Thursday, June 19, 2014

Great Graphic Novel for Kids

I thought I would start off with a rather sophisticated graphic novel today.  This one deals with the author of the graphic novel series Amelia Rules.  Jimmy Gownley profiles his journey to becoming a graphic artist and along the way he writes a book about growing up and following your passion.  The book has humor and heart, and continues to show how "comics" have grown up as a story telling genre.

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Title:       The Dumbest Idea Ever!

Author:  Jimmy Gownley

Target:   Grades 6 and up

Series:    No

What this book is about: 
This is an autobiographical novel that explores how the author became a cartoonist.  At thirteen he is the brightest kid in the class and the star basketball player.  However, an illness forces him to miss quite a bit of school and he starts to become disillusioned with working so hard.   Slowly his grades start to slip.  His real satisfaction comes from creating comic books.  As he starts to devote time and energy to this endeavor he realizes this is his passion. While this path is quite a bit different than what was expected of him, his parents support him, despite an environment that doesn’t quite see the value in “comics.”

Why I love this book: 
This book is, in part, a look at what it takes to really be good at something.  It also is about how to find inspiration when the answer isn’t obvious.  That can be applied to a lot of things, not just creating comics.  What do you do when you are in conflict with what is expected and what you aspire to do?  The book also touches on the changes kids face in high school and is a realistic look at growing up.

If your child has ever had aspirations to pursue cartooning, this book will be a wonderful heartfelt account of Jimmy’s journey.  The road is not always easy and I like that the book shares Jimmy’s self doubt.

Who this book is for: 
Kids who liked John Scieszka’s Knucklehead will appreciate this story.  While this book isn’t quite as laugh inducing, it is a realistic look at growing up, and kids will appreciate the similarities to their own life.  Kids who aspire to comic book writing will consider this a true gift.

Final thoughts: 
Just another example of the power and insight that graphic novels can impart.  Do you still need more convincing?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Dumbest Idea Ever!  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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