[PARENTS] Comics to Get Kids to Read

Comics for Kids | Readorium

Cover of “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud

Here at Readorium, we encourage children to read the kind of things they like, be it non-fiction, novels, or even comics. Gone are the days when comic books were relegated to the bottom of the literary pyramid. Today, most readers agree that comics and graphic novels are a unique, complex, and versatile form of literary expression, deserving of analysis, criticism and praise.

Graphic literature is also an excellent way to engage kids who may balk at reading longer books. And it doesn’t have to be all about superheroes and their arch-nemeses (though there’s nothing wrong with them). Here are only a few comics and graphic novels that will appeal to kids (and probably their parents too!)

 

 

1) Americus, by M.K. Reed, Jonathan Hill (Illustrator)

Comics for Kids | ReadoriumWe like MK Reed’s Americus partly because it weaves both a fantasy and a non-fantasy story that together authentically handle the emotions and troubles of its teen characters. Instead of violence or apocalyptic threats, the protagonist deals with local politics and civic duty, topics that aren’t commonly known to make gripping literature. However, Reed’s writing, and Hill’s wonderful art create a charming read that might even warrant the term “gripping” (in the best of ways).

 

“How could you a child read such a horrible, evil book?”

“It’s a critically acclaimed young adult series.”

What you can discuss with your kids

  • Religion and its role in society and government
  • Civics and the political system
  • Education and literacy
  • The role of fantasy

 

2) Archie, Vol 1: The New Riverdale, by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples (Illustrations), Annie Wu (Illustrator), Veronica Fish (Illustrator)

Comics for Kids | ReadoriumThe recent reboot of the beloved Archie comics didn’t really come as a huge surprise, what with the series’ fading relevance and quiet descent into the realm of “things our parents read.” But if you thought that it was all just a marketing ploy, guess again. Headed by celebrated and award winning creators, the new adventures of Archie, Jughead, Veronica and the gang are modernized and told with a sophisticated integration of word and image, and a flair for foreshadowing and suspense.

“Her name is Betty Cooper. She lives next door. She smells like flowers and motor oil. We’ve been a couple since kindergarten.”

What you can discuss with your kids

  • Friendship and what it means
  • Crushes, and how to handle them
  • Teenage life, then and now

 

3) Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell (Adaptor/Illustrator)

Comics for Kids | ReadoriumQuirky characters, creepy locales and weird stories are a hallmark of Neil Gaiman’s adult fiction. He’s no stranger, however, to graphic novels or to children’s literature, and again, Gaiman delivers with this adaptation of his famed children’s novel. Also, we love the themes of family, and it’s nice not to have an orphan in a fantasy story!

“The Other Mother smiled, and each of her teeth was a tiny bit too long.””

 

 

What you can discuss with your kids

  • Family
  • Courage and dealing with fear
  • Identity, dissatisfaction and belonging.

 

So get your kids to crack open a comic or a graphic novel. It could be just the thing to instill a love of reading in them!

If you liked these recommendation, you might also be interested in our post on classic fantasy books for kids.

Further Reading:

Using comic books (like ‘The Avengers’) to get kids to read, Valerie Strauss (The Washington Post)

Geekdad Rant: Comics Are Serious Literature, Jonathan H. Liu (Wired)

How Comic Books Became Part of the Literary Establishment, Tim Martin (The Telegraph)

 

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