Graphic Novels Challenge

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When I heard the term “graphic novel” for the first time a few months ago in the blogosphere, my first thoughts were that it was a novel that was “graphic”:

graphic, adjective: vividly or plainly shown or described <a graphic sex scene> (definition courtesy Merriam-Webster)

Why would anyone want to read a “graphic” novel, I thought? Sounds kind of extreme.

In reading other people’s reviews of them the past few months, however, I’ve found that a “graphic novel” is a completely separate genre of book.

graphic novel, noun: a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book (courtesy Merriam-Webster)

I was clueless, I realize. How have I never heard of these before?

In reading reviews of such novels for the past month, I’ve determined it’s time I give them a try. Dewey convinced me here. The year is half over, but I can still join the Graphic Novels Challenge. I would only have to read three books between now and New Year’s Eve. Since that’s only two more than I was anticipating, I’ve decided to give it a try. You too can join here.

As I stated before, I don’t like challenges because then there is “pressure” to read a list rather than what I want to read. So, at this point, I don’t know what I’ll read, but I’m honestly looking forward to this new experience.

Reviewed on June 6, 2008

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • That is EXACTLY what I thought graphic novels were for YEARS. I’m so glad I’m not alone!!

    I’m going to join the graphic novel challenge too. πŸ™‚ But unlike you, I love participating in challenges, because I get to research and draw up book lists, often on topics I wouldn’t have explored on my own. I don’t worry too much about the obligation part: there aren’t any challenge police! πŸ˜€

  • I hate the term graphic novel for this very reason! I think visual novel or even illustrated novel would be better. The term graphic memoir is even worse! You think you’re going to read the story of someone’s sex life or something.

    If you’d like some recommendations, please feel free to email me and tell me about your tastes, and I’ll recommend a couple. I see you have a big History tag in your category cloud, so I bet you’d love Maus and Maus II (best bought together, I think, in a book called something like The Complete Maus).

  • @Eva: I know there aren’t challenge police, but as a perfectionist, I don’t like saying I’ll do things that I don’t intend to finish….Just my own internal policing system, I guess.

    @dew: thanks so much for the recommendation–I just read Nymeth’s post that “graphic novels” aren’t a genre so much as a medium, which I hadn’t really realized–I look forward to finding those in my genre preferences. I may send you an email.

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