Thursday, January 10, 2008

At work, a couple of days ago, I overheard one the higher-ups talking to a colleague about how he’s having problems with his daughter. He’s worried because she doesn’t like to read. His son, on the other hand, is a voracious reader and rabidly consumes almost anything. The discussion soon turned to hiring a specialist and such. Now, I don’t like to butt into other folks’ business but I figured with the conversation being so public it wouldn’t be a problem if I suggested something. I went back to my computer and printed out a few articles from the net. This guy is a busy person and has some level of concentration he has to maintain at all times, so I didn’t really have more than a moment to talk to him. But I gave him the articles and said something to the affect of “I overheard your problem and I thought I could make a suggestion… Comics”

I think also, I said something about how comics are good for getting kids interested in reading. He seemed thankful for the idea and took a quick glance at the papers I’d given him before his duties called his attention back. Who knows, he could have just thrown them in the garbage for all I know, but maybe I planted a seed. He seemed really exasperated about his daughter being illiterate (he did use this word). So, I feel he was thankful for any suggestion. I really wanted to talk to him about Shojo manga, but there wasn’t any time. Shojo was one of the topics I did included in the documents I gave him, so hopefully he read it.

I’m 99.9% certain that I’m the only person in my workplace that understands that comics can be used as a literacy tool. Because of this, I guess I felt responsible on some level to mention it. I hope it helps.

11 comments:

Dean Wormer said...

I believe there are currently issues of classics like Treasure Island out by some such publisher.

Maybe you could give that to your coworker.

Personally I think comics are perfect for that but also anything that kick-starts the imagination should be a gateway to reading.

Arkonbey said...

Hope it works. Sometimes, it's just the kid. (man, it's hard to to want to 'butt in' in a situation like that, no?).

A friend of mine has a 7 year old who is a big reader. His problem is actually finding books with a strong female lead. Most beginning- and middle-reader books of any quality have girls as the rescuee, the sidekick or at best a strong supporting player. He's reading her Wee Free Men (and waiting until she's old enough for Sabriel).

Swinebread said...

dean - Imagination is spoon-fed to kids today; maybe that’s the problem

arkonbey - Yeah that's tough and that's why I was thinking of manga for girls.

Doctor Smoke said...

As long as the content is suitable, I think comics can be used for that purpose, yes.

Arkonbey said...

Ah. I seemed to have missed the mention of shojo manga. When I worked at a bookstore, we got some samples of some American 'shojo manga*' that was pretty good. We thought it'd be easier for the owner to wrap her brain around, but we couldn't convince her to order any.

Swinebread said...

Dr S - Suitable is the operative word for sure.

arkonbey - Wow, sounds like this lady is WAY behind the times. That stuff is selling like hot cakes in Portland

Overdroid said...

Nice. Why don't you get his kid hooked on crack while you're at it? Fuckin' pusher.

Swinebread said...

heh heh

Arkonbey said...

The owner was behind on a lot of things. That is why the store is no longer in business.

We did manage to get her to order the new Scholastic version of Bone. Which, now that I think of it, is a comic with a strong female lead!

Swinebread said...

There you Go!

I own that by the way.

Doctor Smoke said...

by suitable I meant nothing that would freak the kid out.