Navigating the choppy seas of graphic novels…

Forbidden planet collage JPEG

SLG London and South-East have recently organised a twilight visit to the Forbidden Planet Megastore. I was really hoping that visiting the store, talking with the knowledgeable staff and other enthusiastic geek colleagues would give me some useful pointers and it did!

What are the best graphic novels for my students? How do I recognise comics that may not be suitable because of content or age group? What can I recommend next when a student finishes to read all my Narutos? What titles are most suitable if I want to push my students to read harder texts?

All these issues and more were discussed in a very friendly atmosphere. As a matter of fact, staff had even organised for our group to have the whole store for ourselves which really gave us the opportunity to browse and have their undivided attention and expertise at our fingertips.

The whole event had a number of invaluable highlights:

  1. Special discount for libraries. I could not resist the opportunity to fill a couple of baskets of new titles for my library after discovering the special discount that they offer to school libraries. Not only a lot of their children’s and teen  titles are on a regular 3X2 offer, they will also apply an additional 10% discount on top of that. I left the books with them so that they can put together an itemised list of what I have purchased: I will then receive the books after the invoice has been paid by next -day free delivery. Brilliant!
  2.  Visit the store with your students. I also intend to take a group of my super-geek students as part of a reward trip to the store. Provided that you give advance notice, you can bring groups of students in to select the books themselves. I frankly really look forward to seeing their flabbergasted expressions at all the titles available.
  3. Personalised comics recommendations for your library. It was absolutely fantastic to discover that the store’s manager is a huge library advocate. She is always available at the end of an email to give any special recommendations if you have specific request and you need advice. Just like the service provided by School Library Services, she can put together a list of comics suitable just your students or the restrictions imposed by your school!
  4. Recommended titles for school librarians. A number of handouts, recommended reading lists and freebies were distributed to all attendants. The manager’s list is particularly useful because it includes comments and observations on content, age range and suitability for different students. Watch this space for a digital copy of this list! In the meanwhile, we have put together some recommended websites and articles to wet your appetite on this topic:
    Recommended Reading Lists from the ALA
     
    Interesting articles from the National Council of teachers of English, Schools Library Journal and others:
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