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Chicago's public schools system CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett banned Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis last week, citing its graphic language and images as the reason for its removal from the seventh-grade curriculum. To make matters even worse, Byrd-Bennett also suggested the book may be removed from the curriculum for grades 8 throguh 10. Both PW and Shelf Awareness reported on the controversy recently and how the ban has made the graphic novel a hit at local bookstores, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.
Last week, the L.A. Times announced its nominees for its book prizes, to be awared at the L.A. Times Festival of the Book this April 19. Five nominees made the initial cut:
This interview “was just the ticket to get me really seriously thinking about promoting graphic novels at our school again,” says Joanie Proske, a teacher-librarian at Walnut Grove Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. “I fired off a few emails to colleagues and managed to get two English teachers to bring down their classes in the next few weeks so we can introduce the students to this format. I also sold our ESL (ELL) teachers into using a graphic poetry collection from Scholastic with their beginning English readers. Great success here and perhaps a step toward incorporating other graphics into their ESL teaching in the future!”  
I'm a huge fan of the Harry Potter series (15 years old this year!), as well as a big fan of Kazu Kibuishi's work. I'm thrilled that the two are being paired for a celebration of Harry's anniversary. Kibuishi is doing a series of seven new covers for each of the J.K. Rowling books, and the first one, for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is a gem.
February 1, 2013


I'm loving this year's YALSA Great Graphic Novels list. Their top 10 picks include My Friend Dahmer (that thing just keeps getting more and more accolades), Trinity, The Silence of Our Friends, Drama, Stargazing Dog, and more. It was a good year for graphic novels, obviously.
We're big fans of Derf Backderf's My Friend Dahmer here at GRN, so we were all thrilled to hear that Derf was one of the winners of this year's Alex Awards, which were given at the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference. Congratulations, Derf, and to all the other winners! See here for a full list.
As a new year begins, so does a new semester at Drexel University…and with it comes the onset of The Graphic Novel: Industry and Art. That’s the comics course that Drexel students can now take with Rich Johnson, former vice president at DC and cofounder of Yen Press. We quizzed Johnson about this course, which he describes as “a mix of business and creative.”  
Some of my earliest comics-reading memories are of buying the big World's Finest issues for $1 in the late '70s/early '80s. A dollar was a lot of money to me as a kid, and I had to be frugal with my comics budget (mostly because my parents loathed comics and didn't particularly want them in the house). World's Finest gave me a chance to get a lot of comics bang for my buck, and it served as my introduction to Green Arrow, a hero who doesn't often get his due but is all kinds of cool.
I was very sad to hear the news of writer Peter David's stroke at the end of 2012. He's been one of my favorite writers ever since the early '90s, and his work has always been marked by clever wit and solid craftsmanship. His wife has published a blog entry detailing how people can help. Please check it out if you can, and please send well wishes Peter's way.  
At GNR, we’re always asking teachers and librarians to tell us what graphic novels do for them. Tameka To, school librarian at St. Bernard in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, recently wrote in to tell us: