Ruth Spivak: Kiducation


Kick Off Summer Reading With Graphic Novels and Comics

If You're Struggling With An Unmotivated Reader, Check Out These Sizzling Selections.

We've all heard how important it is for kids to keep reading during the summer. So, what's a parent to do when kids reject the very notion of settling down to read? What's a parent to do when all books are unappealing?

Desperate times call for desperate measures! When my kids went through non-reading phases, I had to accept graphic novels and comics as stand-ins. Quite frankly, this was not easy for my snobbish-self to accept, and it took me a while to come around.

I learned that graphic novels and comics can boost a child's motivation to read. Bursting with colours and snappy dialogue, they are especially appealing to children on the go. Packed with action and cliffhangers, kids become hooked on the development of the plot. By the way, some plots are quite good, and are full of humour and irony.

Comics and graphic novels are also great for struggling readers. Images provide contextual clues to the plot. Comics can build confidence in reading skills, because kids aren't daunted by pages of lengthy text.

Ultimately, the idea is for kids to experience reading as an enjoyable activity, eventually leading them toward more text-based materials. If in the meantime reading doesn't look anything like you pictured, don't stress!

Here are some sizzling selections to jump-start summer reading:


Cirque du Freak, The Manga.


My kids are addicted to this series, featuring werewolves, vampires, and other strange creatures. 

The Three Little Pigs.


Drawings are kind of creepy, but the text sticks quite closely to the original. Kids can enjoy a selection of fairy tales in this series.


Archie Comics.

We all grew up with Archie, and kids still love these comics today. Is this great literature? No, but you can pick these up almost anywhere, and kids can't seem to put them down. It's all about developing reading as a hobby.

Calvin and Hobbes.

Younger kids will find the relationship between Calvin and Hobbes endearing, while older kids will get the quirky humour. We own the collection, and have enjoyed it thoroughly. You can order online, or borrow through your local library.