The Comic Club are currently shadowing the Stan Lee Excelsior Award which is given to the best graphic novel, as voted for by schools and libraries from across the UK. There are eight shortlisted titles and, as well as a display and copies of the books to borrow, the library is also running two comic book-themed competitions alongside the shadowing process.
This involves members of the Comic Club discussing each book and filling in ratings forms for each. These will be sent off the to awards organisers who will collate results from all the organisations taking part and reveal the top three books overall. In addition there is also a ‘True Believers Award’ for the school that casts the most votes and a ‘Judge a Book by its Cover’ which is voted for by librarians and teachers.
The awards website says: ‘The Stan Lee Excelsior Award is the only nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga - where kids aged 11-16 decide the winner by rating each book as they read it! It now attracts nearly two hundred schools and public libraries from all over the UK - from Scotland to Jersey, from Belfast to Gateshead! The overall goal of this scheme is to encourage reading amongst teenagers. However, its secondary target is to raise the profile of graphic novels and manga amongst school librarians and teachers. This storytelling medium has been a largely underused resource within education for many years. The Stan Lee Excelsior Award attempts to highlight some of the amazing books that are out there - books that fully deserve to be in our school libraries alongside regular fiction!
Librarian Mrs Adams said: ‘After successful shadowing last year, we started again as soon as the 2015 shortlist first came out, and most of the students have now read all of the books. The shortlist is very good and our students are excellent evaluators. We discuss story, artwork, characters and dialogue for each book, and they don’t always agree. I send our ratings forms off to the award co-ordinator, where they are collated with forms from all the schools taking part, and we find out the national winner in June.
‘We have a couple of competitions open to all. There’s a quiz on the eight shortlisted books, and a Judge a Book by its Cover competition. The winner of each will be able to order a comic book of their choice, up to a certain value. There will also be a few ‘goody bags’ on offer. For more information on the competitions or on the shortlisted books then visit the library.’