About graphic novels and the selection of Maus for study
The term graphic novel has been in use since the 1960s though books written in this format did not appear often until the early 1980s. The genre is characterized by stories about substantive issues written in comic book format and published as bound paperback or hardbound books. Longer than a short story and more literary than a comic book, the graphic novel uses high quality graphics with text to tell a complete story. Many graphic novels are collections of stories previously published as separate comic books. Art Spiegelman received a special Pulitzer Prize for Maus in 1992, adding validity to the graphic novel as an important genre in contemporary literature.
We chose a graphic novel for study to stimulate readers to explore new forms of literature. Graphic novels appeal both to adults and teenagers and use themes and subjects important to many. The choice of Maus was based on its critical acclaim, its artistic excellence, and its universal themes.
This website provides teachers and students with approaches to reading and studying the novel through a host of on-line resources.
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