For this project I chose to focus on graphic novels that have a lead female character. I chose graphic novels because I feel that most teachers don't want to use them in their classrooms and I believe that most young adults would be interested in reading them in school as many of them do on their own time. Most young adults think that graphic novels are more fun than books because it is basically a comic. Teachers can make use of this in their classroom by selecting the right types of graphic novels that have a teachable message in them. I focused on female lead characters to focus more on girls and the issues that they have to deal with. It is up to the teacher exactly which graphic novels are suitable for the classroom. It is obvious that there are going to be many graphic novels that are too violent or too sexual to be taught but there are many that focus on other subject such as the graphic novel Maus which deals with WWII. I chose five graphic novels for this project, Persepolis and Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi, One Hundred Demons by Linda Barry, The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot and Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. Each of these graphic novels are geared towards young adults not only in their subject matter but also in their visual presentation. They all have main characters that try to find out who they are and what their relationships are to other people. All of the main characters realize something about themselves and eventually change in the end. I also referred to the English Journal article, Using Graphic Novels, Anime, and the Internet in an Urban High School by Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher.
[...] They use their own experiences in their graphic novels whereas Clowes and Talbot, make up their own characters and show different issues than seen in the others especially in Tale of One Bad Rat”. Most young adult girls could relate to all of these graphic novels. I think that some boys would be interested in reading these graphic novels not only because they are graphic novels but also because there are other parts to the story than just the girl (e.g. [...]
[...] She has a whole chapter devoted to Election” in which she stayed glued to the TV for days (pgs 196-204). If I was to teach this in a classroom I don't know if I would pair it with another classic text that we are required to read. If it was possible I might create a unit around graphic novels and show how they are literary as well. In the “Tale of One Bad by Bryan Talbot, the story is not a memoir as the previous ones were. [...]
[...] This is a good graphic novel to teach in that most students will relate to some of her experiences, especially those of repression. For Satrapi, there are certain rules that she has to follow like dressing a certain way. She gets chastised and punished for wearing clothes that are not accepted by her culture such as a jeans jacket. Also she is not allowed to wear any makeup and most girls today would find this repressive. She deals with growing up, religion, death, war, suppression, repression, boys, friendships etc. [...]
[...] I consider Graphic novels to be literary just as much as any book. Though the story is told mainly in pictures and text, the author manages to convey more meaning with her panels and text than just text would. I feel that for young adults to be able to read with pictures is like its fun. In my experience most young adults do not like to read at all. If they see that they can read ‘comics' for class it would motivate them to read more. [...]
[...] This would be an ideal graphic novel to teach in class as the teacher can relate the graphic novel to history and other books about war as in Diary of Anne Frank”. This graphic novel would be a great supplement to help get the students into the subject matter. “Persepolis” is also a great YA graphic novel in that it deals with issues that many young adults can relate to and it presents these ideas in a vivid way. “Persepolis tells the rest of her story. [...]
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