Is your kid a reluctant reader? Perhaps a comic lover? Maybe a struggling reader? Or reluctant learner? One of the biggest secrets I’ve learned about raising a reader is that kids need to love the books they are reading. Sometimes that means giving them books that are strictly entertainment. As parents and educators though, we also want to have our kids reading materials that have educational value. One of the secrets to my success – Educational Graphic Novels!
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Once you start down the rabbit hole of educational graphic novels the possibilities are endless. Pretty much any topic has graphic novels that cover the subject matter. It might take a little digging but they are out there!
When I was preparing to write this article I looked through my shelves and couldn’t believe the pile I had built. We’ve amassed a HUGE collection of graphic novels that have educational themes and topics. Some are subtle, weaving learning quietly through their stories and images. Others use the format to present ideas and lessons in a more accessible way.
Then I started researching. I talked to librarians, teachers, homeschoolers and found so many more amazing graphic novel titles that I now want to add to our collection.
I think I might need a new bookshelf!
To keep things easy for those reading this article, I’ve organized the educational graphic novels into groups by topic. I would list them all with wonderful descriptors but I suspect most of my readers would glaze over! So I’ll just offer up some ideas and thoughts before sharing a virtual bookshelf. Enjoy!
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Science Educational Graphic Novels
There are so many graphic novels that tackle science topics. I seriously contemplated breaking this into more sections. There are books that cover everything from evolution to understanding the human body. If you are teaching it, there is likely a graphic novel covering it!
Evolution: The Story of Life on EarthThe Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNACharles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic AdaptationBirth of the Earth, The (Cartoon History of the Earth)El DeafoThe Lungs: A Graphic Novel Tour (Graphic Adventures: The Human Body)Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science’s Most Puzzling DiscoveryHooray For Inventors!
These next graphic novels are all part of a series. I’ve shared a few books from each series, but if you click through on the images many of these have even more books available covering even more topics.
The Cartoon Guide to Genetics (Updated Edition)The Cartoon Guide to Physics (Cartoon Guide Series)The Cartoon Guide to ChemistryThe Manga Guide to Molecular BiologyThe Manga Guide to BiochemistrySurvive! Inside the Human Body, Vol. 1: The Digestive SystemSurvive! Inside the Human Body, Vol. 2: The Circulatory SystemSurvive! Inside the Human Body, Vol. 3: The Nervous SystemInvestigating the Scientific Method with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)A Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)The Solid Truth about States of Matter with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)The Dynamic World of Chemical Reactions with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)Howtoons: Tools of Mass ConstructionHowtoons: The Possibilities Are Endless!
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History and Social Studies Educational Graphic Novels
History and Social Studies are great topics to explore in a graphic novel format. With a talented illustrator you can really bring these lessons and characters from the past to life. One of our favourites is Horrible Histories which you can also find as a TV series. My kids love history and I credit a lot of that to the interesting and compelling formats of many of these books.
Blood-curdling Box of Books (Horrible Histories Collections)War for Independence (Chester the Crab’s Comics with Content Series)World War 2 Tales (Chester the Crab’s Comix With Content)Slavery’s Storm (Chester the Crab’s Comics with Content Series)The World War One Web (Comix with Content)Ancient Africa (Chester Comix with Content) (Chester the Crab Comix With Content)Greeks, Romans, Countrymen! (Chester the Crab) (Chest the Crab’s Comix With Content)Civil War, Vol. 1 (Chester the Crab Comix With Content)Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales 3-Book Box SetTreaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #4): A World War I TaleMarch (Trilogy Slipcase Set)Maus : A Survivor’s Tale. I. My Father Bleeds History. II. And Here My Troubles BeganMaus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Pantheon Graphic Novels)Greek MythsThe Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient IndiaAncient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs
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English Educational Graphic Novels
Reading is one of the greatest achievements when it comes to tackling English. I’m always very aware of fostering a a love of reading in my young children. If I can build that innate love of the written word then I feel my kids can truly tackle anything. Graphic novels can be a great way to foster that love of English and learning the beauty of language. Why? They can make reading fun for even the most reluctant reader. A talented illustrator can bring those words alive for a struggling child. Graphic novels can really open doors for kids.
When studying English, some classic stories and myths have been reimagined into brilliant graphic novel formats to help struggling and reluctant readers navigate the tales. There are also some graphic novels that set out to educate readers on important topics like grammar.
Tales from ShakespeareOlympians Boxed Set: Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades, Poseidon & AphroditeStickman Odyssey, Book 1: An Epic DoodleStickman Odyssey, Book 2: The Wrath of ZozimosPoe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth HindsThe OdysseyBeowulfMacbethThe Merchant of VeniceThe Alchemist: A Graphic Novel (an illustrated interpretation of The Alchemist)Super GrammarJane Eyre: The Graphic Novel (American English, Original Text)
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Math Educational Graphic Novels
Yes, believe it or not, even math can be taught using a graphic novel format. Beast Academy has done and exceptional job weaving the fun and silliness of graphic novels into a very complex and challenging curriculum. But it doesn’t end with Beast Academy and their wonderful curriculum, there are graphic novels exploring many math concepts.
Art of Problem Solving Beast Academy 3A and 3B and 3C and 3D Guide and Practice 8-Book SetArt of Problem Solving Beast Academy 4A and 4B and 4C and 4D Guide and Practice 8-Book SetAoPS 8-Book Set : Art of Problem Solving Beast Academy 5A and 5B and 5C and 5D Guide and Practice 8-Book SetThe Manga Guide to CalculusThe Manga Guide to StatisticsThe Manga Guide to Linear AlgebraBasher Basics: Math: A Book You Can Count OnThe Cartoon Guide to Calculus (Cartoon Guide Series)The Cartoon Guide to Algebra (Cartoon Guide Series)The Cartoon Guide to StatisticsLogicomix: An epic search for truthThe Lost Key: A Mystery with Whole Numbers (Manga Math Mysteries (Paperback))
Did I miss a favourite educational graphic novel? Let me know about it in the comments. I’m always looking for fantastic new books for our shelf!