Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A New Kind of Book Order

In the homework folder today: “Dear Families: Our school has the amazing opportunity to pilot a new book order through Dark Horse Comics. The books are all comic books and graphic novels. They range in price from $5 to $7. There is an order form on the back of this flyer.”

And from the order form: “At Picture Literacy, we know that comics make readers! Increasingly, educators worldwide are recognizing the graphic novel as a great way to reach at-risk and reluctant readers at a young age.”

My children are neither at-risk nor reluctant, but they do enjoy reading comics. Their father/my husband is a comic book aficionado, so he encourages it. Reading and discussing comics is a good bonding activity for them. And they don’t only read comics; they also read books far beyond their grade levels, so it doesn’t worry me at all.

I’m interested in this book order because Dark Horse is local to Portland, and because it’s something new and different (i.e., not Scholastic). I do like the idea of supporting a local company as well as the school.

The front of the order form features two children's series I haven't seen before: Johnny Boo and Korgi. Inside are more familiar titles: Star Wars, Bugs Bunny, Powerpuff Girls, Scooby Doo, Justice League, Teen Titans. Most of these aren't actually Dark Horse titles, so I suspect that Picture Literacy is some separate program that Dark Horse is working with (I can't find any information about it online).

The choices are limited. There are only twenty titles in all to choose from. I think we’d be more likely to buy in the future if we had more options, especially books for older and more advanced readers (or, you know, if we could buy Serenity books). We’ll probably order at least one or two books this time, to support the school and to see what the books are like.

What do you think about this type of book order? Would you support it at your school?


Photo credit: / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Elaine said...

My daughter is also being encouraged to love comic books by her father. I don't know if I would buy comics through a school book order, but we do buy comic books and read them.

Sandy D. said...

I would love to have this as an alternative to the Scholastic Book orders.

My kids both loved "Rapunzel's Revenge" and are waiting on a copy of "Calamity Jack" (they're 13 and 8). I've been wishing our library would get "Gunnerkrigg Court" because it seems like something my older kid (and I!) would like.

Anonymous said...

That seems like a great idea (although, of course, variety and options are always the key). I walk by the Dark Horse offices all the time (they practically own all of our little downtown) and I know they donate fairly generously to my library.

Darsa and boys said...

My oldest is fond of the Bone comics (graphic novels?). He also loves my old Calvin & Hobbes books, too. I think he feels like he is getting away with something when he selects Bone or C&H for his independent reading time. I, of course, don't mind what he is reading as long as he is loving it, but I don't disabuse him of that idea as I don't want to ruin his fun.

Corina said...

My son loved comics as a child. Well, he still does and he's 28! I remember wondering about this and asking his first grade teacher if she thought it was okay for him to read comics instead of the books I bought for him. She smiled and said that as long as he was reading, it didn't matter what it was he was reading. As long as he was enjoying reading, that enjoyment would later transfer to other reading interests. I was glad to hear that! She was right. He turned out to be a wonderful reader and still enjoys reading and making time for reading.

So it goes without saying that I would definitely buy from Dark Horse or other alternatives to Scholastic or any other book clubs.

LaurieA-B said...

I think this is great; I love a local business developing a new market. My middle school students are SO eager for comics/graphic novels, and I love watching Iris grow up reading a combination of print books and graphic novels. I never read comics when I was younger, and had to work hard to figure out how to read a graphic novel as an adult. It sounds like a win.

Chris said...

Laurie, it sounds like your attitude toward comics/graphic novels has changed from what is was back in the day. Just curious, what graphic novels have you read and what has Iris read?

As an aside, I was suprised to see Batman issues available right there in the magazine section of the local library by our house.

Found Artist said...

Would love to be able to offer this to our kids! How can I make the connection?

St. Helens, OR

CLM said...

A former company handled distribution of Dark Horse so for about a year in '95 I worked on their sales and would have welcomed this type of approach (Odd that I don't recall their being based on the west coast; I know the person I dealt with most frequently worked from home in Michigan). I am not a graphic novel fan myself but was impressed by the creativity I saw and was frustrated at the time trying to get space in bookstores to face books out. There is so much more acceptance of the genre now.

Ms. Yingling said...

I've never seen this order. Scholastic gets a bit old; some of their titles really make me wonder. Since I tend to be mean about graphic novel and tend toward the more "educational" ones, this would be great for my students.