Archive for classroom library

Teacher Comics: Putting the classroom lending library away.

Posted in 2014-2015 school year with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2015 by Christopher Pearce


I know I said last week was the last week of comics, but I always have a couple of odds and ends before the final school bell rings. For those of you who’ve been reading awhile and know how important and vital my classroom’s lending library is to the way I do business with my students, you’ll understand what a Herculean undertaking this was.

File this under “A” for awesome…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 11, 2015 by Christopher Pearce


Back in 2011, I read and enjoyed Ready Player One, a dystopian science fiction novel written by Ernest “Ernie” Cline. The novel posits a brutal future for humanity where people find relief from the ills of the world in OASIS, a virtual reality utopia steeped in nostalgia for 1980’s pop culture. The novel’s protagonist, Wade Watts, works to unravel the secrets of OASIS while taking part in an elaborate treasure hunt created by OASIS’ inventor James Halliday.

It’s a great book. It received a lot of press when it first came out for the way Cline used ’80’s culture to define OASIS… but there’s quite a bit more depth to the book than references to Ghostbusters and Back to the Future. Readers loved that aspect of the story so much, they overlook the desperate sadness of the state of the world Cline’s created in 2044, and I find that the most interesting part of RP1. It’s a solid read and one I’ve passed on to my students many times.

The detail about Ready Player One that immediately arrested me when I first read it was the backstory of James Halliday. The computer genius and billionaire who incites the plot of RP1… is a graduate of the high school where I’m currently teaching 9th grade English Language Arts. Middletown Ohio is specifically named in the book several times and at one point, the protagonists find themselves in a virtual reality simulation of Middletown.

Well, I knew I had to prevail on the civic pride of Ernie Cline to donate a class set of Ready Player One to my classroom’s library

…and lo and behold, he did!

I’m going to end up doing some comics about Ready Player One and teaching the novel but I wanted to shout out to Mr. Cline and his publishers at Crown for the act of kindness.

How you can help my classroom!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 8, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

…yes, YOU!

Hi everybody. I wasn’t planning on doing any more DonorsChoose projects this year, but Burlington Coat Factory recently opened a branch in our neck of the woods and they specifically requested teachers in the area put projects up for perusal.

I’m hoping that might mean a few funding dollars coming my students’ way… but I thought I’d ask readers here to take a look as well. If you enjoy my comics, the best way you can help me out right now is to support my classroom.

College Bound Students Need New Reading Opportunities

Biff! Bam! POW! Art Supplies for a Literary Comic Magazine!

If you ender the promo code SPARK on the payment screen if you donate, your donation will be doubled. This awesome match offer lasts through March 12.

I can also mention that I have a variety of supplies and books chosen on an Amazon Wish List – readers have been so supportive through that venue in the past few months, it’s a bit overwhelming.

At any rate, you have my thanks if you donate… or if you can’t, but you share this out with other people here on Tumblr or on other social media venues.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 3, 2014 by Christopher Pearce


This is what I came home to this afternoon. All for me, all presumably from my Amazon Teacher Wish List. Wow.

Holy WOW!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 30, 2014 by Christopher Pearce


A big huge THANK YOU to the anonymous donor who bought these books off of my Amazon Teacher Wish List. My students are going to love these!

Here’s my Wish List, if you were interested in becoming a hero like this wonderful person! There’s a bunch of new books and supplies on there awaiting your charity:)

Teacher Comics: My students are mature

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , on October 2, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


Teacher Comics: Using a Classroom Library

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


Teaching Comics: The best nation in the world

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


I don’t normally use student likenesses or names in my comics, but I absolutely wanted to spotlight my former student Casey. Her kindness and generosity toward my classroom has been staggering over the past two years. Also, girl’s a John Green fan so you have to give it up for her.

blast from the past, part 3

Posted in comics with tags , , , on April 14, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

…and it’s true. I’m still not a great fan of manga. I do my best to keep up with popular books for the sake of my library, but I’ve never found a manga series that I could really get into.

In the last few weeks, (thanks in no small part to The Middletown Journal article about my classroom) I’ve been asked a lot of questions about creating a comic/graphic novel library for their classrooms. I don’t think I need to say that I am, by no means, an expert on the subject. I do, however,  have a lot of experience with what kids do and do not like in this genre. I thought I’d take some time today to point potential classroom librarians toward some rather good deals I’ve found in the past week or so.

If you’re willing to part with a bit of your own money, Barnes & Noble seems to have a quite a few comics on sale in their Bargain Bins for about 75% to 80% off of cover price. Further, they’re having a “Buy Two Bargain Bin Books, Get The Third For Free” offer on their website right now. If you’re looking to start a comics lending library, they quite a bit to choose from. I thought I would take a few words to highlight some of the good ones.

Marvel Adventures Iron Man: Volume 1- Heart of Steel

Marvel Adventures Hulk, Volume 1: Misunderstood Monster

The Marvel Adventures imprint was created with the intent of producing fun superhero stories that are (more or less) continuity free and designed for young readers. These digest sized reprints look and feel like traditional manga comics. These are essentially easy reader superhero comics, rewriting older classic plots for new audiences. It looks as though B&N is liquidating a lot of their Iron Man and Hulk digests, likely overstock from the 2007 movies featuring the characters.

These would be decent comics to put in the hands of very low level readers, while at the same time being the type of book that a kid who does needs a lot of help independent reading wouldn’t feel embarrassed taking out on the bus and reading. With Iron Man 2 coming out in May, I’ve had many students ask me about Iron Man material, so I’m planning on picking up a couple of those books for my classroom. At $2 dollars apiece, you can’t go wrong.

Runaways, Volume 4: Escape to New York

Runaways, Volume 7: Live Fast, Die Young

A undisputed hit amongst my students, Marvel’s other digest-sized offerings on B&N’s website are two of the seven Runaways collections. Runaways is a Marvel Comics series began in 2003 by writer Brian K. Vaughn. The book’s wonderful hook is this: What if you found out your parents were super-villains? What would you do? How would you react? These small volumes require almost no knowledge of what came previously in the series and Vaughn’s great with being able to fill in the gaps of what you missed with dialogue is pretty masterful. If you were only going to pick up one of these collections, I’d recommend Volume 4, which features a trip to the Big Apple and appearances from a lot of Marvel Comics’ heavy hitters. Like the Marvel Adventures digest, they’re $3 dollars each.


A good, durable hardcover for a classroom library, Killraven is a sci-fi sequel/re-imagining to H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, starring a warring gladiator who takes up arms against the Martian race sometime in the future. I’m always looking for “gateway comics”, graphic novels I can use to bridge reluctant readers from comic books to full-on novels and stories… and Killraven fits that bill. I have a student right now who, after reading Killraven, insisted on picking up War of the Worlds so that he’d know all about what had come before.

The story and art chores on this book come from the pen of talented comics creator Alan Davis and are really wonderful to look at. It’s also nice that this is a complete story under one cover. While it gives hints and notes about what COULD happen in future stories, it also gives a nice, definitive end to the tale as well. B&N also has Marvel’s March to Ultimatum in hardcover. I can’t really recommend that except to say that their hardcovers withstand a lot of wear and tear, and if you’re looking to pad your library with books that will stand the test of time, you could do worse… and at $5 bucks a pop, you can’t get a better price.

Michael Chabon Presents… The Amazing Adventures of The Escapist, Volume 1

Another really good “gateway” comic, moving a reluctant reader from these short stories about the escape artist superhero to Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. This is a really good introduction to that novel with stories by Glen David Gold (Carter Beats The Devil) and Chabon himself, among others. It’s a nice package, and at $4.50, you can’t go wrong.

There are plenty of other comics library deals to be had here if you look, including quite a bit of that manga of which I’m not so fond. If you’ve ever thought about dipping your toes in the waters of including comics and graphic novels in your classroom’s lending library, this is a good, inexpensive way to do so.