First-ever Middle East ComicCon: Another Way to Get Your Kids Reading

My husband was sheepish, the other day, when writing in our seven-year-old’s English “reading record.” (He has two: one for the English book of the day, and one for the Arabic.)

My husband asked: “Isn’t it going to look bad that it’s a comic book?”

But a recent study out of the University of Illinois says that our son’s teacher—and his parents—shouldn’t worry: Reading comic books can be good, too.

Note that I didn’t say comic books are always good for your child. What’s in the comic book matters.

Librarian and professor Carol Tilley, speaking with The Telegraph:

Although they’ve long embraced picture books as appropriate children’s literature, many adults – even teachers and librarians who willingly add comics to their collections – are too quick to dismiss the suitability of comics as texts for young readers.

But, she says:

Any book can be good and any book can be bad, to some extent. It’s up to the reader’s personality and intellect. As a whole, comics are just another medium, another genre.

Which brings us to the first-ever Middle East ComicCon, which will be held on April 29 and 30 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Some of the comics there will no doubt be inappropriate for my seven-year-old. But then again, so are some books.

Other comics or graphic novels—such as The 99, or سوار الذهب / Gold Ring—make excellent reading material for a young child. Plus, they’re fun!

No reading material is a panacea; nothing can be simply shoved into the child’s hand, absolving the parent of work and responsibility. Comic books are neither inherently good nor evil, but—like the characters in them—can be either.

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