Sunday, March 21, 2010


Media Meltdown: A Graphic Guide Adventure

by Tim O'Donnell
ill. Mike Deas

Orca has started a new set of graphic novels that include a little teaching in an adventure format - and not just teaching on topics that we adults wish they knew more about. There is one about survival skills, and another about soccer which star the same kids, while this tale of media use and awareness is the second adventure for a group who first taught kids about skateboarding. Which I really have to get my hands on, because it sounds really cool, and I wouldn't mind learning myself!

What I'm loving, though, is even with a topic like this one, which is more fact-based and obviously less kinetic, the story has a base in action and fighting bad guys that would help it appeal to even the most learning-averse. The graphic format helps keep it light and lets labels with tiny blurbs do some of the talking where a traditional text would have to do more describing. It really works.

I think media literacy is more important for kids every day - it's something we really need to be teaching them so that they can start to navigate the millions of messages bombarding them every day, not to mention do their school work and research with a critical eye.

To be able to give them a good start on understanding, a place from which to start getting curious and asking questions, without boring them into avoidance is fantastic. I think every kid should read this or something like it, and explore the accompanying website for more information, and some fun games and free stuff.

If you know a kid in grades 3-6, make sure they get this, whether as a gift or a library pick.

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