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Why We Love Graphic Novels

Blog post written by Head of Youth Services, Lindsey Recka

Here in the Children’s Room, we often hear that graphic novels are “not real books” or that kids should “pick a real book” as if graphic novels are somehow inferior types of literature. You might be shocked to find out how important graphic novels are, and how much can be learned from a graphic novel! 

What is a graphic novel, anyway? A graphic novel is a book with words and illustrations, which tells a story. A graphic novel may look like a comic book, but most often, is a fully fleshed out story, and not a brief serial like a traditional comic book. Graphic novels are written for all ages, including adults, and are a unique storytelling style as diverse as any other medium.

That’s nice, Miss Lindsey, but graphic novels aren’t like reading “real books.” No, they aren’t. Which is awesome! Graphic novels tend to use a stronger, more advanced vocabulary than novels aimed at the same age range. Graphic novels also help to develop both visual and written literacy because they use illustrations to tell parts of the story. This can increase reading comprehension. We love that, and so do teachers!

Graphic novels are also fast-paced, attract reluctant readers, and are fun! There are graphic novels for every genre, fiction and non-fiction. There are graphic novel memoirs, cookbooks, stories, history books, and so much more, so there’s something for everyone.

If you haven’t tried a graphic novel, give one a shot. Ask our staff for recommendations!

Love Graphic Novels? Comics Plus, available through the Topsfield Town Library for Topsfield residents, allows you to read some of the most popular graphic novels, Manga, and more from home! You can access at home on your computer, or using the LibraryPass app (available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store). You simply have to log in with your Library Card Number and PIN!

To ensure age-appropriate content for users, we have two different links. To access all materials, use the following link: To access just content for kids and teens, use this link: On the app, to access the Children’s material, choose Topsfield Children’s Library.


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