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Biff bam boom, guide to graphic novels packs a punch


Biff bam boom: guide to graphic novels packs a punch

RAISE your hand if you once considered graphic novels the province of reluctant readers or were only for teen boys? Francisca Goldsmith might just change your mind with her very approachable reader’s advisory title from the American Library Association. Graphic novel publication has undergone a renaissance in the past decade but we, as library staff, may not have kept up with all the changes in the format. Luckily for us, this volume has excellent notes and reading lists to help you navigate the width and breadth of the format. Early chapters discuss what sets graphic novels apart from traditional print. A successful reader advisory interview with a library user will require more from both you and your library user beyond “what have you read that you have liked.” Considerations when suggesting a graphic novel to a reader include: art style, layout, format, and balance of text versus images. The aesthetic appeal of a title is as important as the storyline. The reader may not be able to articulate what attracts them to a particular series so it becomes your job to ascertain this information through your interview. In depth chapters discuss not just the unique qualities of the modern graphic novel, but the uniqueness of each reader. Broken into 11 chapters, you will become familiar with the needs of each population segment from young readers, teens and adult readers. Chapter 11 offers the novice reader advisor a treasure trove of professional tools from fan sights, social media channels, journals and awards to familiarise themselves with the language and knowledge to confidently approach the topic. Biff, bam, boom. This is one reader advisor title that packs a punch.

Goldsmith, F. The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels. (2nd edn.) Chicago: American Library Association, 2017. 215 pp. ISBN: 978 0 8389 1509 7. $54.


Contributor: Colleen Fitzgerald, Hertfordshire County Council
Published:25 July 2018


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