Module 10 – Graphic Novels/Censorship Issues/SLIS 5420
Petrucha, Stefan. (2006). Nancy Drew Graphic Novel: The Fake Heir. (D. Ross, Artist). New York: Papercutz/Simon & Schuster.
While this book is not without its minor flaws (editing-wise), I think it’s a gem and the perfect book to end my list of summer reads. I can’t help it – I still love Nancy
Drew, and I’m thrilled to see the way that the character and the mysteries are still going strong. Finding a Nancy Drew Graphic Novel series is like finding gold, as far as I’m concerned. I’m a big fan of Graphic Novels, and this one did not disappoint. Here we have a modern Nancy (she drives a hybrid, of course). As usual, she’s always stumbling into a mystery. While the Nancy of this novel is not as polished as the earlier ones, the character is written in a way that is thoroughly age appropriate (elementary readers) and appealingly modernized. Old friends Bess, George, and Ned are here (Ned roller blades, and George could be mistaken for a boy – I actually thought her character was Ned at first) and, of course, father Carson Drew can still be counted on to show up at just the right moment. A treasure has emerged from the bottom of the lake (when the lake becomes a sinkhole for a reason never explained). The treasure belongs to a deceased couple who were Carson Drew’s clients. Their only heir is a missing cousin who hasn’t been heard from in years. When his wife shows up to try to claim the treasure, things become very mysterious. Nancy cracks the case in trademark Nancy Drew-style. The mystery is well-written, with clues that aren’t too obvious and with age-appropriate content. The art is fantastic (comic-style, reminiscent of the Archie comics but more stylized). I’m delighted to discover this graphic novel series version of an old favorite that is still relevant.
Graphic novels lend themselves to any number of purposes at multiple age levels. The young reader graphic novels can be particularly useful in the classroom for reading times (reluctant readers may particularly enjoy them). Having commercial series graphic novels available for SSR is a great idea. This book could also be part of a project in a class – students could read this book or one like it and then be challenged to create their own story with pictures, for example, or it could be completed in class in groups and presented as part of a reading unit. Marrying art and text at higher reading levels allows for many opportunities for interdisciplinary projects utilizing writing, reading, and art. A library presentation about young reader graphic novels would be a boon to young readers, and include an introduction to some of the series available, an overview of the format using the books to demonstrate, and fun activities like creating a large graphic novel as a group.