Adults, if you are skeptical about the role that graphic novels play in young people's literacy development, read what Scholastic has to say HERE.
First, there's Cece Bell and El Deafo. I first came across Cece's work as an author and illustrator at the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum. The book, Bee-Wigged, had a plot twist that made me laugh out loud and proceed to tell everyone I knew about it. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ms. Bell had a graphic novel, El Deafo, out on the market. The book, based on her own life, is about a hearing-impaired girl and her adventures with a giant hearing aid that is strapped to her chest. Ms. Bell is receiving lots of positive reviews for El Deafo.
Next, there's Victoria Jamieson's Roller Girl. (If you read and enjoyed the book Whip It or saw the Drew Barrymore-directed movie by the same title, you will love Rollergirl. (Note to parents and educators: While Whip It is more appropriate for teens and young adults, Roller Girl is better suited for grade and middle school-age children.)
One of the things I love best about Victoria's website is a Free E-Book called The Making of Roller Girl. Very generous of Victoria to share all the details that went into the creative and technical process!
Last, but not least, there's Sara Varon. I encountered Sara's graphic novel, Bake Sale, at - very appropriately! - The Treats Truck Stop in Carroll Gardens. The main characters of Bake Sale are best friends named Cupcake and Eggplant. There's a section of the book that has recipes for sweets accompanied by Sara's delightful illustrations.
Here are some fun facts about Sara that I learned by meeting up with her at - where else? - The Treats Truck Stop!
- Originally from the Chicago area, Sara came to NY in 2000 to attend SVA's illustration program.
- Sara loves NY for its diversity, opportunities to interact with people, and find folks with similar interests.
- As a young person, she was a big doodler and loved making up characters.
- She used to work for NY Daily News Golden Gloves, which is where she met her husband, John.
- Sara loves baked goods and once took a cake decorating class.
- She loves all the aspects of putting a book together, and is good at sticking with a project until it is complete.
- Her dream is to get a DOG, specifically a shelter dog!