My daughter has been reading since she was three years old. She’s been reading books on her own since she was four years old. In Kindergarten when they were testing her reading skills, they stopped testing her when they ran out of words somewhere around sixth grade level. The girl can read. That doesn’t mean she always chooses to do so.
I mean, for a young kid (and in us adults, who am I kidding), it can be quite difficult for books to compete with other forms of entertainment. The television and the Internet are just so shiny. But in the end, books can and should win. Even if, as a parent, we need to game the system a bit.
I’m talking about graphic novels, television’s kryptonite. At least in my house with my six-year-old.
I talked about this a bit when I recommended Zita the Spacegirl. I bought that book on a Thursday and by the following Monday my daughter had read it four times.
I was sure I was onto something, with this graphic novel idea. So I headed to the library and picked up another book, that also just so happened to be one about a kid(s) in space: Astronaut Academy. A bit about that book:
The wild and wacky world of Astronaut Academy is back! It’s spring semester at this futuristic institution of learning, and Hakata Soy has lost his heart. Literally. And he’s not the only one…something is stalking the halls of Astronaut Academy, impersonating the crush-objects of students and making off with their extra hearts! With a sprawling cast of unforgettable characters, Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry is a high-octane, hilarious follow-up to Dave Roman’s quirky Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity.
About Dave Roman
Dave Roman is the author of several graphic novels including Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity, Teen Boat! and Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery. He has contributed stories to Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, Nursery Rhyme Comics, and is the co-author of two New York Times bestselling graphic novels, X-Men: Misfits and The Last Airbender: Zuko’s Story. Roman is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and worked as a comics editor for the groundbreaking Nickelodeon Magazine from 1998 to 2009. He lives in Astoria, NY with his wife and fellow comic artist, Raina Telgemeier.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
About the Setting
Astronaut Academy is the ultimate space station school of the future! Students can study rocket science, anti-gravity gymnastics, competitive fireball throwing, strategic randomness, and other stuff (not listed here). Since humanity has evolved and everyone has 2-8 extra hearts, children (and bunnies) lead hyper-kinetic lives, filled with advanced education, amplified emotions, acute self-awareness, and lots of run-on sentences.
It makes me smile, watching my daughter read a book like Astronaut Academy. She blanks out to the world, much like when she’s watching television, but with a book it’s so much better. Your mind fills in the gap. You become who you are reading about.
I love that she’ll be reading on the couch and we tell her it’s time for bed and she’ll walk, nose in book, attempting to walk up the stairs to her room. Oh how I’ve been there with a book. Oh how I love that feeling.