Manga – Source of all the world’s ills, or tool to use to encourage literacy? The Los Angeles Public Library knows which side of the divide it’s on:
“The Los Angeles Public Library and Tokyopop have announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration designed to encourage teens to read. Kids from 11 to 18 who join the Manga Madness Summer Reading Club at their local branch library, will receive a free folder, a book bag, reading log, and bookmarks… Because of high demand from teen readers, the L.A. Public Library, which has 71 branches, has doubled and in some cases tripled the number of manga series ordered for their young adult collections. Because kids want to read manga, many educators have realized that manga (as well as other kinds of comics and graphic novels) are a great way to encourage reading — and the more kids read, the better they get at it.”
This optimism, of course, will last until the upcoming Yaoi backlash hits the Californian shores.