Get Graphic! Classroom Kits provide you with the books and support material you need to teach selected classroom units with a graphic novel
Each Graphic Novel Classroom Kit contains 30 copies of the selected book, subject specific audio/visual material, a folder of support materials and an information/contents sheet. The subject focus and specific content of each kit is listed below.
To request a kit, you must first locate it in the library’s catalog. This can be done by performing a title, author, or keyword search. (Performing a keyword search using the phrase "graphic novel classroom kit" will provide you with a list of all the kits owned by the library.)
When you have identified the kit that you would like to borrow, click on the "request title" link in the upper left corner of the page and proceed through the request process as directed.
Kits have a loan period of 6 weeks and renewals are not permitted. You may have two kits checked out per library card at any one time. Kits may be returned to any Buffalo and Erie County Public Library location.
Kits are available on a first come, first served basis. It may take up to one week for delivery to the pick-up library, so be sure to plan ahead!
To access the library’s catalog in order to find and request a Graphic Novel Classroom Kit, please click here
The Arrival (Shaun Tan)
American Born Chinese (Gene Yang)
Journey Into Mohawk Country (H.M. van den Bogaert and George O’Connor)
Levitation: Physics and Psychology in the Service of Deception (Jim Ottaviani)
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Art Spiegelman)
Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: and Here My Troubles Began (Art Spiegelman)
Persepolis I (Marjane Satrapi)
Satchel Paige (James Sturm and Rich Tommaso)
Graphic Novel Kit Titles
By Shaun Tan
The Arrival is a wordless graphic novel that tells the story of a man who is forced to leave his family and country behind in search of more safe and promising lands. He travels a long way to reach a country that is completely foreign: strange animals, odd customs and an indecipherable language. Like many immigrants, this man must do the best he can in order to survive in a culture of unlimited unknowns. After reading The Arrival, readers can truly relate to the struggle of what it is like to be an outsider unsure of how to get by in a new world.
Social Studies: immigration, cultural differences, adaptation, assimilation.
English: inference, context cues, projection, transitions, character development, wordless communication.
Arrival Fiction and Non-fiction
Arrival Lesson Plans
The Arrival in the English Language Arts Curriculum
The Arrival in the Social Studies Curriculum
American Born Chinese
By Gene Yang
American Born Chinese is a tale comprised of three different story lines, three different characters, but one single idea. Jin Wang, the son of Chinese immigrants, eats lunch by himself in the corner of the schoolyard and gets picked on by bullies and jocks, but dreams of how he could fit in. The question is how far will he go to get it? The second storyline is the tale of the Monkey King. Not content to be merely a monkey, the Monkey King did everything in his power to become a Great Sage, Equal of Heaven, until he was informed by Tze-Yo-Tzuh, creator of all existence, that he was merely a monkey after all. It's not until the Monkey King can accept what he is that he is able to free himself from his self-induced prison. Last there is the sitcom plight of Danny, an All-America teen shamed by his cousin Chin-Kee. Buck-toothed, with a long braid and in traditional Chinese dress, Chin-Kee is an amalgamation of all the racist stereotypes held about Chinese people. Jin's hopes and humiliations might be mirrored in Chin-Kee's destructive glee or the Monkey King's struggle to come to terms with himself, but each character's expressions and actions are perfectly familiar. By the conclusion of the book all three story lines creatively and effectively come together to deliver a single lesson: accept who you are and you'll already have reached out to others.
Subject Focus: Identity, Immigration, Stereotypes, Discrimination, Racism, Chinese Mythology.
ABC Chinese Mythology
ABC Discrimination Facts
ABC DVD: Breaking the Silence: Asian American Students Speak Out
ABC Fiction Books
ABC Lesson Plan Immigration
ABC Lesson Plan Mythology
ABC Lesson Plan Stereotype
ABC Monkey Mythology
ABC Non-Fiction Books
ABC Statements About Immigration
ABC Websites for Students
Journey Into Mohawk Country
by H.M. van den Bogaert and George O’Connor
With the exact text from van den Bogaert’s travel log, this graphic novel transports readers to the 1600s when Dutch settlers were exploring the Northeastern lands. O’Connor’s graphics add new depths to the text, making it easier for readers to fully understand the amazing trek that was taken across what is now New York State.
Journey Into Mohawk Country Subject focus
Social studies: geography, Native American studies, economics, New York State history
English: primary source documents, narrative, journaling
Journey Into Mohawk Country Support Materials
Curriculum Guidelines for ELA
Curriculum Guidelines for Social Studies
DVD: Iroquios Indians of North America
Lesson Plan - Six Nations
Levitation: Physics and Psychology in the Service of Deception
By Jim Ottaviani
Levitation is the true story of one of the greatest illusions ever performed that took place at the turn of the 20th century in England. John Nevil Maskelyne, a man of principles, refused many offers made by the persistent American magician Harry Kellar to buy his wondrous creation and bring it back to the United States. Fed up with trying and being denied, Kellar boldly and fearlessly got what he wanted (the secrets behind the illusion), and headed home for America where he improved upon and perfected the famous trick. The rivalry became even tenser as Kellar passed the trick along to his successor, Howard Thurston, and forever changed the enchantment of the levitation illusion.
Mathematics, Science and Technology: Use with energy unit; levers/pulleys, forces of motion
Social Studies: Use with Progressive Era unit, can tie in to social and political reform issues; use with New York State/Buffalo history unit.
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History
By Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman tells the story of his father's hardships and survival during the Holocaust. Each scene opens at the elder Spiegelman's home in Rego Park, N.Y. Art, who was born after the war, is visiting his father, Vladek, to record his experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Nazis, portrayed as cats, introduce increasingly repressive measures, until the Jews, drawn as mice, are systematically hunted and herded toward the Final Solution. Vladek was a POW, but managed to sneak out of one of the camps that held him, only to later find himself and his family thrown into the Auschwitz death camps. Vladek saves himself and his wife by a combination of luck and wits, all the time enduring the torment of a hunted outcast. Spiegelman relates the effect of those events on the survivors' later years, including his own adult life as he too, bears the burden of his parents' experiences. This is a survivor's tale, as well as a tale of how a son tries to patch up a damaged relationship with his father.
Subject Focus: Memoir, World War II, Discrimination, Religious Persecution, Genocide, Family History, World History
Support Materials: DVDs: Frontline: Memory of the Camps Life in a Jar
Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: and Here My Troubles Began
By Art Spiegelman
This sequel picks up where Maus I left off, with Vladek's separation from his wife Anja, after arriving at Auschwitz. There Vladek must struggle to survive starvation and disease as well as the guards and the ovens -- all while trying to get news of his wife from Auschwitz's second camp, Birkenau. In the WWII segments, Spiegelman captures the horrors that took place during that time and explores survivor’s guilt and generational guilt. Maus II is not only Vladek’s continuing story, but also Spiegelman’s story as he continues to work on this book after his father's death. The interconnections and complex characterizations are engrossing, as are the vivid personal accounts of living in the camps. This is a heartbreaking look at one of history's greatest tragedies.
Subject Focus: Memoir, World War II, Discrimination, Religious Persecution, Genocide, Family History, World History, Family Relationships
Fiction Nonfiction books
Maus in the English Liturature Curriculum
Maus in the Social Studies CurriculumFinal
Maus Lesson Plan
PBS guide to using memory of the camps
By Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Satrapi paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life, of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane’s child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows the reader to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family.
Subject Focus: Personal memoir, Iranian revolution, freedom of expression, women’s rights, oppression, discrimination, religious persecution,
By James Sturm and Rich Tommaso
This historical graphic novel tells the story of one of the greatest baseball legends Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Living in a racist era and facing adversity every day, Paige challenged Jim Crow laws while playing in the Negro Baseball Leagues. By demonstrating the true discrimination African Americans faced in the Jim Crow south, this book gives readers a genuine taste of the time period.
Satchel Paige Subject focus
Social studies: racism, Jim Crow laws, Civil Rights movement
English: point of view, perspective, narrative, literary timelines
Satchel Paige Support Materials
Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson: Interview Essay
Casey at the Bat
Curriculum Guidelines for ELA
Curriculum Guidelines for Social Studies
DVD: Only the Ball was White
Lesson Plan - Jim Crow
Spring Training Essay
Graphic Novel Classroom Kits
Teachers/Librarians: To find out how to borrow graphic novels to use with your students, click here.
Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War
Michel Chikiwanine (Author), Jessica Lee Humphreys (Author), Claudia Dávila (Illustrator)
Author Michel Chikiwanine recounts his childhood experiences as a five-year-old kidnapped by rebel soldiers in his birth country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Great for those who have read classic graphic memoirs like Maus and Persepolis, Child Soldier reveals yet another heart-wrenchingly true story about war and its tragic consequences. This graphic novel includes vibrant full-color illustrations and an appendix with further information on the worldwide struggles of underage soldiers.