Today, I read for my #bookaday (and if you are not part of this movement, please consider joining us) this books:
VICTORY, RESISTANCE BOOK 3 is a graphic novel (GN) about the war in France after Nazi occupation. As is the case with most GNs, it is a quick read. However, I would argue that it is sufficiently complex for inclusion in the curriculum, especially if one of our goals is to connect content areas and literature, too. As I was reading it, my mind was doing what it usually does when I read: it was making connections to other books. So, one connection for me was CODE NAME VERITY (and if you have not read this one, yet, get to it!) an incredibly complex novel set during this same time frame. i also thought of connections to the Anne Frank GN biography and other books about the Holocaust. Connections could also be made MAUS and other GNs. How about ROSE BLANCHE or FAITHFUL ELEPHANTS? What about THE GOOD FIGHT by Ambrose? Or WOMEN HEROES OF WWII? Maybe GHOSTS IN THE FOG? What we have here is fiction and nonfiction. We have different formats (GNs and picture books).
I have written quite a bit about "ladders" and believe they can play a role here. To me, ladders broaden the choices we can make for our readers. Given the list of "Exemplar Texts" appended to CCSS and how impoverished it is (and how many titles are out of print or have copyright dates so old), I think we need to be reading as much as we can so as to make more and more connections for kids in our classes.
From Friday through Sunday, I managed to read two traditional books and listen to two audiobooks despite teaching a 12 hour day Saturday and driving 8 hours on Friday and Sunday. This afternoon I read the GN on WWII within an hour. It was a reward for a busy day, a time to curl up with a book for a while.
So, as the school year ramps up, find some time for reading yourself. Share the reward of reading with your kids. Keep the faith.