Graphic novels can sometimes face an uphill battle for legitimacy in school libraries and classrooms. Their perceived novelty and resurgence in popularity, as well as several recent cases of attempted censorship by parents and libraries, seem to make them even more suspect than other young-adult titles. Rationales for Teaching Graphic Novels was created to help educators and librarians provide support for the use and inclusion of comics, graphic novels, and manga in the secondary classroom, particularly in the English language arts classroom, and in school and class libraries.
Included on the CD are an explanatory introduction, a genre guide and title list, and more than 100 rationales for graphic novels from almost every genre the form supports: journalism, science fiction, fantasy, slice-of-life realism, superhero, murder mystery, and those that combine genres. Rationales are presented in alphabetical order and include all the information necessary to decide whether a certain work is a good fit for the class: grade level and audience, plot summary, strengths and unique characteristics of the work, possible objections, ideas for implementation, ideas for thematic braidings, awards, reviews, and resources/references. These rationales can be used as part of a contract with parents and administrators that lays out how the texts are to be used and to help teachers feel secure in bringing the text into their classrooms, either on their shelves for independent reading or as part of a curriculum.