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The Readers' Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels, Second Edition
Francisca Goldsmith
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1509-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $54.00
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232 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1509-7
Year Published: 2017
AP Categories: A, C, E
The first edition of this readers’ advisory represented a pioneering effort to provide help and encouragement to librarians diving into this exciting format, and since then the popularity of graphic novels has continued apace. Goldsmith has updated her guide to encompass a bounty of new titles, authors, and styles, ensuring its continued usefulness as a tool for both RA and collection development. Suitable for newbies and hardcore fans alike, this book
  • sketches in the history of graphic novels, tracing their evolution and showing what makes them unique;
  • explores traditional and cutting edge titles most friendly to children, teens, and adults, reflecting the burgeoning and maturing publishing efforts made for each of these audiences;
  • discusses common themes, topics, and the place of diversity in graphic novels;
  • gives in-depth guidance on ways to connect readers to titles they’ll be sure to love;
  • offers ideas for media tie-ins, displays, programming, book clubs, and more;
  • includes annotated bibliographies, with appeal characteristics noted, and multiple indexes to ensure that locating the right graphic novel is a snap; and
  • provides detailed tips for keeping current and aware of new titles and trends.
Spotlighting this expanding body of intellectual, aesthetic, and engaging literature, Goldsmith’s guide will entertain as well as inform.
Table of Contents

Series Introduction

Chapter One: What’s Special about Graphic Novels: A Background for Readers’ Advisors
  • Do Readers Need Graphic Novel Advice?
  • What Is a Graphic Novel?
  • What Does Reading a Graphic Novel Mean?
  • What Appeal Factors Are Associated with Graphic Novels and Their Reading?
  • A Summary of Graphic Novel Appeal Factors
  • Who Needs to “Do” Graphic Novel Readers’ Advisory Work?
  • Educating New Graphic Novel Readers’ Advisors

Chapter Two: Pushing Graphic Novel Advice to Readers
  • Graphic Novel Reading Advice as Part of a Bigger Advising Picture
  • Personal Encounters with Readers
  • Book Displays
  • Media Tie-Ins
  • Booktalks and Website Presentations
  • Book Clubs and Book Discussion Groups
  • Awards Lists

Chapter Three: Advising Experienced Graphic Novel Readers: Adults and Older Teens
  • Age and Gender Preconceptions Continue to Distort Recognition of Interest
  • Respect for Reading Diversity and Reader Self-Awareness
  • Yes, Virginia, the Aesthetics Matter Is Real
  • The Appeals of the Graphic Novel
  • Beyond Appeal to Interest
  • Discussing Interest
  • Advising Adult Enthusiasts

Chapter Four: Advising Teens: Developing Readers Who Are Becoming Self-Aware
  • Teens and the Graphic Novel Market
  • Offering Support for Artistic Development
  • Exemplary Casual Reading for Teen Graphic Novel Fans
  • Offering Graphic Novel Options for Teen Academic Support

Chapter Five: Moving Traditional Adult Readers Toward Graphic Novel Reading Options
  • Old Saws Still Alive and Grinding
  • Bringing Graphic Novels into the Readers’ Advisor’s Purview
  • Crossing Over
  • Introducing a Format
  • Reconnect and Critique Your Advice
  • Working with Groups
  • Taking Your Effort to a Really Big Crowd

Chapter Six: Growing a New Teen Readership
  • Why Connect Teens Unfamiliar with This Format to Graphic Novels
  • Finding Out More about Local Teen Interests and Needs
  • Presenting Initial Graphic Novel Options to Teens
  • Teachers and Graphic Novels
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Share Your Discoveries—and the Teens’ Discoveries

  • Chapter Seven: Graphic Novels and Emerging Readers through the Tween Years: Advising Children as Sequential Art Consumers
  • Literacy and Graphic Novel Reading
  • Talking with Children about Their Reading Needs, Desires, and Selections
  • Graphic Novel Advisory Work with Children: Responsible and Responsive
  • Is Marketing’s Announcement of Popular Locally Popular?
  • Kids’ Devotion to Series
  • Curriculum Needs and Graphic Novel Options: Overview
  • Tween Preferences

Chapter Eight: Graphic Novels to Know for Kids’ Advisory Work
  • Childhood Reading
  • Topical Interests

Chapter Nine: Graphic Novels for Adults and Older Teens—Genres and Topics
  • How Not to Use These Lists
  • What’s on the Lists, and What’s Not
  • How to Use These Lists
  • Beyond Content Classification to Other Appeal Elements
  • Applying the Lists in This Chapter

Chapter Ten: Guiding Media Consumers to Graphic Novels, and Guiding Graphic Novel Readers to Other Media
  • What Limits the Advisor?
  • Differences Between Viewing and Reading
  • Advising the Reader on Movies
  • Cinematic Arts Aren’t Just Movies: The Small Screen
  • Gamers with a Narrative Bent
  • Audiobooks
  • Associated Sequential Art Advisory Work: Web Comics, Editorial Cartoons, and Other Panel Media Expressions
  • Expecting New Narrative Possibilities

Chapter Eleven: Professional Tools for the Graphic Novel Readers’ Advisor
  • Online Professional and Fan Sites
  • Annotated General Print Bibliographies
  • Book-Length Guidance beyond General Lists
  • Journals
  • Awards
  • Fan Sites and Insights
  • Social Media Channels
  • Professional Development Courses and Conference Programs
  • Finally

Appendix    Short Course for the Advisor New to Graphic Novels

About the Author

Francisca Goldsmith
’s professional engagement with graphic novels and library readers extends back over 25 years and includes collection development for teens and adults, creating active and passive comics advisory activities, training other library staff in the format and advisory work using it in California, New York, Nova Scotia, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and other areas of North America. She has published two other titles with ALA Editions, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on this subject and other library services and practices.

"This guide to graphic novels will be helpful to new and experienced librarians trying to establish a highly-used graphic novel area ... Goldsmith demonstrates the breadth of her research with a list that moves beyond best-sellers and well-known titles; even librarians with well-curated collections will find new titles to add to their next book order."
— School Library Connection

"Because graphic novels are a format not a genre, this guide has the added responsibility of tackling many genres and Goldsmith does so expertly ... It would make a great textbook for library school courses on graphic novels and/or readers' advisory."

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