Learning history from comic books

 I didn’t think I was a fan of comic books, but after reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, my view of comic books completely changed.”I found that the comic book format particularly makes learning history more enjoyable due to its lively pictures and brief narrative.

I recently read three American history comic books that I happened to lay my eyes on when I was browsing for American history books in The Seattle Public Library’s catalog. I had a fun experience reading them and would like to share them with other readers.

Click here to view Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels by Stanley Mack in SPL catalogTaxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels: A Comics History of the American Revolution by Stanley Mack

Illustrated in cartoon style, this graphic account of the American Revolution brings to life the early Americans, our founding fathers as well as men and women of all backgrounds and classes, who each made their contributions to the Revolution. Throughout the book, a modern character called Carl appears from time to time, making his fun but insightful comments on the story to connect the past to the present.

Click here to view The United States Constitution by Nadja Baer in SPL catalogThe United States Constitution: A Round Table Comic by Nadja Baer

If you think that reading and understanding the U.S. Constitution is difficult, you should try this comic adaptation. It covers the entire content of the original document as well as an absorbing narrative of its making.

Click here to view The Hammer and the Anvil by Dwight Jon Zimmerman in SPL catalogThe Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America by Dwight Jon Zimmerman

This graphic novel relates the parallel lives of two great men in American history: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Douglass, a slave who had been brutally treated until his escape, became an eloquent orator and an inspiring abolitionist through a long and hard journey. As a young man, Lincoln was frequently hired out by his father to do manual labor on nearby farms. This experience laid the foundation for his disapproval of slavery. The two eventually met face to face working for the same cause. They each made their contributions to bring an end to slavery in the United States. Powerfully illustrated and written, this comic book engages readers young and old in an exciting read about one of the most compelling stories in American history.

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