Tag Archives: graphic novel

#GN Celebration: Gaijin. American Prisoner of War. by Matt Faulkner



I’m happy to join the celebration of graphic novels, especially since I’m finding it a form that can discuss interesting topics in complex ways and, happily, appeal to readers of many different strengths and interests. Instead of only focusing on  non fiction (as per my usual), I’ve found  this “based on true historical event” graphic novel that has much to offer in terms of American history and the frailities of human nature.

Gaijin by Matt Faulkner relates the travails of Koji, a biracial teenage boy living in San Francisco, sent to an internment camp shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Within the closed confines of the camp, Koji sees a society under pressure with resulting discrimination,  bullying, and hatred. Seeing these people turn on each other offers great discussion possibilites about peer pressure , ethics, and morality of both individuals and society at large.

The graphic novel format makes it a relatively quick read.  It  could be a greast choice for a reader who is interested in war and history but might not be convinced to try an in depth history–yet.

Grades 5 and up.

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Interesting Non Fiction for Kids Recommendation

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

Don Brown expands into the graphic novel form with great success. There is a plethora of historic and environmental information here. The drawings really add to the reader’s experience of what it was like to be in living with so much dirt and dust.

For a fiction pairing, the graphic novel The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan is part ghost story part historical fiction.

Grade 5 and Up

Used successfully with reluctant reader

Boy appeal

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Graphic Novel Memoirs for Kids

Suddenly, there seems to be an abundance of interesting, graphic novel memoirs for kids. I’m fascinated by this trend. I don’t know why it’s happening or why it works. But I’ve read several over the last few months and would enjoy reading more.

Here are five  great examples of graphic novel memoirs about girls:

1. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

2. Relish. My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

3. El Deafo by Cece Bell

4. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge

5. To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel

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