Sleepless Knight: A Graphic Novel That’s Summer Fun for Younger Readers


Lynn and Cindy: We’ve been working too hard and are ready for a few weeks of summer fun! Today we launch what we are calling a Summer Fun Bookends Blog Series. We’ll be headed to the beach, the pool, on camping trips, and even to the movies. Are you ready for some summer fun? Lynn is kicking it off with a camping trip!

Lynn: Our focus group helps us a lot. The younger members offer a reality check into what young readers will really sit still for and what they think is meaningful or funny. As most of you know well, a book we adults think is gross and ridiculous is often exactly what a 4-year-old boy thinks is hilarious. One of the other things the focus group helps with is identifying interests and gaps. The older members are avid readers of graphic novels. Henry, who is about to be 5, often asks for the older kids’ books to be read to him but the storylines are often too long to hold his interest. So we were very excited about this new graphic novel designed especially for beginning readers AND summer fun!

I swear I never take either my rock collection or a ukulele!

sleepless knight Sleepless Knight (2015) is by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost. The knight decides to go on a camping trip and her packing resembles my own for ALA except I swear I never take either my rock collection or a ukulele! She piles it all up on her poor horse, Edward, who can barely make it out the castle gate. After roasting marshmallows over the campfire, the knight decides to turn in—only to discover that her beloved Teddy is missing. Sleep is clearly impossible without Teddy, so a search begins, leading to a very funny resolution.

The book is designed with four easy-to-follow panels on each page, and using simple vocabulary in large speech bubbles, both of which provide young readers with a great, easy-to-negotiate introduction to graphic novels. For budding artists, step-by-step instructions for drawing the Knight, Edward, Rabbit, and Bear are also provided. This is a treat! Thumbs up from the focus group.




About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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