How Can the Active Promotion of Graphic Novels Support and Enhance Boys' Enthusiasm for Leisure Reading? — Valerie Bunn, Loughborough Grammar School, United Kingdom

  • Libraries (2010-11)

Loan statistics indicated that graphic novels were growing in popularity after Tintin was chosen for Loughborough Grammar School's Whole School Book Promotion in 2009. In the same year, sales of graphic novels showed the greatest increase of any fiction sub-genre in UK bookshops. I wanted to further investigate this trend with a group of 22 twelve-year old boys.

New stock was purchased, seating cubes were positioned near the graphic novel section, the display area was extended and a visit from Dave Shelton was arranged. His humorous noir graphic novel Good Dog, Bad Dog had just been published. Library sessions were timetabled and questionnaires, photographs, video recordings, participant reflections and my observations contributed to the research on the impact of graphic novels on boys' recreational reading.

The findings were positive with two strong outcomes emerging. The first was that the inclusion of a graphic novelist as a central strategy was very successful. The second outcome was that browsing, rather than borrowing, was a significant factor in enhancing reading for pleasure in the school library.