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Read (Comics & Graphic Novels) Harder: A Challenge

Submitted by Megan Hicks on Thu, 05/21/2020 - 12:00 PM
A reader is reading a graphic novel on a bed, sitting with her back to the camera.

Guest blog by SJPL librarian Jessica Lundin is in its sixth year of Read Harder - a reading challenge to encourage individuals to read outside of their comfort zone and expand their horizons by suggesting reading tasks. In the initial 2015 challenge, blog post author Rachel Manwell said the, “24 tasks,...will hopefully inspire you to pick up books that represent experiences and places and cultures that might be different from your own.”

Librarians, in general, love all of this. But why keep it to just books? What other formats could we apply the “read harder” concept to? Well, comics and graphic novels!

With the Graphic Novel Making Contest just around the corner, what better way to get those creative juices flowing than to read some graphic novels and comics that get you thinking and expanding?

Take the Challenge!

Here is our take on the Read Harder Challenge centered around graphic novels, comics, and manga. Read anything you feel meets each task. One title may work for one or more tasks or you can truly challenge yourself to find a unique title for each. There are only 10 tasks, but there are, from when this was posted, only 10 weeks until the end of the Graphic Novel Making Challenge.

Read (Comics & Graphic Novels) Harder: A Challenge by San Jose Public Library

  1. A historical or historical fiction graphic novel or comic
  2. A sports comic or graphic novel
  3. A comic strip originally published in a newspaper
  4. A comic or graphic novel about or written by someone that identifies as LGBTQ+
  5. A webcomic!
  6. A Will Eisner Award Winner from the the 2000s-Present
  7. A comic, graphic novel, or manga that has been adapted into a movie
  8. An American Immigrant comic or graphic novel
  9. A comic or graphic novel about a culture that you do not identify as
  10. A graphic memoir

Need a Little Help?

There are a bunch of resources to help you find titles for each task. San Jose Public Library has some great digital comics and graphic novels to read through Hoopla, Overdrive, enki, and MackinVIA for those wishing to tackle these tasks during Shelter-In-Place. You can also get help finding titles with 5ForU and Chat with a Librarian services.

Catch our follow up blog in late June for reading suggestions for each task if you need recommendations. Tell us in the comments what you chose for each challenge.

Happy Reading!

Blog Category
Graphic Novels


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