Posts Tagged ‘graphic novels’

Anti bullying graphic novel, Babymouse Queen of the World!

Posted on November 5th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart


Babymouse Queen of the World! Created by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

Anti bullying graphic novel

published by Random House Kids

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Babymouse burst onto the scene in 2005 in Babymouse Queen of the World. Since then, enthusiastic readers have flocked to the series of fifteen graphic novels for middle grade readers.

Babymouse Queen of the World introduces a strong female character. Babymouse has a vivid imagination, she loves cupcakes, reading and scary movies. She longs for adventure, glamour and excitement and hopes for straight whiskers and no homework. Instead, Babymouse is stuck with chores, tons of homework, a locker that sticks and some very annoying curly whiskers.

When Babymouse hears about an upcoming slumber party to be hosted by Felicia Furrrypaws, she is willing to do almost anything to secure an invitation. When Felicia fails to complete a homework assignment, she acquires Babymouse’s book report in exchange for an invitation to the her party. Babymouse ditches her best friend, Wilson the Weasel, misses their scary movie night and goes to the slumber party.

In a case of “Be careful what you wish for” Babymouse discovers the party is quite what she had envisioned

This is so boring.
We’re out of popcorn. Go make yourself useful, Babymouse… And bring extra butter.

Middle grade readers will be drawn to this boldly illustrated anti bullying graphic novel. They will connect with Babymouse’s dreams and identify with the frustrations and challenges she faces.

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon,ca

Might I Suggest Graphic Novels for your Reluctant Reader?

Posted on October 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Graphic novels are similar to comic books in that they rely heavily on illustrations to tell much of the story. Graphic novels often appeal to reluctant readers but they are equally enjoyed by those who are fluent.

Bone and Babymouse are both currently very popular graphic novel series for children. Babymouse is clearly intended primarily for girls and is good fun.

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi is a new series. My ten year old son and I each read Book One, The Stonekeeper. I read the book first and then he picked it up and devoured it shortly thereafter. The story begins with a dramatic and tragic car accident that apparently kills Emily and Navin’s father. Two years later, depleted finances force the family to move into a home that has been empty ever since Great Grandpa mysteriously disappeared. It is not long before the children find themselves on a desperate quest to save their mother from a tentacled creature she encounters in the basement.

My son and I both enjoyed the book – he more than I. The author/illustrator does a terrific job of setting up further adventures. He leaves many questions unanswered and will undoubtably draw readers to subsequent books in the series.

I feel I would be remiss if I did not comment on the death scene midway through the book. Neither of my sons (aged 10 and 12) found the illustrations of a dying and then dead man remarkable. I’m not sure what that says about their de-sensitization thanks to movies and video games. Anyhow, I was surprised to see the man, eyes wide open, followed by another frame wherein a character closed his eyes and a third frame where his dead body was covered with a sheet (pages 110 – 112 in my copy). My boys were very matter of fact about the illustrations. Take a look for yourself and post your thoughts.

The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) at

The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) at

Bone at

Bone at

You may be interested in our page about reluctant readers.

Middle Grade Reader Transformed: Discovering a Love of Reading

Posted on August 24th, 2011 by Jody


Though children have to read, they don’t have to love reading. In fact, I have at least one student every year that insists they do not love it. Some even tell me they hate it. This is my favourite challenge of the school year. Watching a middle grade reader make the transition from reading for necessity to reading for pleasure is, quite simply, awesome.

Middle Grade Reader Transformed:  Discovering a Love of Reading, a guest post by @1prncs #middlegrades #reading #reluctantreadersWith the school year fast approaching, I’m wondering who that student will be this year? Which books will hook him/her? What made him/her dislike reading? How difficult will it be to change his/her mind?

Maybe it’s my own love of reading, of character rich stories, that makes me need to see this transition take place. I want all of my students to enjoy books, to learn from them, and to feel connected with them. But it’s those kids that think they can’t find enjoyment in a book, that see reading as a chore, that intrigue me.

I am very fortunate that my own daughters have inherited a love of literature. We foster that love by having books everywhere in our house, reading on our own and with them, and taking them to the library and book stores simply to browse. It must be something more than this, however, that hooks children on reading because I have many friends and colleagues that do the same with their children, yet reading is not their child’s first choice of activity.

For me, books are about the characters and their journey. If I don’t connect to the characters, I’m likely to give up on the book. Children are no different; if we cannot find something that captures their attention, almost immediately, they are likely to give up. If we want to engage children in reading for pleasure, we have to know them well enough to push them in the right direction. To me, this means two things: finding books that interest our children and finding books that are at the correct reading level.

Finding interests is fairly simple because you can talk to kids and easily get a sense of what excites them. Our school librarian is fantastic for helping me find certain “types” of books that I know will appeal to different kids. What I find can be the most challenging, is getting books that interest kids, are at the appropriate level, and look like a book a grade five student should be reading. This is the age where what friends think really matters. My students don’t want to be reading some ‘babyish’ book while their friends are pulling out The Lord of the Rings
and Harry Potter . So to this end, I am eternally grateful for the graphic novel.

Vivid, bright pictures appeal to most people. Graphic novels remind me of great advertisements; they are designed to draw you in and make you feel like you need to know more. They capture the reader’s attention quickly, move at a fast pace, and yet they still retain the story elements that are part of regular novels.

I am amazed by the amount of graphic novels available in a variety of age ranges. There are so many great series, such as Nancy Drew, Bone , Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Amulet. You can find graphic novels that teach history and science or tell tales of favorite super-heroes. This is a huge market and it gets bigger every day. Kids are drawn to the way stories are told in speech bubbles and brief text boxes. For the reluctant reader, this genre can make reading at a lower level more appealing and less intimidating, while still managing to fit within socially acceptable appearances. That is not to say this is the best or the only form of getting kids on board with reading. In fact, it’s important to remember that getting a kid to love reading is going to depend entirely on the child in question. If the interest starts with reading the subtitles in non-fiction while looking at pictures or flipping through Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, so be it. Once they begin gravitating toward reading and changing their feelings toward the activity, making further inroads becomes easier.Engaging Middle Grade Readers Means Matching Interests and Reading Level - A guest post by @1prncs

It’s not always the case that students that don’t like to read are ‘low’ in this area. They may read quite well at grade level or above and simply not enjoy the task. Regardless of the ability or background reasons, I still feel compelled to at least try to change their minds.

I guess it’s natural that when we really love or enjoy something, we want to share it with others. Equally natural, is the desire to become involved in activities that excite others. The students can’t help but sense my enthusiasm for reading and perhaps, that in itself, is the hook.

I hope I haven’t generalized too much or made it sound easy to engage students in areas they’d rather avoid. It’s not easy. But if it works, if you can really hook them you get to be a part of a wonderful transition that can, quite literally, change lives.

For more information, visit our page about reluctant readers.

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