Normal School

Mirror Mind By Tory Woollcott

                                                     

I just got this graphic novel in the mail and read right through it. It’s amazing and I think all teachers should read it. Its an autobiographical comic about the author’s experiences in growing up dyslexic. The story is a heart-rending tale of how children’s differences can cause them to feel isolated and alone. But the pictorial medium really allows you to empathize with how dyslexic children in your class might feel. At times in the story, it is hard to know where to look or to decide what you are supposed to be able to comprehend and what you are not. This is not distracting or confusing because it feels purposeful and the story flows so nicely.

I first read her work when I got a copy of the Reading With Pictures Anthology. She has a short comic in there called “So Much More.” It’s about a dyslexic girl who retains her interest in reading by reading comics. It reminded me of one of the students I tutor and how keeping her confidence and interest high is a big part of improving her reading. It made me want to give her comics. I highly recommend having “So Much More” around your classroom. The rest of the RWP anthology is fantastic too, so just get that. However, I don’t know that I would give Mirror Mind to most children. Because she is looking back from adulthood some children might find it hard to grasp. I would say about 12 would be the minimum age for the book.

On a side note, one thing I love about buying graphic novels direct from the author (which you can do here) is that they will often personalize it or draw in it. I love that personal touch. In this case Ms. Woollcott drew this on the back of the biodegradable envelope in which the book came:

                                

So cute! And I totally did!

  • 26 May 2011
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