The POW! of the turning of the page

joe hill

I was super-stoked to attend a live taping of The Nerdist Writers’ Panel podcast at local indie bookstore Brookline Booksmith on Saturday. The special guest was Joe Hill, one of my favorite adult authors. He’s published three horror-ish novels (including Horns, which in 2013 was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe), a short story […]

World War II graphic novels


This quarter in fifth grade, we’ve been reading Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, and my students were ready and curious to learn about World War II. I’m a big fan of Number the Stars, but I noticed that during my lectures, students kept saying that the supplemental books I had given them had already taught […]

Lesser-known heroes


In my literature classroom, students must always be reading a book outside of the novel we’re reading as a class. Every now and then, a student will pull V for Vendetta or Watchmen or Maus or some other graphic novel* off of my shelf and ask if he can use it as his independent reading […]

Using comics in your classroom

Marek Bennet panel from Multiple Intelligences

Last month, I was fortunate to be able to attend several sessions at the Comics and the Classroom symposium offered as part of the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) on October 5th. The symposium, which was the first of what they hope will become an annual event as part of MICE, brought together a number […]

In defense of graphic novels: a guest post by Jonathan Hunt

boxers and saints

Earlier this season, Robin tackled the definition of a picture book (as contrasted with an illustrated book) and then went on to consider the proliferation of graphic novel elements in picture books. I’d like to revisit these issues, but this time in light of the fact that this year has produced the most amazing crop […]

Odd Duck

Odd Duck

First, let me remind you that my expertise is not comic books or graphic novels. I DID grow up reading lots and lots of comic books of the Archie & Veronica and Baby Huey variety and have read many graphic novels for young adults. The TOON books have their own special place in my classroom. I am […]

The Silence of Our Friends

silence of our friends

With February over, it’s easy to switch mental gears: it’s March! Time to put the African American history books back on the shelf and pull together a women’s history display! But black history and women’s history are integral and ongoing parts of everyone’s history, and should be consistently represented in our curriculum and discourse. A […]

Your words, Nate’s mouth

big nate menu

Big Nate: Comix by U! (based on the books by Lincoln Peirce; HarperCollins and Night & Day Studios, December) is a kind of Colorforms set for new media starring Nate Wright, a sixth-grade antihero who makes Greg Heffley look like a wimpy kid. In this app, Nate’s fans and budding playwrights press-and-place a variety of […]

Cute, yes. Graphic novel, maybe?

power of cute

In this business we’ve all gotten pretty used to the blurring of boundaries: between genres (is that picture book biography with invented dialogue nonfiction or fiction?); between age groups (how young does YA go now, 14? 12? younger?); between formats (right, that 534-page novel is actually a picture book!). Ho hum; been there, done that. […]

Wimpy Kid and beyond

Rick Detorie’s The Accidental Genius of Weasel High (Egmont, April) comes hot on the heels of the latest movie adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s popular series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (currently in theaters). This paperback original will appeal to Wimpy Kid fans in both its format and its angsty content. Accidental Genius poses […]