As I grew up in the 80’s, my parents held a strict idea of what good reading material looked like. Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables topped the list. Classics always fit the bill, and I loved them…sometimes.
In middle school, though, comic books appeared on the scene. Friends smuggled copies to me, well before the Marvel and DC Machines made them mainstream or easily accessible. But from my first X-Men issue, I fell in love.
As both a teacher and parent, nothing makes me happier than the thriving medium of graphic novels. They offer reluctant readers a gateway to literature like no other. They still strive to represent the most diverse and underrepresented populations. And powerhouse authors like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Laurie Halse Anderson lend their talents to reinvent familiar heroes, engaging a new world of readers.
When Sophia puts on her superhero jumpsuit and goes out to make the world a safer place, I’m always happy to spy a graphic novel or comic tucked under her arm. She’s prepared.