Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cognitive Science and Early Readers

Hi everyone!

My better half sent me this link. Any thoughts? I absolutely think that it gives credence to using new literacies in the classroom. Feel free to weigh in.... :) katie

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two toony tools

Looking for a couple new online tools to engage students?

ToonDoo lets kids create, publish, and share their own comic strips online and, if you're worried about Internet safety in your class, you can subscribe to their ToonDoo Spaces site for private publishing.

GoAnimate lets users create computer-animated stories they can share online and enhance with simple or more advanced features.

Have fun!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some new recommended websites and blogs

Just want to bring your attention to some new comics and graphic novel resources we've added to our recommended list:
Comics Research & Such
The Comics Chronicles
The Comics Reporter


Trekking along the graphic novel road

Carol Fitzgerald, co-founder and president of The Book Report Network (TBRN), which includes, recently wrote a great "Report from the Road" on conferences, meetings, and other valuable time she spent with graphic novel creators, educators, and librarians--including Katie Monnin. Fitzgerald's articls is a nice reminder of the wonderful things being done to promote graphic novels in education that we can all take advantage of, whether we teach in the classroom, work at a library, create and illustrate, or just want to share some great books with kids at home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Toon Books does it again!!!

Check out Toon Books' new title: Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework, the first science-based early reader comic!!! Written by Nadja Spiegelman and illustrated by Trade Loeffler.

A+ material for any early reader teacher of science!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NCTE 2009 Philadelphia, PA

What a wonderful city Philadelphia, PA is!!!  I had an amazing time not only at the NCTE conference, but also getting to meet many new people.  

Each of the following cool people either work directly with graphic novels or with media literacy in the classroom.  So, Have FUN getting to know some of these awesome people and the awesome work that they do!  

1.  Sari Wilson / Writer, Editor, Consultant

2. Cyndy Scheibe / Project Look Sharp Executive Director

3.  Clive Bryant / Managing Director at Classical Comics (Clive has BRILLIANTLY been putting together comic versions of canonical literature)

4.  Even though I did not meet Sari Wilson's husband, Josh Neufeld, everyone should take time to check out his amazing work with nonfiction graphic novels: A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge

5.  Guofang Wan won the NCTE media literacy award!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dan Goldman & Jerry Craft: Two Awesome Artists to Know About!

Hi everyone!  

I had an excellent time at the Miami Book Fair last week!   Of particular significance, I had the AWESOME opportunity to meet Dan Goldman, creator of 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail and Jerry Craft, creator of Mama's Boyz.  Both of these guys are SUPER nice and SUPER talented so please go check out their work!  

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Logicomix is a New York Times bestselling graphic novel about logician/philosopher Bertrand Russell and his search for the logical foundation of mathematics. Check out this review from BoingBoing's Mark Frauenfelder, and learn more about the book and authors on the book's website.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Miami Book Fair

If anyone will be in the South Florida area this Friday, please stop by the Miami Book Fair for the School of Comics and Graphic Novels, starting Friday at 10 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Room 7128 (Bldg. 7, First Floor)

I am totally humbled to say I will be presenting in the company of some totally awesome people! Below are just a FEW of their accolades. :)

Carol Fitzgerald, founder of

Harry Bliss, author of Luke on the Loose

Dan Goldman, author of 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail

John Shableski, sales manager for the world's leader in graphic novel distribution, Diamond Book Distributors

Alex Simmons, founder of Kids Comic Con

James Sturm, Directors of the Center for Cartoon Studies

Carol Tyler, award-winning writer of autobiographical comics over the last 25 years

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Here . . . Teaching Graphic Novels now available!

Hello everyone,
Teaching Graphic Novels is now available!!! If you want to check out some of the book's features and lesson ideas please click here. Maupin House has graciously posted some features from the book. :)

Bitstrips for Schools

Bitstrips for Schools lets students create and share comic books using online art and multimedia tools. Teachers register a classroom account at the site first, and then each student signs on under that account. The site is subscription-based, but they're offering a 14-day free trial for teachers to test the program. A basic online account for an entire class costs $87 for a year (that's less than $10 a month!). Teachers moderate the comics, which pass through Internet filters to prevent sharing of inappropriate material. If you're looking to teach reading, writing, and storytelling in a high-tech, innovative, and fun way, check out the site and see if it's for you.

School Library Journal's Good Comics for Kids

School Library Journal offers a great round-up of kid-friendly comics, professional resources, reviews, and helpful links on their Good Comics for Kids blog. We were excited to see the Teaching Graphic Novels blog get a mention!

Study shows comics promote early literacy

A University of Illinois study is helping to promote the idea that reading comics is just as beneficial to young children as reading any other type of book. Carol Tilley, a professor at University of Illinois' Department of Library and Information Science, explains that comics instill a love of reading, increase vocabulary, prompt kids to put pictures and words together, and are "just as complex as any other kind of literature." Tilley goes on to say, "If reading is to lead to any meaningful knowledge or comprehension, readers must approach a text with an understanding of the relevant social, linguistic and cultural conventions."

For more on the study, check out the latest issue of School Library Monthly and this Science Daily article.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NCTE New Media Gallery

If you want to learn more about new literacies, please join some of my awesome friends and I on Friday, November 20th in Philadelphia, PA. "Graphic novels, movies, television, and beyond!!!"

Friday, November 6, 2009


Educomics is part of the European Union Comenius education project under the Life Long Learning Programme that shows educators how "digital comics can be used in the classroom to enhance learning, engage and motivate students, and use technology in a practical and effective way." Through educator training and workshops, teachers will acquire the strategies they need to create lessons and use comics in the classroom.

To get involved today, download the Comiclab application for making Web comic books.

For further information, please contact Educomics Coordinator Dr. Symeon Retalis via

James Bucky Carter Saves the Day . . .

If you want a fresh, honest, and RIGHT-ON perspective about the current state of graphic novels and their relationship to the standards, please read the-always brilliant comments of Dr. James Bucky Carter, from University of Texas El Paso.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Early Reader COMIX Reader's Theatre

For those of you who work with early readers, please check out this new link from Toon Books. Based on their early reader comic Luke on the Loose, a New York teacher and her students perform a comix reader's theatre!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Review: Incognegro by Mat Johnson

Check out author Carol Baldwin's review of graphic novel mystery Incognegro (DC Comics) by Mat Johnson.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid returns

Jeff Kinney's much anticipated fourth installment of this popular graphic novel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, hit stores October 12. Click here to watch a video of Kinney discussing the new book.

For more on the Wimpy series and why its humor and format appeals to boys, girls, kids, and adults, check out another interview with Kinney.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First digital comic on iTunes

Singer/actor Tyrese Gibson, known for his role in the blockbuster movie Transformers, has partnered with Apple to create the first digital comic, which is available on iTunes. The third installment in the Mayhem series was the first interactive, digital issue, complete with sound effects, page-turning technology, and voiceovers (including Gibson as the lead vengeance- and justice-seeking title character).

The creator might surprise people, but we all know Hollywood has grown to love comic books. Just look at the popularity of motion-picture remakes of classic comics like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine -- not to mention last month's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment (including its 5,000 comic characters) by Disney. And while the digital platform is certainly nontraditional, it's no surprise either. We live in a digital age where technology rules, accessibility is key, and new literacies are being embraced.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Borders Educator Appreciation Week

Borders Educator Appreciation Week runs September 29-October 7. Current and retired educators save 30% off the list price o purchases for personal or classroom use. Now you can buy all the graphic novels you want! Just bring proof of your educator status.

Some other Educator Appreciation Week events/specials:

  • Teacher Town Hall Meeting with networking, refreshments, and giveaways: Tuesday, September 29 at 7 p.m.
  • Where the Wild Things Are Wild Rumpus Teacher Celebration with activities, crafts, giveaways, and more for the whole family: Friday, October 2 at 6 p.m.
  • Borders Classroom Discount Card: Educators receive 25% off purchases for their classroom every day!
-who can save: Individual teachers, from preschool through high school, as well as school librarians and homeschool educators.
-how you benefit: Save 25% off the list price of books and music CDs and 10% off the list price of DVDs for professional use.
-how to get a card: Applications are available at all Borders stores, and signing up is completely free. You'll need to show proof of your educator status when you submit your application. Homeschool educators will need to document certification in states that require certification.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Inatimate Alice

"Inanimate Alice" is an interactive, online narrative that "tells the story of Alice, a young girl growing up in the first half of the 21st century, and her imaginary digital friend, Brad." Alice's life spans ten episodes, where readers see her grow from a child into a twenty-something animator/designer with a games company.

According to the website:

Because the level of interactivity starts out low in episode one, increasing with each subsequent episode in order to reflect Alice's own growing abilities, we've found that we can take an audience unfamiliar with multimedia fiction with us. Educators like "Inanimate Alice" because of this; students from primary to post-graduate level find the work engaging.

...But how can teachers successfully integrate new media literacies into the classroom?

"Inanimate Alice" is easily assimilated into learning environments; its use of multimodality (images, sounds, text, interaction) enables students to see storytelling in a new, multi-sensory light. "Inanimate Alice" is a new media fiction that allows students to develop multiple literacies (literary, cinematic, artistic, etc.) in combination with the highly collaborative and participatory nature of the online environment.

Well, you already know that Teaching Graphic Novels embraces this multiple-literacies approach and encourages teaching both print-text and image literacies. So go meet Alice! Teachers can even request a free downloadable education pack to use with the stories in their classroom.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The best of the best: K-4 graphic novel recommendations

With the explosion of graphic novels for younger kids, it can be hard to know where to begin. Luckily, literacy education consultant and graphic novel expert Peter Gutiérrez has done the hard work for you. He offers a nice round-up in School Library Journal of great graphic novels for the K-4 crowd that have recently been published but often overlooked.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great Graphic Novel Resource

Hi everyone!  

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the start of the new school year.  

I just wanted to offer everyone a quick link to an excellent graphic novel resource maintained by my new friend Stergios Botzakis.  Enjoy and thanks Stergios!  


Taletube: graphic novel meets audio book

Taletube is an online storytelling site that combines the features of audio books, graphic novels, and videos into a "video book," or "taletube." Taletubes are available for purchase in a variety of formats from DVDs to podcasts to streaming.
"Our vision is to provide our community of users with a vast array of compelling tales from around the US and the world. From timeless tales, to contemporary thrillers to Biblical classics, to delightful children stories with lessons for us all, we’ve harnessed the talent of both professional and amateur authors, and the creative genius of artists and composers to offer a fresh, immersive, and engaging new way for people to enjoy stories."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A comics dare

It started out as a dare between comics and non-fiction author Scott McCloud and his friend Steve Bissette. McCloud dared Bissette to draw a 24-page comic in 24 hours. Bissette did his, McCloud agreed to do one, too, and since then thousands of cartoonists have met the challenge as well. Will you be one of them? Here's the scoop from McCloud's website:

The Dare

Read the official guidelines for making your own 24-Hour Comic.

The First

Read my own effort, "A Day's Work," the first 24-hour comic [includes adult content].

The Phenomenon

A brief history of the 24-Hour Comic and its fallout, including the 24-Hour Plays, 24-Hour Comics Day and the original (i.e., out-of-date) index of finished comics.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Xtranormal's Text-to-Movie

Want to create cartoons, movies, and greeting cards with the click of a button? Try Xtranormal's Text-to-Movie. Choose the actors, settings, and voices, all for free--or upgrade to a paid account for more variety. In fact, here's a little movie from the Teaching Graphic Novels blog:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comics reporting

There's really no limit to what authors are doing with comics and graphic novels: They're sharing history, they're creating history, they're making the inaccessible accessible, they're informing, they're encouraging struggling readers to read, and they're giving voices to the voiceless. Not a bad list of accomplishments. Well, you can add "reporting with a social conscience" to the list. Josh Neufeld has created A.D. New Orleans: After the Deluge, a serialized webcomic published by SMITH magazine that shares some of the experiences of Katrina in a real yet refreshing way. It's now available in book format. Check out these links for more info:

The books that keep on growing

Despite the current economic slump, which publishers and booksellers are certainly feeling, a couple book genres are showing growth: graphic novels and young-adult books. Naturally, bookstores like Borders want to take advantage of this growth and have opened Borders Ink shops within their superstores nationwide. Sure, they're capitalizing on teens' interests and growing trends, but if it means greater availability of graphic novels and an increase in teen reading, how bad can it be?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Comics and Graphic Novels can add SNAP to Your Classroom!

Hi everybody!  

If you are looking for some reasons to "jazz-up" your classroom, and perhaps add a little SNAP!, check out this link from NEA, by Mary Ellen Flannery and Peter Richardson.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brian Fies' "Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow"

Hello everyone!  

I hope  you are all enjoying your summer!  In light of the article on nonfiction graphic novels posted this week, I would like to add a personal recommendation. 

I just finished reading Brian Fies' new graphic novel, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow.  In short, it is perhaps one of the best graphic novels I have ever come across, especially for anyone interested or intrigued by 20th century American history.

Great job, Brian!  

Monday, July 6, 2009

"How can I get my students to read more nonfiction?"

Nonfiction graphic novels, which have been on the rise with young adults for over eight years, can be used in both the English language arts (ELA) classroom and the social studies (SS) classroom. Perhaps even more importantly, nonfiction graphic novels will align to the standards (or themes) in both content areas.

Read more from Katie Monnin's new Diamond Bookshelf article by clicking here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

iPhone apps for comics

According to Foreword This Week,

UClick, a content distribution company owned by Andrews McMeel Universal, the parent company of Andrews McMeel Publishing and the Universal Press Syndicate, has developed iPhone apps that display comic books one panel at a time, the way they were first created. Each app costs $.99 and titles including Bone, Ghostbusters, We the Robots, and Basic Instructions are available.

But of course there's more than UClick out there. Check out these other iPhone apps for comics:

And for the latest on comics and iPhone apps, be sure to visit run by Sherm Cohen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Timmy's Tutor

"Timmy's Tutor" is an online comic by Michael Hawkins that honors the special tutors and mentors in children's lives. Download the comics to put on your website, subscribe to the site's feed, or follow Timmy on Twitter! Here's more from Hawkins on his inspiration for creating the comic strip:
Growing up, I took my education for granted. In my wife's and my families, it was just expected that we would study hard and go to college or take some additional career training. After graduating from college and getting out into the work world, I discovered that wasn't the case for everyone. When I read the statistics about how many kids never even finish high school, it saddens me. It saddens me that everyone does not have parents who value education and expect and inspire their children to pursue knowledge not simply for grades, but for the betterment of themselves. Parents who, when they don't have the answers, care enough to find the resources to help their children grow and succeed. EVERYONE needs special tutors and mentors to help them be successful in life, no matter what their age. Ms. Rita is the fictional one I'm making for the kids.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nick Magazine Comics

Hey everyone!

Nick Magazine has some GREAT comics for kids!!!  Kids will not only recognize the characters, but also learn more about reading with images and words together from some of their favorite shows.  Very engaging, awesome teacher resource!

Françoise Mouly of Toon Books

Toon Books editor Françoise Mouly does an interview with KCRW and talks about the company's groundbreaking children's books. With their comic-book format, Toon Books are perfect for kids who are too old for picture books but too young or not ready for text-only stories. Here are the Toon Books available for purchase:

Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons by Agnes Rosenstiehl
Benny and Penny in Just Pretend by Geoffrey Hayes
Otto's Orange Day by Frank Cammuso and Jay Lynch
Stinky by Eleanor Davis (a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book)
Jack and the Box by Art Spiegelman
Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever by Dean Haspiel and Jay Lynch

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Graphic novels in the business world

Artist Joseph Lambert was asked to graphically depict one chapter from BusinessWeek Senior Writer Steve Hamm's book, The Race for Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer. Click through these panels to learn about Alan Kay's role in developing some of today's laptops, handheld devices, and smartphones. Then watch Alan Kay's TED (Technology, Education, Design) talk on big ideas, creative thinking, and education below.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Does just what it says -- plus comics news, a convention calendar, and more on the latest releases! Type in your zip code or full address, or call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK to locate a shop the old-fashioned way!

Diamond BookShelf interview with Katie Monnin

Check out Katie's thoughts on using graphic novels in the classroom and "the greatest communication revolution of all time" in the latest issue of Diamond BookShelf. Here's a snippet:

BookShelf: You are in the process of completing a book about graphic novels and secondary ELA instruction. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Katie Monnin: I hope that readers will take away two primary ideas from Teaching Graphic Novels. First, I hope that they will come away with a better, more appreciative understanding for why we should value comics and graphic novels in the classroom. Second, I hope that they come away with some concrete reading strategies that they can actually take into their classrooms, some practical, teacher-friendly strategies that align to the standards and to their students’ interests.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival 2009

[This already passed, but visit the website for info on next year's conference!]


Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival 2009
June 6th & 7th

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is proud to announce MoCCA Festival 2009 will be held June 6th & 7th at the 69th Regiment Armory at Lexington Avenue and 25th Street in New York City.

The Village Voice calls the MoCCA Festival ""the best small-press nexus (anywhere!)" Now BIGGER than ever! An incredible weekend of comic and cartoon art exhibitors, panels, lectures, sketches, autographs, and more! Thousands come every summer to meet and purchase works from some of the world's best cartoonists, animators, and graphic novelists.

69th Regiment Armory
68 Lexington Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets

June 6th and 7th, 11am-6pm

$10 per day
$15 per weekend
MoCCA Members: $10 per weekend

More information available here.

Media Conversations VI 2009 : An International Conference of Youth, Media, and Education

[This already passed, but visit the website for info on next year's conference!]


Media Conversations VI 2009 : An International Conference of Youth, Media, and Education

June 4 - 6 2009, NYC

Stop by and PARTICIPATE.
Media Literacy and Information Literacy - It's not just for breakfast anymore...

With consideration to Neil Postman's observation that 'children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see,' and Marshall McLuhan's reflection that 'the future isn't what it used to be,' we invite you to a FREE conference on media and information literacy taking place around NYC during the first week(end) of June, 2009. Space is limited.

Pratt Institute, Manhattan Campus : google maps
The Players Club: google maps
Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, McMahon Hall : google maps

For printing, posting, and further distribution, below you will find the conference poster in JPG format in a variety of sizes. Please distribute widely! :
Postercard : mediaconv_postcard
Flyer (2-up) : mediacon_flyer
8x11 : mediaconv_8x11
11x14 : mediaconv_11x14

Professor Garfield

Maupin House had the pleasure today of speaking with Bob Levy from Professor Garfield, an amazing, interactive, and free learning portal in which kids can express themselves while having fun with reading, writing, art, and more. Bob was kind enough to take us on a guided tour through some of the other initiatives being launched later this month: a Toon Book Reader where younger kids can read and be read cartoon books, and a comics creator for older kids to try their hand at making their own comics. Both free sites offer lesson plans for the classroom and an abundance of features such as translation into French, Spanish, and other languages. Teachers, while you're eagerly anticipating the launch, check out their Teachers' Lounge for materials you can use right now (summer reading). Professor Garfield will officially release the Toon Book Reader and comics creator at the National Educational Computing Conference June 28-July 1 in Washington, D.C. Who can wait for the school year to begin again now?!

A Comic Con survival kit from Etsy

The crafty folks at Etsy have put together a list of everything you need to make it through Comic Con without flying off the panels (pardon the bad pun)! Check their survival kit out by clicking here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Like superheroes and science?

Then you'll love The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios. He's such an expert in this particular field that he consulted on the Watchmen movie!

What are kid-safe graphic novels?

Brodart offers some great tips for librarians on choosing age-appropriate graphic novels for elementary, middle-school, and high-school students. If you're a teacher interested in starting or expanding your collection, you might find this list helpful as well. While you're on Brodart's website, check out their core lists and book preview samples.

Friday, May 29, 2009

NCTE's tips for teaching with graphic novels

From the NCTE Inbox (May 27, 2009):
Graphic novels are an increasingly popular format for stories told in a range of genres. While learning to read graphic novels takes practice, their artistic and literary merit makes the effort more than worthwhile. In this month's episode of's Text Message podcast, host Jennifer Buehler offers An Introduction to Graphic Novels (M-S). Tune in to hear an introduction to the graphic novel form, including discussion of key works such as Maus and American Born Chinese. Then listen for specific recommendations of nine graphic novels, including fantasy epics, memoirs, biographies, and adventure thriller stories.

Interested in finding out more about graphic novels and their potential for enriching your students' literacy learning? These resources from NCTE and provide a place to start.

Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom (G)
This article from the NCTE Council Chronicle offers an overview of the comic and graphic novel forms and suggests a wide range of applications in the classroom.

Graphic Novels in the Classroom (E-M)
In this Language Arts article, in what is one of the first-ever journal articles in graphic novel format, educator and author of American Born Chinese Gene Yang makes a case for using graphic novels in classrooms.

Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study (E)
The combination of the image and text (and relative brevity) of comic strips and comic books make them an excellent source of teaching material, as they explore language and meaning in a creative way. In this lesson, students will be examining the genre and subgenres of comics, their uses, and purposes.

Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares (M)
This lesson offers a new way to think about and respond to a work of literature. By creating comic strips or cartoon squares featuring characters in books, students are encouraged to think analytically about a work they've explored in ways that expand their critical thinking by focusing on the significant points of the book in a few short scenes.

Expanding Literacies through Graphic Novels (S)
This article from English Journal offers a rationale, based on the need for current students to learn multiple literacies, for the use of graphic novels in the high school English class. The author highlights several titles, suggests possible classroom strategies, and discusses some of the obstacles teachers may face in adding graphic novels to their curriculum.

Gaining Background for the Graphic Novel Persepolis: A WebQuest on Iran (S)
To prepare students for reading the graphic novel Persepolis, this lesson uses a WebQuest to focus students' research efforts on finding reliable information about Iran before and during the Islamic Revolution. In groups, students research and then present information on aspects of Iran such as politics, religion, and culture.

Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel (M-S)
Each chapter of this book presents practical suggestions for the classroom as it pairs a graphic novel with a more traditional text or examines connections between multiple sources. The sample chapter includes teaching suggestions for pairing Spider-Man comics with Freak the Mighty and comments on teaching Maus I and Maus II.

Mapping Words and Images: Writing Graphic Novels with Adolescents (M-S)
Presenters in this on-demand archived Web seminar describe how they use the graphic novel to get their students writing authentic, personal, and creative texts. Participants learn about excellent practical and classroom-tested ideas for using the graphic novel format to get students writing in new and exciting ways.

Taking (and Teaching) the Shoah Personally (C)
Including discussion of Art Speigelman's Maus, this College English article describes the issues raised in a course on the Shoah that aimed to incorporate familial, historical, and rhetorical perspectives. The author is led to wonder whether the stories of those who underwent such experiences stand utterly outside critique and appropriation and may demand of us instead only that we never forget.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Flying, No Tights

If you only check out one new website today, it should be No Flying, No Tights. The site is currently being revamped, but it's packed with reviews of comics and graphic novels for teens, organized by genre. Two offshoot pages offer suggestions for kids under 12 and older teens/adults. An index, organized alphabetically by creator, title, and publisher, plus core lists, will help teachers and librarians start their collections off in the right panel!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free graphic novel classroom kits

Get Graphic!
is a community-wide two year project designed to introduce teens, parents, librarians and teachers to the exciting and extremely popular literary format of graphic novels. All sorts of fun and informative events will be held throughout Western New York including noted graphic novel author visits and graphic novel design workshops. Teens will be inspired to write their own stories in the graphic novel format and their pages will be included in a book to be published in 2009.

Truly a community project, partners include the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, the Nioga Library System, UB Libraries, UB Department of Library and Information Studies, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Buffalo News Next Magazine, Erie I Boces School Library System, Hein Publishing, Buffalo Public Schools Library System and WBFO radio.

In addition to events, graphic novel lists, and other tips for parents, teachers, and librarians, Get Graphic also offers free graphic novel kits for Buffalo/Erie classrooms with 30 copies of the graphic novel, a video, and support materials. Kits can be checked out for six weeks at a time and returned to the Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries. Click here to reserve a kit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom

“How do I use graphic novels in my class?”

Katie Monnin provides the answer in the only resource to offer secondary ELA teachers classroom-based, standards-aligned strategies they can apply today: Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom.

Harness the power of graphic novels to promote literacy with standards-based strategies that engage secondary students! From navigating the text features in graphic novels to creating standards-based lessons on reading comprehension, fiction and non-fiction, written response, critical thinking, and media literacy, Teaching Graphic Novels shows you how to address print-text and image literacies while engaging readers like never before.

Complete with examples from graphic novels, professional resource suggestions, strategies that can be used with any graphic novel, and extra support for English-language learners, this flexible resource takes the guesswork out of teaching with graphic novels and builds in the fun.

For more information on Katie Monnin and her work with graphic novels and literacy, visit

Coming later this fall!

$24.95 ● ISBN-13: 978-1-934338-40-7
*Cover illustration by Chiggers author Hope Larson