History, Graphically Speaking

I’m sure I’m not the only mother with this dilemma. How do I find books that will hold the interest of a nine-year old boy who reads years beyond his grade-level but who is rather lacking when it comes to attention span? And did I forget to mention that my son prefers pictures and that although his reading level is super high, he isn’t ready for more mature content? How do I keep this boy supplied with reading material that will satiate and inspire when the first thing out of his mouth when I return home from work every evening is “get me any books?”

Enter….graphic novels. Although some parents don’t consider graphic novels as legitimate reading material, my son is a huge fan and, if the vocabulary is advanced enough, I approve. Fortunately, Kitsap Regional Library has quite a few engaging series and stand-alone graphic novels, especially for a history buff like my son.

He recently devoured Chris Schweizer’s “Crogan” graphic novels, a fast paced, hilarious series which highlights various members of the Crogan family over the centuries. In Crogan’s March, French Legionnaire Peter Crogan faces sandstorms, endless marches and nonstop battles in the deserts of North Africa. Brothers William and Charles Crogan find themselves on different sides during the American Revolution in Crogan’s Loyalty and the swashbuckling adventures of Catfoot Crogan, whose ship is overtaken by pirates on the high seas, is featured in Crogan’s Vengeance. My son eagerly awaits the upcoming Crogan’s Escape.

Another favorite is the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series. Although I didn’t allow my son to read Donner Dinner Party, for obvious reasons, he loved Big Bad Ironclad!, which takes place on and around the ironclad steam warships used in the Civil War, complete with hilarious mishaps and engaging characters. One Dead Spy, another book in this series, highlights the author’s namesake, Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale. In Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood (A World War I Tale), the next book in the series, which will be released in May, the author has gathered some of the most riveting true stories from the trenches and has embellished them with his customary humor.

Check out some of these awesome books for your adventure-seeking, history-loving boy!

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