scott. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. Harper, 2006.
    • McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Kitchen Sink Press, 1994.
    • Varnum, Robin and Christina T. Gibbons. The Language of Comics. University of Mississippi Press, 2002.
    • Weiner. Stephen. The Rise of the Graphic Novel: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet. 2nd ed. Nantier Beall Minoustchineg, 2012.

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