Sunday, August 10, 2008

Use Comics to Connect

I was doing a news search today and saw two interesting articles. One talks about the power of the graphic novel Maus. I am planning to try to get my library to purchase the book for our stacks. I have to see if it can be approved as a young adult book limiting it's borrowing to the 8th graders. Those of you teaching high school might want to see if it could be added to your libraries. We have found in the past year, our reluctant readers are more than happy to read complex stories delivered in a comic-like format. Here is the link:

The other is a comic that will be coming out soon. Comic writers are working together to help a holocaust survivor retrieve ownership of artwork she created in Auschwitz. Following is a small excerpt and the link.
Neal Adams, Joe Kubert and Stan Lee have joined forces with a Holocaust expert to craft a comic that document the struggle of an Auschwitz survivor who painted watercolors to spare her mother's life in the Nazi camp.
The artist, Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, 85, created a Disney mural in the children's barracks at Auschwitz before being tapped by Dr. Josef Mengele to paint portraits of Gypsy prisoners. Babbitt cut a deal with the Nazi madman that spared her mother's life in exchange for the paintings. Now, some of Babbitt's artwork is in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland, and Babbitt wants it back, according to The New York Times.


LeslieL said...

I have had Maus in my Holocaust library but no one in my 8th grade class ever took it out until this last year. Three boys read it and (to my surprise) really enjoyed the experience.

tmmaerke said...

I like the possibility of using Maus, but it is so freaking expensive. I think it can be used to discuss the relationship of Holcoaust survivors with their children, as well provide reluctant readers with a genre that is accessible. I even talked with another TC at the Missouri leadership retreat about using it, and she was very positive about it. She used it with both 7th and 8th; I use it with my 8th graders.
Thanks for sharing, and good luck.

Valerie said...

Ilka, several of my colleagues at other middle schools in my district use this text with their entire 8th grade class. I have it as a choice for independent reading related to the Holocaust. Students who have read it enjoy it, but just because it's a graphic novel, it's not an "easy" read for some students.