Heart of the City by Mark Tatulli for April 13, 2019


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    cdcoventry  2 months ago

    if she had based the diorama on “Maus” which uses a graphic format to discuss the horrors of WWII, her teacher would need to eat her word.

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    TEMPLO S.U.D.  2 months ago

    Maybe Heart will settle the diorama to be of “A Christmas Carol”?

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    codycab  2 months ago

    After this, plan B will probably be “Misery”.

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    GuntherGrass  2 months ago

    Good for Mr Burgess!!!

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    Maizing  2 months ago

    Comics are gateway books that introduce new readers to the joys of reading.

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    ACK! Premium Member 2 months ago

    A nod to Burgess Meredith and a classic Twilight Zone episode?

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    asrialfeeple  2 months ago

    I really must protest. Graphic novels can be literature. They’d prefer A dork’s diary above a comic that explains, for instance, DNA?

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    sueb1863  2 months ago

    Hopefully Mr. Burgess made it clear in the instructions that students could NOT use graphic novels. Graphic novels might be more extensive than comic books but it’s still a comic book format.

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    Plods  Premium Member 2 months ago

    sigh Wow. A comic strip slamming a graphic novel. Kinda makes you want to stop reading the word balloons.

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    John Leonard Premium Member 2 months ago

    That’s it Mr. Burgess, teach the kids that form is more important than content. I would refer yo to such “comic books” as “Maus”, “Persepolis”, “Logicomix”, “Footnotes in Gaza” and “Safe Area Gorazde”.

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    skipper1992  2 months ago

    Yeah, I’m going to side with Heart on this one.

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    DW Premium Member 2 months ago

    Just because a book is illustrated does not automatically detract from its content. This, in itself, does not detract from the story it is telling. Often a graphic novel can be quite lengthy, going for a more in depth story than words alone can portray. The illustrations can itself lead to a better understanding of the story. There are many long graphic novels, which would exceed shorter book stories. Which would you rather have – a student who reads a very short book (less than 100 pages) or a student who reads a longer graphic novel (more than 300 pages)? The content can be many varied topics, and opens the mind, as long as a person is reading.

    Comic books, not graphic novels, are what first got me interested in reading. But I would have liked graphic novels, also, had I known about them. When I was little I liked to look at the comic books and learned to read them later, as I got older. That love of reading transferred to novels, with my reading some of the classics even while in elementary school. Encourage kids to read, regardless of the format!

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    rlstephens57  2 months ago

    A BIG part of me learning HOW to read was by comic books back in the early 60s. It made me a life-long lover of books!!!

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    pdking77  2 months ago

    Sooooo, what would be the difference between a graphic novel and just about any work by Dr. Seuss? Would Dr Seuss be considered “literature” or “comic book”?

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    Katsuro Premium Member 2 months ago

    Honestly? I’m the biggest comic book/graphic novel fan I’ve met in my life—just the manga books I’ve read number in the thousands— and I think it’s fine to tell kids that a specific book report can’t be about a graphic novel, just like it’s fine to tell them that it has to be about a classic, or a book of non-fiction. Not every book report needs to be inclusive of every single kind of book.

    Also, while obviously some comics use a bigger vocabulary than some “regular” novels—compare, for instance, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing to any Hemingway novel—in general, the vocabulary used in graphic novels is smaller, since less description is needed. Does this make them “lesser” art? Of course not! Just different. But in English class, at least some of the point of reading is to expand your vocabulary. So if you ask me, it’s fine for teachers to say “this specific book report needs to be about a ‘regular’ book,” as long as it’s not dismissive of the comics medium.

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    cholomanaba  2 months ago

    It is a book anyway you see it… why put it so hard? (think outside the box, teacher)

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    lynnirwin  2 months ago

    Sorry teacher but reading comics is reading. Some people are visually oriented, some are verbally oriented and the goal of teaching is to help both to learn. Not try to jam square pegs into round holes.

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    jless  2 months ago

    “From Hell” by the celebrated writer Alan Moore and illustrated by Eddie Campbell is a meticulous researched account of Jack the Ripper murders. The storytelling is excellent, and it would stand as such in comparison with any book.

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    SukieCrandall Premium Member 2 months ago

    There have been studies that kids who read comic books tend to become better readers, but the subjects were discovering comics at an earlier age than Heart.

    I wonder how Heart would respond to being given play scripts to read instead of novels. Would that format turn out being better for the way her mind works? There certainly are more than enough plays with challenging concepts.

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    Jefano Premium Member 2 months ago

    I’ve never heard of reading graphic stories being a hindrance to reading prose (or poetry). I have met people who read prose voraciously who can’t seem to “decode” how words and pictures work together in comics. Maybe Mr. Burgess is one of those? But more likely just biased and uninformed. On the other hand, the assignment is for the student to produce their own visualization of what the author depicted in words, not try to recreate what was already visualized by the illustrator.

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    Durak Premium Member 2 months ago

    Most teachers and librarians welcome students reading graphic novels and give assignments to include both. Don’t be too hard on Mr. Burgess. No doubt he made it clear when he first gave the instructions.

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    JPuzzleWhiz  2 months ago

    “To be continued”?

    What happened to “Stay ’tooned”?


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    Ermine Notyours  2 months ago

    She should have done a Desmond Pucket diorama.

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    marilynnbyerly  2 months ago

    If you’re not familiar with graphic novels, go to your library and ask a librarian for one. They tend to have the story complexity of a novella-length novel, but the story is told in images as well as words.

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    boobacoo  2 months ago

    I agree with Heart. Graphic comics ARE very much books. Stand firm, Heart!

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    TwilightComiX 69  2 months ago

    Is reading a stop sign reading?

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    TwilightComiX 69  2 months ago

    If it’s in the library and has pages, then it should count.

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    Jug of Voodoo  2 months ago

    I used to work in an elementary school library. Raina Telgemeier’s books used to cause RIOTS because every kid wanted them. We had to start keeping them in a drawer in the checkout desk. Kids had to request them and were limited to one per person.

    Everyone should read her first autobiographical comic, “Smile”. It’s the story of how Telgemeier’s front teeth were broken off in 6th grade. She spent her middle & early high school years dealing with insane dental procedures on top of mean girls, boy trouble, and the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. It’s a modern coming-of-age classic.

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    sew-so  2 months ago

    When I first discovered graphic novels, they weren’t in libraries. Then you could find them in with juvenile fiction. The local library has a graphic novel section, and it’s close to the adult fiction, not juvenile – for VERY good reason.

    I kind of hope the juvenile section has it’s own graphic novels (I haven’t checked because it’s on the 2nd floor and I haven’t taken the time), because when I browsed them, I was amazed at how the medium had grown up. History, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries… any genre you care to name, with adult themes and vocabularies and art. They are MARVELOUS.

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    LtPowers  2 months ago

    Look, Mr. Elitist Jr. High English Teacher: Either you can accept that a graphic novel is a book, or you can give Heart the weekend to do a new diorama.

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    TXD2  2 months ago

    Hopefully, the teacher will change his mind in the continuation & learn something himself. :)

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    vanaals  2 months ago

    Uh-oh. Teach suffers that old European stigma that intelligent, educated people do not, and should not, read books with pictures.

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    whelan_jj  2 months ago

    If it has pages it’s a book. If it has words it can be read. An F for Mr. Burgess unless there were some initial conditions (like a list of the possible books). But then he should have said something like, “That wasn’t on the reading list”.

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    rob mccallum Premium Member 2 months ago

    I am and always was an outlier. I can read a graphic novel but I get nothing from the artwork. The first book I ever read was “Keep the Wagons Moving” by West Lathrop. My mother read it to me as a bedtime story and had me follow along with her reading. One night I said I wanted to read it to her and other than a few hard words I actually read it clearly. I was 4 and the book had been withdrawn from one of the local high schools, so it was no where near a starting level book. I still read many age appropriate books, but I also read many books that were advanced for my age. If I was the teacher I would accept a graphic novel as an appropriate book choice given the age of the students, unless I had given specific instructions that only what children I know refer to as “chapter books” were appropriate for the project.

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    Dragoncat Premium Member 2 months ago

    Imagine if she had read from the Harry Potter series. I remember how critics said reading those books were evil.

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    Bill Löhr Premium Member 2 months ago

    I could argue the first book i was ever given to read in school was a graphic novel. Fun With Dick And Jane had moreimage on the page than text. :-)

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    mischugenah  2 months ago

    People have been telling stories through pictures since BEFORE the written word existed!

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    MCProfessor  2 months ago

    Graphic novels are books and reading is reading if it comes with pictures or not.

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    barister  2 months ago

    You took stuff out of a trash can on the day of… your mad cuz it’s failing???!!!

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