March by Rep. John Lewis is not your typical historical memoir. The civil rights advocate turned Congressman shows and tells the various stories that made up the civil rights movement through graphics and words.
A child holds a sign of protest, facing a police officer, in a clear tone of sweet innocence, she asks for freedom. The angry faces of the nameless demonstrators who walked alongside MLK, each stride hits the pavement as the shouts and cries hit the readers. Each face was drawn with the same intensity. The pain of the protestors as they are handcuffed in a deafening silence. No space on the page is taken for granted.
Capturing the nature of the movement through the use of black and white coloring, Lewis’ narration of events glides into the reader’s ears as one flips through the story of the march.
March is one of more than 150 graphic novels now available for checkout at Nealley Library.
Graphic novels offer a powerful combination of pictures and words, making everything from important moments in history to fictional adventures come alive on its pages.
“I think [graphic novels] are less intimidating because even if you don’t read the text you’re gonna look at the drawings, and the arts going to inspire you. It may not be the story but it’s more of the artwork,” librarian Luis Pedroza said.
Nealley librarians added these books to the fall 2018 library collection through the help of ASG grant, giving $1,000 to get this program up and running. New titles will be added throughout the year.
“We thought if a public library has [certain graphic novels] we don’t want to get something that they may have, we can give [students] a little more. Maybe they can find [part one] at Santa Ana Public Library but right here they can find part two or something. We kind of thought about it that way [with] some titles.” said Pedroza.
Pedroza says that graphic novels may seem like an unreasonable way to use funds but he believes it shouldn’t matter what students read, as long as they read.
“I don’t understand why they aren’t considered great literature, reading is reading. It’s still important, even if they are graphic novels.” said physics major Timothy Bravo.
The library staff will figure out which graphic novels to choose next. Meanwhile, the staff encourages students to make suggestions at the reference desk.