In the latest example of the growing popularity of the graphic novel category, Barnes & Noble announced plans to create dedicated sections for middle grade (ages 7–12) graphic novels in all of its stores beginning in June.
The new kids' graphic novel sections will collect more than 250 book format comics titles aimed at children and preteens in one central location in each B&N store. The new sections will be labeled with “graphic novel” signage and will be located adjacent to the Young Readers areas in each store’s children’s dept.
Stephanie Fryling, B&N v-p merchandising, children’s books, said the new dedicated middle grade graphic novel sections will allow parents and kids to easily find their favorite comics artists as well as new and forthcoming works.
The sections will contain graphic novels in fiction, fantasy and adventure, history and science, including works from such popular bestselling middle grade comics artists as Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts), Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Babymouse), Svetlana Chamakova (Awkward), Erin Hunter (Warriors) and Vera Brosgol (Be Prepared). Fryling noted that certain series, such as Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man and Captain Underpants series, will continue to be shelved in the general Young Readers sections.
Fryling also said that the stores will not cross shelve the kids' graphic novels in other categories, saying, “We’ll have a single destination for those who love and will come to love graphic novels.”
In addition, she said, there are no plans for dedicated sections devoted to teen and young adult graphic novels. “Graphic novels for this age group are merchandized in both the YA section and in the adult section adjacent to manga,” she explained.
Fryling said, “Readership of graphic novels continues to grow and expand, with kids flocking to this popular genre. Graphic novels are a way for kids to appreciate both reading and art, and the breadth of talent for both authors and illustrators in this category is amazing.”