Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The International Reading Association Convention, Understanding Diversity in Comics: A Look at Marvel Comics "Echo" & Study Island

The International Reading Association Convention always brings tons of excitement. Last year, I met Myron Uhlberg. This year I met Heather Harper the Managing Editor of Study Island. I can't wait to tell you more about Study Island's Online Graphic Novel Reading Intervention for K-12. The World as You Know is "an original, online graphic novel created by Study Island and its Original Island Inks imprint. It is a three book series following the adventures of Solomon, a Native American middle school student; Lukas, a deaf, foreign exchange student from Cameroon; and Esperanza, an ambitious Hispanic girl who guides Solomon and Lukas on their adventures. The trio believes their world is only as big as their front yard. When the three are shown what awaits them just under the surface of the world they know, they call into question what they know about that world and each other. It is a visual delight mixing one part mystery, one part fantasy, and one part discovery that sends the world on its head." I'm most excited about Lukas Biya. Read his bio below.

Lukas is from Cameroon. He is deaf, which automatically carries its own challenges. However, add to this that he, much like Solomon, is an outcast, and Lukas' life seems even more different than the lives of his classmates. His father is an important diplomat who makes little time for Lukas, but this does little to bring down Lukas and his fiercely independent streak. Lukas is similar to Solomon in that he is a pleasant kid, but he is also very skeptical. These traits are an advantage within the unit of the trio; however, alone, these qualities make Lukas vulnerable to dealing with others. Lukas soon learns that he is the central figure in a situation that is out of his control. It affects his relationships with his friends and family, and just when he thinks that he has come to grips with his place in this world, his world is turned upside down, putting him back at square one. (Study Island)

This will be out in March. I've already seen some of the panels and I'm very excited. I'll keep you posted!

Below is my Poster from the Presentation on Marvel Comics Echo- Deaf, Female and Biracial.

Keep in mind that the International Reading Association does have a Special Interest Group for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Readers. Click on the link for more information.

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