Ask Manga Mom: The Library Edition

Gareth writes:

Hi, I am a library assistant from the UK (Liverpool), and I would be very happy if you could answer a quick question for me.

I had a couple of ten-year olds playing in the library yesterday, and one of them, a young girl, said she only reads comics. My question is, is all ages Manga suitable for a 10-year-old, or if not could you perhaps recommend some graphic novels and comics for 10 year olds.

Having read the recent Carol L. Tilley study finding that comics have no disadvantage compared to traditional prose, I am really keen to develop Manga and graphic novel resources especially for younger children.

Great question Gareth!  All ages manga is definitely appropriate for a 10-year-old.  The only caveat being some titles may be written for younger ages than others.  The All Ages Manga page lists most titles available (I do have to do some updating), and would make a good place to start.  CMX, Tokyopop and Viz have the most and some of the best titles.  Del Rey and Yen are still working on building a collection.  But for specific recommendations, having a 10-year-old daughter myself, here are a few titles she’s enjoyed:

Brigid Alverson of the Manga Blog just recently wrote a Gift Guide as part of the Great Manga Gift Guide, and concentrated her list on Children and Teens.  Her guide also includes links to publisher’s page and reviews of the books.

Deb Aoki of Manga.About.Com Blog lists her best 12 New Kids Manga.  You can also check out her poll for the top all ages manga of 2008, which was voted on by readers.

There is also a wide selection of comic and graphic novel titles appropriate for kids.  Good Comics For Kids is a blog on School Library Journal that has reviews and interviews of comics, graphic novels and manga and their creators.  It’s another great resource as several of the bloggers are librarians.  Of especial interest to you may be the comics list I do every week that lists comics, manga and graphic novels appropriate for kids 12 and under, and Brigid Alverson’s link posts, that collects great links and reviews of all ages titles from around the web.   Robin Brenner also recently did a post about circulation statistics in her library that you may also find useful in creating a collection for children.

I hope that gives you a good foundation to start that graphic collections for kids.  Good luck!

If any readers have any other suggestions they’d like to add, please leave a comment for Gareth.

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