Skyward Volume 1: Into the Woods
Written and illustrated by: Jeremy Dale
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Format: Softcover, 7 x 10, 96 pages, Full Color, $8.99
Originally, Skyward was a comic book. In its graphic novel debut it's not only changed formats, but also transformed and heightened its literary-level text value for teachers, librarians, parents, and students. Purposely combining the first three comic books into a graphic novel that merges all of its high-quality literary elements this brand-new graphic novel edition belongs on all of our library shelves. Why? Because it fully embraces all of the elements of story critical to teaching Language Arts and storytelling: settings, characters, plots, themes, rising action, climax, falling action and more. In short, the graphic novel format adds to and enhances the story and gives it a more literary potential and staying power for readers of any ages.
Tragically, Quinn is left as an orphan during the invasion of his home planet. In the aftermath of the invasion loads of different creatures and clans begin to cramp Quinn’s home planet and plans for the future, establishing their own communities and governing rules. Is there anything Quinn can do to reconcile and bring all of these new clans together in the name of teamwork and shared-leadership in order to promote peace and harmony for all?
Addressing both the Common Core Standards, Skyward is a great literary-text for discussing all the critical elements of storytelling teachers explore (alongside the Common Core Standards) in contemporary classroom settings.
English Language Arts Elements of Story
Plots: Quinn's planet is invaded and his parents aren't able to help him.
Characters: Quinn, Quinn's mother (Taryn) and father (Corin), Jack the dog, the treehog, Herod, Slog Riders, Bull Dragon, Jon, Captain, Abigail, Tanner, Regent, General, the Kings, Garrick, Oscar
Settings: Quinn's homeland, the forest, the cliff
Themes: Problem-solving, Identity, Heroes and Villains, Relationships, Family and Friends, Right and Wrong, Decision-making, Belief and Disbelief, Loyalty and Trust
Literary Pairing Suggestions: Grimm's Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Hans' Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen, Bone series by Jeff Smith, Amulet series by Kazu Kbiushi, Zita series by Ben Hatke, Astronaut Academy series by Dave Roman, Cardboard, Ghostopolis, Creature Tech, Bad Island, and Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Princeless by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin
Some Teaching Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards For Young Adult Readers
Text Types and Purposes
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1a Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
* The number referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org)
Lesson Idea for Young Adult Readers:
Directions: The lesson plan for this book is focused on writing and prediction for young adults in grades 6 – 12. Because this graphic novel is divided into three sections it easily lends itself to three different writing opportunities.
Below teachers and students will find three large squares. Each square is given one title from each of the three stories collected in this collected graphic novel edition version of Skyward. As you and your students finish reading each of the three stories pause the reading process and encourage students to either write or draw what they think may happen next in the Skyward storyline.
STORY 1: Skyward: "The Genesis of the Exodus": In the space below, write or draw what you think might happen after this first story in the Skyward graphic novel.
STORY 2: Skyward: "Taking Flight": In the space below, write or draw what might happen after this second story in the Skyward graphic novel.
STORY 3: Skyward: "The Sword and the Stones": In the space below, write or draw whatever you think might happen after this third story in the Skyward graphic novel.
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2013); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts ( in press, 2014). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her two wiener dogs, Sam and Max.