Educators often ask me what I would recommend they read in order to familiarize themselves with the genre of visual narrative. The problem, of course, is that it's no less difficult for me to answer than if they had asked, "Can you recommend a list of books to read in order to familiarize myself with the history of the novel...or drama...or poetry." So, inspired by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which the secret of the universe is the number 42, I've compiled a list of forty-two titles that an educator wanting to teach graphic novels might consider drawing inspiration from. This is not a comprehensive list of the "Greatest Graphic Novels of All Time" or anything of that sort. Nor is it meant to represent titles that a teacher should necessarily use in the classroom (over others, for instance). Rather, the list is meant to encourage educators to acquaint themselves with the tradition and to get excited about the possibilities of using visual narrative in the classroom. Happy reading!
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Dr. Glen Downey is an award-winning children's author, educator, and academic from Oakville, Ontario. He works as a children's writer for Rubicon Publishing, a reviewer for PW Comics World, an editor for the Sequart Organization, and serves as the Chair of English and Drama at The York School in Toronto.