Noah is not a passionate reader of books like the other members of our family. He reads lots and lots in the course of a day ... mostly on the computer. And he communicates well in writing, with spelling that has improved astronomically in the past year and a half for no other reason than that he was ready and motivated to notice spelling and incorporate it into his memory banks. He reads books from time to time, but he has never been one of those kids who blasts through novels two at a time or is frequently discovered in bed reading or out on the hammock with a big book.
But the graphic novel format appeals to him a lot. I have my suspicions that it was Garfield the cat who actually taught Noah to read. As a new reader he loved Garfield and Asterix. But since I didn't grow up with the comic strip / graphic novel genre, it took me a while to start finding the good stuff. Manga, my first lead, did not really appeal to him. But recently we've been finding more and more stuff that is right up his alley. And stuff with a little more literary merit and brain food.
Some recent winners:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. Schoolboy humour but ever so engaging. Sequel now out.
Clan Apis by Jay Hosler. Natural science (bees), humour and a good story line.
The Sandwalk Tales: An Adventure in Evolution Told in Five Chapters also by Jay Hosler. More natural science. Very funny.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. A semi-autobiographical novel about a young girl coming of age during and after the Islamic Revolution in Persia/Iran. There's a sequel too.
Anything by Larry Gonick. History encylopedias, guides to chemistry, physics, environmental science, sex, whatever you want.
As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial by Derrick Jensen. Hilarious premise, this is satire of governmental environmental policy at its finest.
Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman. This is a holocaust tale, retold with Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. It's on our wish list so I can't give it a first-hand recommendation, but it looks fabulous.