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June 1, 2016

Comics on the Screen and in Books

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of June! A few things come to mind when I think of June: summer reading, barbecues, and, of course, summer movies. Everyone is excited about all different kinds of movies and even books-turned-movies that aren’t scheduled to come out for a while (The Hunger Games, what what!). For me, it seems like there are a ton of comics-turned-movies coming out this summer. We already had Thor (who doesn’t love Norse mythology?) and X-Men: First Class (a fun and entertaining look at how the X-Men came to be) come out, and last weekend Green Lantern came out as well. The one I am looking forward to the most is Captain America. This movie just looks awesome, and Captain America is one of those comics that always seemed to be popular but you never saw anyone reading them. But he’s really interesting character with a cool origin as a comic. The real reason to get excited about the Captain America movie is that it’s the next step toward the much-anticipated Avengers movie, which is going to be A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

But enough about movies. This is a book blog, right? A while back, we had a little discussion with you all about using comics in the classroom and reading comics at home. It generated a lot of buzz, and there was some great conversation around what you feel about using comics to help teach difficult issues or to engage reluctant readers in your class and at home. This week on the blog, we posted a video book trailer for Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers to mixed reviews. On Facebook, many of you were adamant that this was “not quality reading” or that it was somehow inappropriate for children who are learning to use proper grammar, while others maintained that any reading is good reading and that if children learn to love one series, reading “quality” literature will soon follow. You’ve already heard how I didn’t read as a kid until I found Matt Christopher sports books and became as obsessed with them as I was with sports. We are really interested to hear more from you all, especially since summer is such an important time to hone those reading skills.

So how DO you get reluctant readers to read? Is it through potty jokes? Comics and graphic novels? Is it through magazines? Is it through a classroom assignment that just happens to hook the right student? I think we can all agree with Scholastic’s statement, “Readers Do Better,” but how can we make sure that all children become readers (no matter what the reading material might be)?

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6 Responses

  1. Amber

    My daughter (age 7) received The Super

  2. So funny to see this today. This very afternoon I struck gold in the “getting kids to read” category. I have 3 children, 13, 9, and 5. I have been trying to get them to read since school let out three weeks ago with no luck and lots of resistence. Today, I told the kids for every grade level book they finished, they could choose a pint of Haagen Daz or Ben & Jerry’s to share. (For the 1st grader, we would read chapter books together.) All three literally ran to the bookshelves and started reading and READ ALL AFTERNOON! Three hours! I couldn’t believe it! Since a pint is 5-6 servings at our house, I’m not worried about over-indulging as it will only be a pint split between 5 people once every 4 or 5 days. And they’ve already picked out 10 books each to try to finish over the next 8 weeks. Ambitious!

    • Erin

      Erica, that’s fantastic! Even I needed a little prodding when I was younger – I’m glad you’ve found a way to get your kids reading :)

  3. Lisa

    We head to the library and just let them comb the shelves. They almost always find something that interests them. Just as you experienced, play to their strengths outside the world of literature. If they like baseball–steer them towards books about kids playing baseball. Play off of current movies…my daughter got into Ramona and Judy Moody thanks to movies.

    I’ll admit, I was one of those expressing less than excited reviews of the Captain Underpants books on Facebook. It wasn’t so much that it was a comic book, it was more the quality of the writing. I have seen some well written and entertaining comic books and graphic novels. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, Big Nate–all great without bringing potty humor front and center. You don’t teach your kids to tie their shoes in knots just to get them into tying their shoes. It just makes it more frustrating to teach them the right way later. Why teach them to read bad books just to get them to read?

    It irritates me that parents that choose to not encourage the lowest common denominator when it comes to their children’s entertainment are somehow seen as humorless, out of date, stick-in-the-muds. Believe me, our children have plenty of crazy days, silliness and fun without the influences of Captain Underpants and Spongebob.

  4. Pingback: Book-to-Movie Review: Captain America | Book Box Daily

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June 22, 2011