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Highlights: San Diego Comic-con

Aside from incredible weather, Comic-con International 2019 had a lot to offer. There were pop culture/TV/Movie exhibits throughout the city and not just in the convention center; there were awesome costumes; there was tremendous energy; and there were panels dedicated to educators and librarians. Here are just some of what was offered:

* Visual Literacy and Analyzing Graphic Texts With Students - Talia Hurwich (Worth A Thousand Words) was joined by authors and educators who highlighted the need for teaching visual literacy, how to do this, along with favorite graphic novel suggestions for students in elementary through high school.

* *Ask Me Anything: Pick Educators' and Creators' Brains on Comics in Classrooms. Talia and I were joined by two other educators (Tracy Edmunds and Derek Heid - both from the San Diego area), Mark Siegel (author 5 Worlds and Creative Director of First Second Books); Gina Gaglioni (editor, RandomHouse Graphic); and authors James Parks (Rickety Snitch) and Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!). What was interesting about this panel were the questions asked of us. They were great. They included how to work with graphic novel nay-sayers, and issues around assessing reading levels and reading comprehension of trade graphic novels.

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: SCOPING GREAT READS WE'LL SEE IN 2020. Talia Hurwich and I went around to many publishers and here's a sneak peak of some of our favorites:

7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up (Jimmy Gownley, Scholastic). Jimmy Gownley has a sharp wit and a his work is full of laughs, graphic and artistic treats, and loads of fun. This is written for students grades 4-7.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Legend of the Fire Princess (Scholastic). This is a new series based on the stories by Noelle Stevenson and written by Gigi D.G, illustrated by Paulina Ganucheau.

Aster and the Accidental Magic (Thom Pico and Karen Sac, RandomHouse Graphic). Aster moves to the middle of nowhere and maybe it will be more interesting than she thought.

Owly: The Way Home (Andy Runton, Scholastic). New story and new publisher for this heart-warming award-winning classic graphic novel that for the first time will include words and color. It is all about friendship between Owly and Wormy with laughs, heart, and adventure.

These are just a few. Please visit my "Recomended Graphic Novels" page from time to time as I continuously add new titles for you to explore.

A final note: While published a few years ago, I came across Jim McClain's Solution Squad by Rose McClain, Jim McClain, Serena Guerra, Christopher Jones, Joshua Buchanan, Jessica Lynn, Shelby Edmunds, Paul E. Schultz, and Robby Bevard. It isn't a comic book. It is an opportunity to teach math in engaging contexts (some realistic, some fantastic) that through engaging characters and great art, empower kids to grasp abstract math concepts. It's working in classrooms and worth a look.

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