My reading life veered 10 days ago after seeing this Nerdy Book Club post by Amy Estersohn. She shared a list of "graphic novels for readers who don't like graphic novels," and I dove right in even though I like graphic novels. It's just been overlong since I've picked up one, which made now -- in my informal estimation -- a perfect time for a binge.
The friendly neighborhood public library set me up with five titles out of the gate. I polished off Here by Richard McGuire and America is Under Attack by Don Brown before leaving the library's confines. The former is a time-bending, largely wordless study of place; the latter reports on the September 11 attacks in sharply intimate, middle-grade-appropriate detail for a generation born after those events.
In my backpack, I carried away Ms. Marvel, Threads: From the Refugee Crisis, and Sea Change. I started with Frank Viva's Sea Change about a boy named Eliot banished to spend the summer with crusty relatives in Nova Scotia. Quirky character notes and funky illustrations enliven this coming-of-age tale. Next was Kate Evans' Threads, a beautifully drawn, wrenching memoir of times she spent serving at a refugee camp in Calais, France. After that, Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson presented a change of pace. In some respects, I was back to the medium's superhero roots, except those roots had been grafted onto a nuanced story of cultural identity thanks to the title character being a Muslim teen.
Momentum from those reads has carried me right into Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel, a behind-the-scenes view of how and why so much current radio journalism proves so gripping.
Two weeks' reading has refreshed my love for graphic novels, renewed my appreciation for the format's limitless range, and reminded me about the power of defining literacy generously. Don't take my word for it: Listen to Jarret Kroscozka, whose timely words just came my way via Twitter.