Publication Details

Fitzsimmon, P. R. (2007). What adolescents are reading and what their teachers are not: between the deformed discourse and disdain of the graphic novel. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 15 (2), 18-22. Copyright Australian Literacy Educators' Association


It was only at the beginning of this year that I realised that I had spent all of my teaching and research life talking with children under the age of twelve years, and even within this group it was mostly with children under six. While I had come to understand a great deal about literacy acquisition (Geekie, Cambourne and Fitzsimmons 1999) and elementary school reading development (Harris, Turbill, Fitzsimmons and McKenzie 2001), as my own teenage daughter constantly reminded me, all I knew was ‘ankle-biter speak’. Determined to change this, I began working with a group of students in a local high school investigating what they were reading and how they were reading, an area that would appear be relatively ambiguous (Signorini 2002) and ill-defined (Manzo 2004). The voices of these high school students have been inserted in this paper as part of an interrogative frame in an attempt to undertake an ‘imaginative exploration of possibilities other than those currently available to the child adolescent reader’ (Malian 2001, p. 58).

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