Welcome to Booktoss a blog where the serious business of reading in schools meets the absurd notion that research based literacy practices don’t have to suck the life out of literature.
Booktoss means we, the Literary Gatekeepers, need to be willing to see the problems with books and simply toss them aside. Yes. I said it. Toss the book aside. No burning or censoring (understand the difference between censoring and boycotting, please!). Just get rid of the racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist book and move on. Go and grab another book that doesn’t tear a hole in your heart. More and more these great books exist in libraries, online and bookstores. Books that show authentic characters being more than props for over-represented characters.
Then there are the books I want to keep, and hold, and pass on to kids and teachers. Books that provide authentic views of lives and people and events. Books that are complex, complicated, heartfelt and heartening. Because there are great authors that don’t need to tear down, dehumanize and objectify one community in order to make a point.
I am currently a lecturer in Boston University School of Education. I earned my PhD from Michigan State University in Educational Psychology and Education Technology with a language and literacy option.
My research focuses on the influence of motivational factors, including intrinsic interest and aesthetic responses, on reading comprehension in adolescents. My dissertation, Out of the Box: Expert Readers Allocating Time and Attention In Graphic Novels, a qualitative multiple case study focused on the ways expert readers utilize metacognitive reading strategies, including allocating time and attention, to mediate the verbal and visual sign systems at work in graphic novels.
Currently, I teach master’s level courses in research methods, as well as children’s and young adult literature.
Please feel free to contact me with any all all questions about graphic novels in education.