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Graphic novels at Rowan Public Library

By Hope Loman

Rowan Public Library

In today’s article I would like to focus on a part of the Rowan Public Library collection that most patrons do not access: the graphic novel collection. There are over 1,000 titles at all three branches in the graphic novel collection and the NC Digital Library, including comics, manga and stand-alone works in a wide variety of genres and subject matters — even non-fiction graphic novels.

Unfortunately, graphic novels are sometimes stigmatized for not being “real books,” although a 2001 study by literacy professors Cunningham and Stanovich at California State University discovered that reading comics led to greater literacy skills.

There is also the excuse that graphic novels are just for “lazy readers,” when they have actually been proven to be a great resource for reluctant readers because they aid in processing information, teach elements of storytelling, and can be a stepping stone to other literature.

Here are some of the different volumes in the RPL graphic novel collection that might appeal to readers who might be hesitant to browse this area of the collection:

“I Remember Beirut,” by Zeina Abirached — this award-winning author portrays her childhood in 1980s Lebanon, where fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city.

“Prez Volume 1: Corndog-in-Chief,” ­by Mark Russell – America’s first teenaged president, Beth Ross, must find a way to overthrow a corporate shadow government and save the world.

“Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea,” by Guy Delisle – in 2001, cartoonist Guy Deslisle lived in the capital of North Korea for two months on a work visa, and records what he was able to see of the culture and lives in the communist society there.

“Stone Cold: The Stone Man Mysteries, Book One,” by Jane Yolen – After being saved from death by Silex, a beast trapped in the form of a gargoyle, young runaway Craig begins a new life by probing a series of murders that has menaced Scotland.

“Monster: A Graphic Novel,” by Guy Sims – Adapted from the award-winning novel by Walter Dean Myers, this book is about 16-year-old Steve Harmon, who is on trial as an accomplice to murder and is trying to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

“The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays,” by Jason Quinn — Follows the story of the Beatles, from their origins in Liverpool to their journey to Hamburg and rise to fame in the 1960s.

“Girl in Dior,” by Annie Goetzinger – It’s February 1947, and Clara, a newly hired chronicler and guide to the new Dior fashion house, is hand-picked to be a model.

“March: Books 1-3,” by John Lewis – These first-hand accounts of the author’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights detail his involvement in the Freedom Rides and March on Washington in 1963.

These are just a few of the titles that are available for check-out by any Rowan Public Library patron. View the catalog online or go to any RPL branch to see what other graphic novels are available to read.

Holiday closing: Headquarters (Salisbury), East Branch (Rockwell), and South Rowan Regional (China Grove) will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21, and be closed Thursday-Friday, Nov. 22-23. All branches resume regular hours on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Traveling exhibit: The Story of BBQ in North Carolina by the N.C. Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, headquarters; open Oct. 26-Nov. 30 at headquarters’ lobby during business hours.

Mystery Machine: East, through Nov. 30. Scoooooby Dooby Doo! A monster scared away Scooby’s best friends. Find them all and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. This Scavenger Hunt will run through Nov. 30. For more information, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Cards for a Cause: All branches. Now-Dec. 18. Create holiday cards that will be delivered to active service members in the U.S. Armed Forces and to veterans at the Hefner VAMC in Salisbury. Patrons can specify their card(s) is delivered to a certain branch of the armed forces or to the VA. Cards submitted for a branch do have specific deadlines: Dec. 10 for cards distributed stateside. Cards submitted Dec. 11-18 will only be delivered to the VA. Questions? Call Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Monday Night Movie: “Inkheart,” East, Monday, 5:30 p.m. Book-lovers, unite to enjoy the movie “Inkheart” (PG, 106 min.), which is based on the popular book trilogy by Cornelia Funke. Free, open to the public, all ages  welcome. For more details, call 704-216-7842.

PJ Storytime: Headquarters, Monday, 6:30 p.m. Put on your pajamas, grab a blanket, your favorite stuffed animal, and join us for a special evening storytime. Recommended for ages 3 to 11, though all children are welcome. For more details, call 704-216-8234.

Teen Art Hour: Headquarters, Nov. 20, 4-5:30 p.m. Try your hand at stencil art, or just spend some time coloring. For more information, contact Hope at 704-216-8258 or Hope.Loman@rowancountync.gov.

Displays: Headquarters, Anime by Robert Clyde Allen and stained glass artwork by Sandy Collins; East, World War I memorabilia by Gleen Hinson; South, Patterson Farm Photowalk exhibit, by Paul Birkhead.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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