Sunday, August 30, 2009

There's no denying the growing popularity of graphic novels. If you haven't taken a chance on one yet, here are a few that are current hits with children in grades 3-6.

First of all there is the adaptation by Russell P. Craig of Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline. Fans of graphic novels will enjoy this eerie tale and its intrepid heroine. If you've already read the novel, you'll find an entirely fresh experience in this version.

Artie King, the hero of Frank Cammuso's Knights of the Lunch Table, discovers that life at Camelot Middle School is more challenging than he'd anticipated. (Do you notice a theme here?) In volume one, subtitled The Dodgeball Chronicles, Artie stumbles into a mysterious dodge ball game and finds himself facing some of the toughest kids in school.

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon is a wordless graphic novel that explores the friendship between a dog and his robot. Every dog should have a friend and in this case it turns out to be a do-it-yourself sort of project when Dog goes searching for friendship by mail-order.

Don Wood's novel, Into the Volcano, is a fast-paced adventure with thrills around every corner as Duffy and his brother Sumo Pugg who set out to explore a sleeping volcano only to find themselves running for their lives when the volcano threatens to erupt.

Children who treat their dinner plate vegetables like the enemy, will appreciate the villainous Brotherhood of the Evil Produce in Magic Pickle. Parents will appreciate the heroic Magic Pickle aka Weapon Kosher and its sidekick, plucky Jojo. Scott Morse's humorous science-fiction take on super heroes and everyday school issues comes complete with a "How to Draw Produce" section.

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