I considered the relationship of the
characteristics of text individual students
prefer, particularly those they select
from the school library, and their
attitudes towards aspects of reading.
Survey data was supplemented with
circulation history from the library
management system to inform a
correlational study punctuating
attitudinal differences based on reader
“bias against comics and graphic
novels in the school library is rooted
in gender bias” (Nyberg, 2010, 33).
legitimizing abroaderrangeoftextasaconstructive practice
Lapp, Wolsey, Fisher and Frey
(2012) found that 41.4% of
elementary teachers surveyed
“strongly disagreed” with using
graphic narrative formats in
It is the volume of an individual’s
reading, rather than the nature of the
text, correlates with improved literacy
performance in an academic context
(Gambrell, 2009; Ross, McKechnie &
Rothbauer, 2006; Alllington, 2001;
Graphic novels have been described
as “closely related to literature in
their use of metaphor, myth and
symbol,” and, as Mulligan (2014)
notes, span the spectrum from “high
mimetic” modes of epic and tragedy
to “low mimetic” modes of comic
and realistic fiction (42-43).
The AMRP was designed in 2006 by a team of eleven researchers to
be used with young adults at eight sites in the United States and
Trinidad (Pitcher, Albright, DeLaney, Walker, Seunarinesingh,
Mogge, Headley, Ridgeway, Peck, Hunt, & Dunston, 2007).
The AMRP elicits information about the value students placed on
reading activities by focusing on the frequency of a range of reading
Pitcher et al. (2007) found that, across settings and cultures, the
AMRP reflected “students’ self-concepts as readers and their value
of reading coincided with their reading choices and overall
enjoyment of reading” (p. 391). As with the MRP, the survey
questionnaire portion of the AMRP is a Likert-type self-reported,
Two questions were added to the survey to meet the needs of the
These additional questions were designed to assess adolescents’
responses to materials in a non-textual format.
Q21 When you are deciding what to read, illustration are not
very important, sort of important, important, or very
Q22 I think comics, graphic novels, or manga are boring, not
very interesting, interesting, and very interesting.
Students in this
A or B on Q22
Students in the
did not express
affinity for or
Reading -- boring or fun 0.524**
Like books as gift 0.458**
Likes or dislikes books 0.455**
Interestingness of readers 0.420**
As an adult, will read lots 0.416**
Talk books with friends 0.382**
Importance of reading 0.293**
Friends' opinion of ability 0.287**
Comics, graphic novels, manga 0.284**
Like to talk about ideas in group 0.268**
Friends' attitudes towards reading 0.262**
Opinion of own reading ability 0.256**
Comics, graphic novels, manga 0.305**
Likes or dislikes books 0.136**
Opinion of own reading ability 0.129**
Reading -- boring or fun 0.123**
Like books as gift 0.117**
Reading -- easy or not 0.115**
Interestingness of readers 0.115**
Friends' opinion of ability 0.104**
Talk books with friends 0.103**
Like to talk about ideas in group 0.100**
Ability -- opinion of self versus friends 0.100**
reported Reading Frequencybasedonformatpreferences
GF N Mean Std.
699 2.71 1.019 .039
GF reader 46 3.28 .981 .145
Graphic Narrative Format Reading and Reported Reading Frequency in Historically Engaged Group
Q22 N Mean Std.
AMRP2 >=3 343 2.75 1.004 .054
<3 392 2.73 1.047 .053
Graphic Narrative Format Preferences and Reported Reading Frequency in Affinity Group
The affinity for libraries as a place to spend time was
particularly significant among the graphic narrative
These correlations have implications for instructional
practice, as these students report disliking reading aloud
themselves, or having the teacher read to them.
But this same group of students seemed to like talking
about books with friends and peers. Replacing read-
alouds with discussions would better meet these
students’ learning preferences.
The demographics of grade, ethnicity, and type of
coursework, and most surprisingly, gender, bore no
significant relationship with graphic format preference.
This challenges many of the preconceptions around
graphic narrative formats, particularly those who
maintain the format is preferred by younger, male, or
less academically oriented readers.
The larger number of high school students who
responded that they enjoy reading either graphic
narrative formats or illustrated materials reflects a
generally more visually-oriented generation whose
expectations for texts have moved beyond words on a
☒ High school students who engage with graphic
narrative text formats reported more favorable
views of libraries and reading.
☒ Student engaging with graphic narrative texts
also reported more frequent engagement with
☒ These demonstrated relationships should help
to legitimize the inclusion of more graphic
narrative text formats in school library
Allington, R. L. (2001). What really matters for struggling readers: designing research-
based programs. New York: Longman.
Dresang, E.T. (1999) Radical change: books for youth in a digital age. New York: H.W.
Gambrell, L., Palmer, B. M., Codling, R. M., and Mazzoni, S. A. (1996). Assessing
motivation to read. The Reading Teacher 49, 518-533.
Krashen, S. (2009, May/June). Anything but reading. Knowledge Quest 37(5), 19-25.
Mulligan, R. (2014). The reality/fantasy narrative and the graphic novel. In G.
Hoppenstand (Ed.). The graphic novel (pp. 41-53). Amenia, NY: Grey House.
Nyberg, A.K. (2010). How librarians learned to love the graphic novel. In R.G. Weiner
(Ed.). Graphic novels and comics in libraries and archives: essays on readers, research,
history and cataloging (pp. 26-40). Jefferson, N.C.: MacFarland & Co.
Pitcher, S.M., Albright, L.K., DeLaney, C.J., Walker, N.T., Seunarinesingh, K. Mogge,
S., Headley, K.N., Ridgeway, V.G., Peck, S., Hunt, R. Dunston, P.J. (February 2007).
Assessing adolescents' motivation to read. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy,
Ross, C.S., McKechnie, L.E.F., & Rothbauer, P.M.. (2006). Reading matters; what the
research reveals about reading, libraries, and community. Westport, Ct.: Libraries
Weiner, R.G. (Ed.). (2010). Graphic novels and comics in libraries and archives: essays
on readers, research, history and cataloging. Jefferson, N.C.: MacFarland & Co.
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