Our friends at Parrot Street Book Club generously give us a 50p donation for every book they ship to their subscribers. Here, Emily Bright and Sarah Campbell, founders of the book subscription service for children, have written about the 6 ways in which graphic novels can encourage reading for pleasure!

There’s been a huge rise in the popularity and visibility of graphic novels for children in recent years. We’ve always believed that graphic novels are a seriously underrated format, particularly for more traditionally reluctant readers, so couldn’t be happier about this change!

There is a view in some circles that graphic novels and comics aren’t “real” reading and that children should be discouraged from “wasting” their time with them. This completely overlooks the complexity and depth of the stories within graphic novels and the unique advantages the format has to hook reluctant or struggling readers.

We were fascinated to read recent research from National Literacy Trust stating that 2 in 5 children they surveyed said that they read graphic novels or comics at least once a month. Furthermore, nearly twice as many children who read comics say they enjoy reading compared to those that don’t.

Main reasons we think graphic novels are great:
  1. The colourful artwork and dynamic layouts are engaging and immersive, making them a great entry point for those who may be daunted by text-only books.
  2. The text and pictures work together to help readers understand complex narratives and develop comprehension skills.
  3. This dynamic format can ignite children’s imaginations and keep them eagerly turning the pages, helping them to experience the joy of books and develop a life-long love of reading.
  4. In a similar vein, graphic novels are often fast-paced and can be read quite quickly, making it easier to experience the satisfaction of finishing a book.
  5. Graphic novels can also act as a stepping stone to other formats with comparable genres, characters or themes.
  6. Many graphic novels are part of a series and we know that this can be extremely motivating for young readers. Not only is there the anticipation of further instalments but the familiarity of known characters, writing styles and illustrations can ease anxiety about trying another book.

Humour and hijinks for ages 5 to 8

This sweet and hilarious series sees life through the eyes of three brilliant pets.  

A sarcastic penguin and clever cat will become your new favourite superheroes in this mystery adventure. 

The silliness and humour of the established Barry Loser series has been transported to this hilarious full-colour graphic novel.

Fantasy adventures for ages 8 to 12  

12-year-old Meesh learns the value of being yourself in this epic, fantasy adventure. 

This inventive and hilarious graphic novel brings together myths, superheroes, Scooby-Doo-esque mystery and middle school! 

The 9th and final book of this action-packed adventure series has just been released, bringing the epic storylines to a close. #

Gripping tales for age 10+ 

This graphic memoir is about a Mexican-American boy's family and their adventure-filled road trip to bring their abuelito back from Mexico. 

This is a gripping and gritty story about a family try to survive in a country that’s falling apart. It was first featured in the extremely popular The Phoenix magazine.  

Find out more about the Parrot Street Book Club here.