Campbell Unclassified

A diverse series of articles by library staff about all things libraries and books!
Book Notes | Recommendations | Articles | RRV History

⇐ Return to Library Website | Browse the Catalog | Overdrive Catalog | Contact Us

View All Posts

Jun 12

"Age Appropriate" by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted on June 12, 2020 at 11:26 AM by Genesis Gaule

Most of the time, when a patron asks about Age Appropriate material it is for a young reader.  A valuable question our staff is prepared and willing to answer.  I’d like to expand on that instance and take that question to its full breadth. 

Have you, as an adult, ever picked up a children’s book, admired its cover, glanced briefly at the illustrations and set it right back down without reading it?  Why?  We can’t say we don’t have time if we turn around and check out the latest bestseller.  If that single book caused a smile to slip onto your face, check it out and leisurely read it at home.  Take the time to admire the illustrations and the skill in bringing forward an idea or feeling in perfectly understandable language. 

Did you read comic books as a kid?  I did and enjoyed them.  If we enjoyed the illustrations in comic books that brought action and personality off the page and into our mind’s eye as a child, can we no longer do that as adults?  Didn’t we grin, even snicker at the fantastic use of living language like CRASH!, ZONK! and ARRRGH!  I know I did and still do.  There is no 
age limit on Graphic Novels. 

Let’s look at this from a nonfiction angle.  If I had an encounter with a dragonfly or beautiful bird in my yard, I might want to learn more about it.  In the Adult Nonfiction section, I will find a 300-page book that will identify the dragonfly or bird on half a page or a different book that might go into great detail over many pages with a few pictures scattered throughout.  If I look in the Easy Section, I’ll find books with 20-40 pages and oodles of pictures and photographs.  There will be illustrations to explain the words I don’t understand.  After reading the children’s book, I will have learned a great deal, and if I want more there is always the Adult Nonfiction to checkout next. 

Let’s apply this theory to Nonfiction Graphic Novels.  I love the historical ones best.  Have you ever read a history book and wished for pictures.  Some have illustrations that can be helpful.  An occasional photograph is fantastic, but there have been many moments where there was no documentation.  No one was there to take a picture or maybe cameras didn’t even exist, yet.  What if an artist drew that world changing moment!  The artwork in a Graphic Novel walks life onto the page.  It enhances every word put forward for us.  Yes, our imaginations are great but often limited by our experience.  Nonfiction Graphic Novels expand our imagination in an active presentation.

Age appropriate?  To mean, it means I can browse the entire Library and make discoveries every day!

Humphrey Bogart reading a comic book


You must log in before leaving your comment