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Selecting Graphic Novels

1Selection Policy Check your school / county selection development policy on including graphic novels in your collection.

Determine why you want to include graphic novels in your collection.

Update your selection policy before challenges may arise.

Source: Mooney (2002)

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Criteria for Selecting Graphic NovelsAppropriate contentVisuals & GraphicsPhysical form & AestheticsReputation of author, seller, publisher, reviewsArrangement & Organization3Appropriate Content

Are the story and illustrations appropriate for the intended audience?What is the scope?Are there any treatment issues?Are there any special features available?How does the graphic novel add value to your collection? Does the content pose any safety or health concerns for your students?

Visuals & Graphics

Are students able to follow the art format?Does the novel have visual impact that showcases the artistic ability of the creator?Does the graphic novel blend text and art?Does the use of color add to the graphic novel or is it unnecessary?

Physical Form & Aesthetics

How is the book designed physically?Does the book have aesthetic quality and is appealing to students? Is the book durable and will hold up to multiple users and high circulation?

Reputations of Author, Seller, Publisher, Reviews

What are the reputations of the author, illustrator, and publisher?Are you able to locate a review of the title?Is the title one that will be popular with students?Is the book a part of a series? What is the cost of the book?

Arrangement & OrganizationDoes the story have the best qualities of the literature genre (i.e. mystery, nonfiction, biography) it represents?How is the graphic novel arranged? Will students have trouble understanding the organization? (ex. does it read right to left instead of left to right?)

Resources to Aid Selection Professional journals BooklistSchool Library JournalVOYAKat Kans column - Graphically SpeakingLocal comic book storesWhat is your community reading? Listserv Graphic Novels in Libraries (GNLIB-L) You have to become a member (free)Source: Mooney (2002) Kat Kans column offers practical advice on how to introduce graphic novels into your collection.

GNLIB-L listserv includes many discussions from librarians and professionals across the country. The listserv discusses various issues such as selecting and purchasing graphic novels. 9Resources to Aid SelectionAlternative Comics A comic book publisherDiamond Bookshelf - ReviewsContains reviews of many graphic novels of all age categoriesDiamond Bookshelf Core listContains the Top 10 Graphic Novels for all age groups. A great place to begin a collection!10Resources to Aid SelectionMaryland Comic Book Initiative Details about Marylands planNo Flying, No TightsA website reviewing graphic novels The Harvey AwardsAwards given to comic books11Resources to Aid SelectionSquidoo Graphic Novels in LibrariesLinks to articles and discussions on graphic novels Bella Online How to Begin your Graphic Novel CollectionDiscussion on beginning a collectionGraphic Novel GuruGraphic Novels: Resources for teens and librarians 12Sources UsedMooney, M. (2002, November/December). Graphic novels: How they can work in libraries. Book Report, 21 (3). Retrieved on October 23, 2009 from Academic Search Premier database.