Thursday, July 2, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer series - graphic novels for independent readers - 7.02.2020

Image result for summer reading

This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

I am so excited to see publishers are putting out graphic novels for the earlier reader.  Graphic novels are well loved for many many reasons, but one of the things that readers love most about graphic novels are the visuals it provides that closes a gap for readers who are having trouble visualizing.  I see so many readers who have trouble sticking with a middle grade novel and amongst other reasons, it is because they do not understand what is happening in the story.  Often, these same readers can read and understand every word, but they may not be creating the mental images needed to help them remember what happened in chapter one and carry those events to what happens in chapter 10.  Graphic novels are often that bridge to aid comprehension for those readers.  With a graphic novel, you don't get a visual for everything that happens, just like you don't get text that explains everything that happens.  You have to put the two together.  By giving readers the visual supports, they are able to gain the stamina to read longer stories on their own.  Now that we are getting graphic novels for readers who are ready to read a bit more independently on their own, we're getting even more readers hooked on the independent reading journey! 

I'm listing the books today in ladder format.  Each book is a bit longer, words are a little more sophisticated, and stories more complex.  

I have also seen quite a few graphic novels coming in the fall.  I'll include those at the end.

Pizza and Taco by Stephen Shaskan
Pizza and Taco: Who's the Best?
by Stephen Shaskan
Divided into chapters, Pizza and Taco love having fun together, but when a conversation about all things that are the best turns into who is the best, a new competition begins.  Who will win, Pizza or Taco?
Chapters, easy to follow frames, and short talk bubbles keep this book perfect to read for young readers.

Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli
Baloney and Friends
by Greg Pizzoli
Pizzoli's books for young readers often make me laugh out loud and this one was no different.  Featuring a cast of characters, all with different personalities, kids will laugh at the escapades these characters have.  Told in episodic chapters that are separated by mini-comics, this is an early graphic novel that will keep readers wanting more.  I like that the talk bubbles are color coded to the color of the character talking. 
Looking forward to more in this series!

Kitten Construction Company by John Patrick Green
Kitten Construction Company: A Bridge Too Fur
by John Patrick Green
with color by Cat Caro
I really love this series.  The Kitten Construction Company is adorable, clever, and they seem to learn a lesson that is a perfect jumping off point for readers.  In this book, the concept of being prejudiced is brought up and I think using this book for a conversation about that would be 100% appropriate right now.
The main character learns a lesson in this story, and while his realization takes all of one frame, I do like that the storyline shows him understanding what he did wrong, admitting it, and then fixing his mistake.  I've seen a lot of books published lately where the character doesn't own up to the mistake, doesn't take responsibility or learn from the mistake.  Not really a great role model there.
The book size allows for larger panels and bigger talk bubbles.  There are more sentences in each talk bubble, but they are easy to follow.
I hope there will be more coming in this series!

Fox & Rabbit by Beth Ferry
Fox & Rabbit
written by Beth Ferry
illustrated by Gergely Dudás
Another new series (yay, all of these are series which means our readers have more to look forward to!) about two friends.  Each friend has definite characteristics, Fox is more carefree, while Rabbit is cautious.  But they both enjoy being together and have adventures together.  While each chapter is its own story, there is a piece from the preceding chapter that carries over.  And at the end of each chapter something happens that will make you giggle!
These stories are a little longer and there is a bit more happening on each page and in each frame.  Some pages had 8 frames to read, so certainly more to get to than the previous books.  Sometimes the characters go back and forth in their dialogue and readers have to know how to read talk bubbles when the conversation does that.
Looking forward to more adventures with these two!

InvestiGators by John Patrick Green
by John Patrick Green
A new series that will be well enjoyed by the DogMan crowd!  Green (who is on a graphic novel roll - also the author of the Kitten Construction Company above) introduces us to Mango and Brash, two 'gators that happen to be investigators.  
This graphic novel is the most sophisticated of all the ones I have listed.  There are multiple plot lines, some of them come together at the end, but there are definitely some loose ends, which leads us to... the sequel!
The characters will appeal to young readers, and older readers will get some of the snarky jokes and puns.  Coming in at just under 200 pages, this will be a great ladder book for those who are getting ready to read longer graphic novels.

Coming this fall:

Bunbun  Bonbon by Jess Keating
Bunbun and Bonbon: Fancy Friends
by Jess Keating
An upcoming series by Jess Keating celebrating two new friends who learn that they are excited about so many things, including enjoying all things fancy!
Colorful text, no more than five frames on a page, and the text in the talk bubble is pretty short - all things that will engage young graphic novel readers!
Publishes Sept. 1st

Squidding Around by Kevin Sherry
Squidding Around: Fish Feud!
by Kevin Sherry
This graphic novel will be well loved by readers, but adults may have a problem with it.  The character of Squizzard is rude, not a nice friend, and takes a really long time to fix any mistakes.  Readers will see right away that Squizzard is not a nice friend when he over and over makes his BFF, Toothy (a great white shark who is very gentle), always be the secondary character (ex. the bad guy, the first mate) when they play, plays rude jokes on him, and blames Toothy for his own shortcomings.  Once it is pointed out to Squizzard, it may be too late to fix things, Toothy may be too upset.  It takes Squizzard a really long time to admit he was wrong.  He does try to fix his mistake, but I'm not sure we'll see a different Squizzard in the next book or not.  
A bit more sophisticated than Bunbun and Bonbon, but with it's easy to follow plot and characters, young readers will enjoy it.  Just hope they notice Squizzard's faults faster than the character!
Publishes Sept. 1st

Here are a few that I have not had the chance to review yet:

Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds
Arlo and Pips: King of the Birds
by Elise Gravel
publishes Oct. 6th

Pea, Bee,  Jay #1: Stuck Together
Pea, Bee, and Jay: Stuck Together
by Brian "Smitty" Smith
publishes Sept. 1st
Looks like book 1 and 2 will both be published that day!

Puppy Problems
Peanut, Butter, and Crackers: Puppy Problems
by Paige Braddock
publishes Sept. 22nd

I am so excited we have these books for our readers.  They are so necessary and I'm glad publishers are seeing and meeting that need.  

But... did you notice.... all of these books feature animal characters.  While kids love that, they also love realistic fiction graphic novels that are reflections of their own lives.  My next request.... graphic novels for this age group that are written by BIPOC authors and feature characters of color....

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.

Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

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