I never fail to be awed at the power of Twitter. My virtual personal learning network (PLN) is full of ideas, resources, support and inspiration. This summer, I am working with a group of teachers to cultivate our reading lives to bring a renewed sense of reading community to our classrooms. As part of our work, we each created summer book stacks and thought carefully about what we learned about ourselves and our collections in the process. As we shared our stacks, we marveled at what we learned by simply taking the time to explore children’s literature through our local librarians, book stores and online resources. One teacher was happily surprised to learn that Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was also written as a graphic novel. So was I. While I love to explore graphic novels to share with students, I was unaware that there might be graphic novels specifically paired with a novel counterpart, other than my beloved Babysitters Club series as a child.

So, I started thinking. What other books might have a paired graphic novel counterpart and how might we highlight these pairings in the classrooms? I headed to Twitter early on a Sunday morning and tweeted:

Within an hour, I had a thorough list of paired texts and educators interested in thinking about the possibilities of exploring them with their students. Even though this surge of support from Twitter was not new, I was once again amazed at the power of connected educators coming together to support each other’s learning.

I have collected the pairs of titles suggested and compiled them into a resource to share with interested educators. You can find that curated list here.

I can’t help but think about how these paired texts can support our readers and foster an engaged reading community. Pairing novels with their graphic novel counterparts could introduce a new genre to students who might have otherwise shied away from graphic novels. Reading a graphic novel version of a book might better support readers reluctant to dive into a novel and provide the background knowledge needed to tackle a more challenging version of the text. Reading these paired texts could also promote critical literacy skills as students compare versions and synthesize their reading and perspectives across both types of text.

Do you have paired novels and graphic novels to share? How might they build a reading community and grow our reading skills? I’d love to hear your comments! Share your thinking below or add a comment to the Google Doc to keep the collaboration going!

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