Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Books for Boys: Comics

Most boys -- even boys who hate reading -- find it hard to resist comic books. The attraction is obvious: active, colorful pictures; few blocks of text and ridiculous, courageous or hilarious scenarios. What's not to like?

If you live with a struggling or reluctant reader, I challenge you to check out some comic books. Leave them lay around the house. Watch as your "non-reader" flips through the pages.

Don't know where to start? Here are some ideas, based on recommendation from other parents of boys:

As your son gets older, he can progress to graphic novels. Many publishers, recognizing the popularity of comics and graphic novels, have even added comic elements to more traditional books. (Think Diary of a Wimpy Kid.) Others are comic-izing everything from historical events to classic works of literature.

Who knows? Your son just might be inspired to compose his own comic. I'm going to check out The Comic Book Project, which provides education, training and materials for teachers and schools who want to use comic books in the classroom. They also offer a make-your-own comic book kit, which might be just thing for Boy #2.


  1. Spy vs. Spy is wordless. I think it is a great way to get a struggling reader to "read" a book, follow a story, and experience the book thing even if words are elusive and confusing.

    I am pretty sure I am going to have to credit Garfield with opening the world of reading to my sons!

  2. This is so true! However, you might want to warn your readers to preview any comics they are not familiar with first. There is a fine line between comic books and graphic novels and not all graphic novels are child appropriate. I noticed some questionable ones even in the children's section of the local library. It is great if you find a story line your boy like because you can continue to watch for new issues.

  3. Angel,
    You're absolutely right. Some of the graphic novels or comic books, esp. anime and manga, contain darker and/or more adult themes. And while you might (or might not) be OK with your teenage son reading them, you may not want your 7-yr-old reading them.