Critical Linking: May 4, 2014

While young readers find these digital products very appealing, their multitude of features may diffuse children’s attention, interfering with their comprehension of the text, Smith and the Schugars found. It seems that the very “richness” of the multimedia environment that e-books provide—touted as their advantage over printed books—may actually overwhelm kids’ limited working memory, leading them to lose the thread of the narrative or to process the meaning of the story less deeply.

Perhaps instead of worrying that ebooks are going to ruin the ability for children to learn deep reading, this is an opportunity to teach children how to manage distraction and concentration.

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It doesn’t have to be this way. The Comics Code is dead, and comic book narratives are in the mainstream of American culture again. If comics are to retain the wide audience they have taken so long to regain — and if they are to enter into a new Golden Age — they must do better. And there are glimmers of hope. The past couple of years have seen an Arab Green Lantern and a Muslim Ms. Marvel. Writers like Gail Simone and Kelly Sue DeConnick are shifting the way superhero comics deal with women. And minded fan campaigns like We Are Comics are reclaiming the long-lost sense that comics are for everyone.

Excellent long read over at BuzzFeed about how censors killed the weird, progressive Golden Age of comics.

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“In fifth grade, our librarian picked out a book for us and had it out on the table. I was looking at it like, Hmmm. Chess. I don’t want to read it! It’s about chess! And she was like, “Read it. You’ll like it.” So we started reading Chess Rumble, and actually, I did like it! I was like Oh…this is dope! And we had to do a report on it, and we were talking about it and talking about it, and I read it a few more times, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.”

Here’s your heart-warming story about a boy who didn’t like to be known as smart because he reads and writes and how an author and a librarian changed his mind.

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