About the Common Reading Program
Sierra Nevada College Explores Graphic Novels for Community Read Program for Fall 2015
Sierra Nevada College continues the One Book, One Campus program begun in fall 2009, with all incoming Fall 2015 students being asked to read Refresh, Refresh, a graphic novel by Danica Novgorodoff based on a short story by Benjamin Percy. Both Danica Novgorodoff and Benjamin Percy will be on campus this September for presentations.
"Graphic Novel" is a format, not a genre. Graphic novels can be fiction, non-fiction, history, fantasy, or anything in-between. Graphic novels are similar to comic books because they use sequential art to tell a story. Unlike comic books, graphic novels are generally stand-alone stories with more complex plots.
- In 2012, graphic novel print sales rose to $385 million.
- The popularity of graphic novels has led to a growing number of books that fall between the classic novel and graphic novel, such as Watchman and Persepolis, as well as a growing number of traditional books being adapted into graphic novels (i.e. Game of Thrones).
- Many mainstream writers have crossed over to graphic novels (Eric Jerome Dickey, Cecil Castellucci, Anthony Horowitz, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Laurell K. Hamilton). There have also been graphic novels created by musicians, including Avril Lavigne, Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and Neil Young.
Inspired by the popularity of book clubs, a growing number of college campuses are adopting common reading programs. The idea of a common reading selection rests on a simple idea: that reading the same book brings people together as a community by creating a common ground for discussion and intellectual growth. As Shannon Beets, Sierra Nevada College Interim President, explains, "For this program, our faculty select literature that reinforces our College’s core values of Sustainability, Liberal Arts, Entrepreneurial Thinking, and Professional Preparedness." Beets goes on to note that SNC staff, faculty, and community members are encouraged to join the community of readers in order to provide a shared academic experience and to stimulate conversations across the campus as well as across town. Copies of the book are available to faculty and staff, free of charge. Copies will also be available at Incline Village Public Library and Incline High School.
In "THE 99," Naif Al-Mutawa's new generation of comic book heroes fight more than crime — they smash stereotypes and battle extremism. Named after the 99 attributes of Allah, his characters reinforce positive messages of Islam and cross cultures to create a new moral framework for confronting evil, even teaming up with the Justice League of America.
This year we will be reading Danica Novgorodoff’s graphic novel, Refresh, Refresh which is based on the short story of the same name by Benjamin Percy. This is a story of three young boys and their struggle to grow up fast enough to fill their fathers’ shoes. They fight to make themselves stronger. They fight to make men out of boys. They fight to make their absent fathers proud, all the while, refreshing their emails to hear from their soldier fathers. We are fortunate this year to have both Danica Novgorodoff and Benjamin Percy here on campus for special events.
Understanding Graphic Novels
These books are in the SNC library ready to be checked out.