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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Early Elementary The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Early Elementary Black Beauty - Early Elementary
Gulliver's Travels - Early Elementary The Hound of the Baskervilles - Early Elementary Journey to the Center of the Earth - Early Elementary
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - Early Elementary The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Robin Hood – Early Elementary
The Swiss Family Robinson – Early Elementary The Time Machine - Early Elementary Treasure Island - Early Elementary
The War of the Worlds – Early Elementary Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Graphic Secret Agents (Graphic Careers) Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin George Eastman and the Kodak Camera
Graphic Secret Agents Graphic Careers
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Hedy Lamarr and a Secret Communication System Henry Ford and the Model T Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion
Jake Burton Carpenter and the Snowboard Johann Gutenberg and the Printing Press Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine
Levi Strauss and Blue Jeans Louis Pasteur and Pasteurization Marie Curie and Radioactivity
Philo Farnsworth and the Television Samuel Morse and the Telegraph Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and the Personal Computer
Thomas Edison and the Lightbulb The Wright Brothers and the Airplane The Adventures of Marco Polo
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln The Battle of Gettysburg The Battle of the Alamo
The Battle of the Alamo
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Betsy Ross and the American Flag The Boston Massacre The Boston Tea Party
The Boston Massacre
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The Boston Tea Party
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The Brave Escape of Ellen and William Craft Buffalo Soldiers and the American West The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad
The Creation of the U.S. Constitution The Curse of King Tut's Tomb The First Moon Landing
The First Moon Landing
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Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry John Sutter and the California Gold Rush
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Lords of the Sea: The Vikings Explore the North Atlantic The Mystery of the Roanoke Colony
Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion Paul Revere's Ride Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Paul Revere's Ride
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The Salem Witch Trials The Sinking of the Titanic The Story of Jamestown
The Salem Witch Trials
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The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner The Story of the Statue of Liberty The Voyage of the Mayflower
   
 
Experienced parents know that the amount of reading their child does will have a direct and positive impact on his reading fluency and vocabulary development. That is why graphic novels--which we used to refer to as comic books--though once relegated to the category of lowbrow reading, are now experiencing a surge in popularity.

You may think that the comic book medium is primarily for mainstream American children who are peppered by snack-size visual and audio bombardment. If you desire that your children slow down and feast on the written word, then you may cringe at the idea of a graphic novel version of Moby Dick. But before you issue a home-wide ban on these books, consider the following.

If you have a reluctant or beginning reader, your first concern should be for fluidity and competency. You will find that the graphic novel's illustrations draw your child in even as the vocabulary becomes more complex. Then, because the graphics are so attention-grabbing, children often find themselves reading for pleasure.

If your reluctant reader is an older child, your main concern may be making sure that he is culturally savvy. With graphic novels, vocabulary is introduced via contextual clues, making great literature accessible to more children. The interesting pictures and snappy dialogue, with little-to-no narration to bog the reader down, will encourage independent reading and learning. As the child's competence and confidence grow, so will his joy of literacy.

Even if your older child is a competent reader, he will enjoy taking a break from the verbally intense books characteristic of higher-level learning to enjoy a more visual form of storytelling. A 2006 study found that the amount of reading children did for fun decreased from the time they were eight through the teen years. Graphic books can re-engage them in the delights of reading for leisure as well as for learning.

There are children who may never read for pleasure; God just might have wired them differently. But most children, from the reluctant, faltering reader to the brilliant but easily bored adolescent, will find graphic novels intriguing.