Raising Gen Z Tweens on Print Books and Graphic Novels

A recent survey conducted by Scholastic among families at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic revealed that most children ages 6 to 17 preferred to read printed books compared to e-books for leisure purposesi. Despite being native consumers of digital content for academic purposes or simply entertainment, there is still greater love for print books among today’s young readers.

“This survey was a window into the reading habits of our consumers, and it made us realize that the quality of content is as equally important as the way it is delivered – whether in physical or digital form. As a brand with over 100 years of experience in the business, Scholastic remains relevant because we have moved and evolved with the times. Today, Scholastic’s books and our characters still spark that magic among children to learn to read and love to read,” shared Selina Lee, Vice President of Scholastic Asia.

The Kids & Family Reading Report™ (KFRR) conducted in 2020 recognizes reading as a fundamental skill for both learning and self-enrichment. Regardless of the children’s age or gender, the survey also found that 83% say they love or like reading for fun. The survey also reported that reading frequency gradually declined with age, as children between the ages of 6 to 11 showed to have read most frequently, while reading frequency began to decline after the age of 12.

“As children grow older, they have more distractions and are increasingly time-starved with all the activities going on in their lives. With access to a variety of content that is more digital in nature, like video games and social platforms, children gravitate to channels that are stimulating from a visual and experiential perspective. This inadvertently causes reading habits to gradually digress with age. We believe one of the ways to mitigate this issue is by introducing graphic novels to engage this age group. These are easy-to-read stories that are more visually stimulating and less time-consuming for today’s busy tweens. Scholastic’s graphic novel series, Graphix™ is our answer to this need as we engage our young readers with exciting content that piques their interest while encouraging good reading habits,” shared Lee.

Not to be confused with “manga comics”, Lee explains that Graphix™ emphasizes illustrative storytelling with proper language use and character development. Graphix™ series provides children with options to explore their interests through a relatable lens. These illustrated novels offer different themes and topics like coming-of-age teenage experiences, friendship, science-fiction, and fantasy; all sprinkled with family-friendly humor and great writing.

As part of Scholastic’s ongoing mission to innovate for its readers, the brand has begun adapting its long-form chapter books into graphic novels. Well-known chapter books like Wings of Fire, The Babysitters Club, I Survived series and Roald Dahl’s The Witches have all been transformed into highly illustrated and easy-to-read graphic novels. “As a brand, we understand that our young readers need content that stimulates visually as it sparks creativity and imagination. Another effort we have done to engage our tween readers is having a popular online game like Five Nights at Freddy’s translated into a Graphix™ series. This gives them a sense of familiarity and preference to the content we create and it’s our way to stay attuned and connected to their needs,” added Lee.

Many of the Graphix™ titles have also been named New York Times bestsellers over the years and some have even won industry awards. Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels Smile, Sisters, Ghost, Guts, and Drama have successfully won the Eisner Comic Awards over the years: the equivalent to the Oscars of the comic industry. Globally renowned award-winning author, Dav Pilkey and his series Captain Underpants and Dog Man, and Cat Kid are a favorite among children and have been on numerous global bestseller lists.

Through Graphix™, Scholastic is able to support parents in encouraging children to read more and increase their reading stamina. Aside from reading, Graphix™ also helps children improve their vocabulary and language skills, learn valuable life lessons, and explore creative art skills like writing and illustrating.

To access the Kids & Family Reading Report™, please visit https://scholastic.asia/en/KFRR