Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reading Without Walls: Encouraging kids to expand their horizons through comics, science & technology (ages 8-12)

My students love graphic novels, and I love the way they engage kids in reading and thinking about stories. This year, two graphic novel series are particularly expanding the way I see graphic novels, incorporating science & technology in this visual storytelling format: Secret Coders and Science Comics. Both of these encourage kids to learn about scientific concepts, through a medium that they love.
Paths & Portals
Secret Coders, Book 2
by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes
First Second, 2016
Your local library
ages 8-12
In Secret Coders, readers follow a team of kids who use coding, team work and perseverance to solve mysteries at their school, Stately Academy. Hopper, Eni and and Josh discover that the custodian Mr. Bee is actually a genius who used to run a secret, underground school hidden below Stately Academy. Through trial and error, they figure out how computer programming works to make repetitive jobs easier, create interesting artwork and even trap villains.

Kids in our library love the logic puzzles that coding encourages them to figure out, and they're going to love working with Hopper and her friends to solve these puzzles too. Yang's visual storytelling provides the perfect hook for understanding the logical structure of coding.
Science Comics
Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean

by Maris Wicks
First Second, 2016
Your local library
ages 8-12
Each volume of Science Comics balances complex topics with humorous cartoon characters, engaging kids and helping them understand the scientific concepts. In Coral Reefs, a bright yellow little fish eagerly introduces readers to his home, explaining everything from how coral grows to the diverse ecosystem that reefs support.

Coral reefs are home to an incredible variety of species, and Wicks clearly introduces readers to a huge range. She also explains why this diversity is so crucial to protect from pollution, habitat loss and global warming. Yet the humorous asides and cartoon illustrations help keep the tone light and friendly, never didactic. Definitely a series that will get kids wanting to learn more.
Please join me today, celebrating the Reading Without Walls Blog Tour. Gene Yang put forward the challenge to teachers, librarians, parents and kids to expand their world by reading something different -- different from their usual reading choices, with different characters or about different topics. 
August 31: Colby at Sharp Read
September 1: 
Jess at Reading Nook Reviews
September 2: 
Samantha at Forest of Words and Pages
September 5: 
Jennifer at YA Book Nerd
September 6: 
Maria at Maria's Mélange
September 7: 
Gigi at Late Bloomer's Book Blog
September 8: 
Jen at Starry Eyed Revue
September 9: 
Cheyenne at The Hollow Cupboards
September 12: 
Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
September 13: 
April at Good Books and Good Wine
September 14: 
Cindy at Charting by the Stars
September 15: 
Erica at The Book Cellar
September 16: 
Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks
September 19:
 Asheley at Into the Hall of Books
September 20:
 Daphne at Gone Pecan
September 21
Mary Ann at Great Kids Books
September 22:
 Kathy at The Brain Lair
September 23:
 Michelle & Leslie at Undeniably (Book) Nerdy
September 26
Laurie at Reader Girls
September 27:
 Margie at Librarian's Quest
September 28
Victoria at Art, Books, & Coffee
September 29
Cee at The Novel Hermit
September 30:
 Amanda at Forever Young Adult
The review copies were kindly sent by the publishers, First Second / Macmillan. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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