Or do they? Many may not consider comic books to be quality literature, but they are. They’re actually really cool pieces to use to create an interest in reading. While they may appeal to both girls and boys, comic books have been shown to be very useful in sparking an interest in reading in reluctant male readers. It’s no wonder since they’re chock-full of awesome illustrations, unique story lines, short text boxes, and speech bubbles. They’re definitely not like your everyday picture book or text, so some may not see the educational value they hold. You might have to dig (through different genres and titles), but if you look closely you’ll find a valuable resource for your child. Chris Shave definitely found them helpful when teaching his boys:

Shave said that comic books are very visual and these images are enough to drive the story forward alone, even without text. The pictures help actively involve the reader in the story.

“There are short bursts of dialogue, speech, and thought bubbles. Because of that, readers who might feel bogged down by long text and big paragraphs will experience success (reading comic books).”

Iliad Comic BookMore reasons why comic books are great selections to encourage reading:

  • They are high interest so your kids will want to read them. This is huge when trying to instill a love for reading in your child! They may start out with comic books and end up with Shakespeare, you never know – at least they’re reading! Read how Taylor put this theory to practice with high schoolers.
  • The characters tend to use a rich variety of words which helps kids expand their own vocabulary. You can do some interesting vocabulary lessons using comic books.
  • Did you know that Marvel (and other companies) make comic book versions of classical literature like The Iliad, Treasure Island, and The Man in the Iron Mask? These would be a great way to introduce the real books and to provide your child with some background knowledge. Or you can use them after reading the real ones to expose your kids to a different version.

All in all, comic books shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing reading material for your child. You never know what will be that one thing that will motivate your child to read until you try it!