Graphic novels are books that tell a story with cartoon like artwork to add to the story so that not as many words are needed. They are a longer form of the traditional comic book and are making up a large segment of the book publishing industry. Many of the graphic novels that are on the market are geared towards children who have developed beyond the storybook phase, but still like to see pictures depicting what they are reading.
Graphic novels also accompany many of the popular cartoons on TV and new movies are created from these novels quite often. Because children love the graphic novels so much, librarians are stocking them on the library shelves and teachers are bringing them into the classroom. If it gets children reading, then it is a necessary part of school.
While some graphic novels are simply longer comic books, there are also original works that are developed by comic book artists. A picture is worth a thousand words is really true when it comes to children who like to look at pictures to find the action described in the words. They also like to look at the pictures when someone is reading them the story. One question that teacher often get asked when they start reading novels in class is 'Can I see the pictures?' and an observation of children choosing books in a library will show you that they look through the book first to see if it contains any pictures.
Some examples of popular graphic novels for children include the classics, but there are many new ones, such as the Arthur series, Magic Tree House, Barbie, Nate the Great and Junie B. Jones, just to name a few.
There are also graphic novels for adults and young teens that are also very popular. Some of the first graphic novels to be published were designed for the adult reader. Some of these titles include Maus, Watchmen, and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.