If you teach reluctant readers, have your students try a graphic novel the next time they are searching for a book to read.
Reluctant readers lack the motivation to read self-selected text. Due to the low volume of reading done by reluctant readers, the ability to comprehend reading material is compromised. Struggling readers can decode the words in a piece of text, but do not use reading strategies effectively to support understanding.(Lovanger, Paris et al., 1991).
Most of us grew up reading comics, magazines, and cartoons in the Sunday paper. Perhaps that is the kind of light reading that would be of interest to struggling and reluctant readers. Graphic novels could be a good choice to hook readers. Graphic novels have a single story or a set of intellectual stories that are told in sequential art form.(Sullivan, 2002, p. 52). Graphic novels come in all kinds of genres and areas of interest. Graphic novels are fast reads. The format of the graphic novel is similar to video games, the internet and TV due to the quick and visual format.
Manga is appealing to many young adult struggling readers and reluctant readers. Manga is simply a graphic novel from Japan. Manga is the print version of Japanese cartoons called anime. Manga graphic novels are rated for age levels. Be sure to check the back of each Manga novel for the age rating because some are inappropriate for elementary or middle school readers.
Graphic Novels for Young Adults
1. The Tale of One Bad Rat by Brian Talbot
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
3. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
4. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
5. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
6. The Good Neighbors by Holly Black
7. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
8. Hopeless Savages by Jan Van Meter