My publisher calls the books in my Hunger Heroes series “graphic novel chapter books.” As I start to share more about the first book in the series, Missed Meal Mayhem (out 10/26), I thought it’d be useful to explain this terminology.
The stories told in the Hunger Heroes books are the size/scope of many early chapter books – comparable, for instance, to the books in my Geeger the Robot series. Missed Meal Mayhem contains 8 chapters (well, actually 8 and one half…).
While the stories are told almost entirely in comic format, you will find occasional blocks of text in the books. These are never longer than one whole page, and often contain both narration and dialogue (this is done on purpose!).
Our hope, of course, is that these books are enjoyed by all readers. But the book was also designed and formatted to hopefully serve as a “bridge” for a variety of readers…
For those kids who aren’t as comfortable reading blocks of text, we hope the careful integration of them into this graphic novel helps build their confidence and stamina, maybe opening them up to stories that rely more heavily on text.
For those kids who are just learning the language of comics, or who find the abundance of verbal AND visual information/stimulation in graphic novels overwhelming, we hope the bits of text offer moments to pause and catch their breath.
We also hope that these occasional juxtapositions of text and comic shine a light on the unique abilities and benefits of both verbal and visual storytelling, and also make plain how their different vocabularies appear on the page.
I hope, too, that the combination reminds all young creators that they don’t have to pick one or the other form – that they can express the stories they have inside them using words, pictures, comics, or a combination of that and more.
Once again: the first book in the Hunger Heroes series, Missed Meal Mayhem, is out October 26th, but is available for preorder NOW wherever books are sold! And thanks to all who preorder – it really is a great help to creators!