Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Garrett. Garrett Wonders, “How graphic novels changed children's books?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Garrett!

Do you have a favorite type of book? Many young kids love picture or pop-up books. As they get older, they might enjoy short novels and chapter books. But there’s one type of book that seems to be popular with kids of all ages—graphic novels!

Wait. Are graphic novels books? Well, yes, of course, they are! Think about the definition of a book: a set of printed sheets of paper that are held together inside a cover. Graphic novels have printed sheets of paper. They’re covered in images that tell a story. They often include some words, too. And all those pages are held together inside a cover. That means graphic novels are books.

Still, many people try to argue the opposite. They think books with lots of pictures are just for young kids. They say older kids and adults should read books that have few pictures, if any. People have tried to give graphic novels a bad reputation, saying they’re not as serious as “real” books.

Is any of that true? We’ll let you decide for yourself. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and it’s normal to prefer one type of book over another. Do you enjoy graphic novels? Or have you been thinking of trying them out? Fans of graphic novels say they’re just as good (or better!) as any other book.

Have you ever heard that reading exercises your brain? It’s true! And people who study the brain have found that it’s true whether you’re reading graphic novels or other books. As you interpret the images and text in a graphic novel, your brain comprehends the story in the same way it does text-based books. 

It’s no WONDER that many teachers have found graphic novels help students improve their ability to comprehend what they read. Kids who read graphic novels also see many other benefits. In some cases, it strengthens their memory and ability to make inferences. It also helps them understand language and the order of events when they read.

Many people enjoy graphic novels just because they find them fun to read. For some people, following a series of images is more fun than reading words on the page. And that’s great! Reading should be a fun activity, and people should always try to read books they enjoy.

Graphic novels come in a wide variety of genres. Some are based on other books, like To Kill a Mockingbird or The Giver. Some of the most popular are about superheroes or historical fiction. There are even nonfiction graphic novels. Many kids enjoy Japanese-style graphic novels, called Manga.

Are you interested in reading graphic novels? Or would you rather stick with another type of book? Whatever your preference is, it can be fun to branch out from time to time. You never know what new book you might enjoy until you give it a try.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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