Monday, March 28, 2016

Wonderful and sensitive graphic novel on eating disorders

Graphic novels have been all the rage at public libraries for over a decade now. For many people the words "graphic novel" conjure up superheroes, or classic comic strips like Archie and Jughead. 

I believe graphic novels have a place in our medical libraries as well. That was really brought home to me after attending Comics in Medicine in Chicago in 2011. Listening to authors and illustrators speak about their works, I began to understand the value in seeing feelings versus reading about feelings. Is reading about someone experiencing depression more powerful than seeing what someone's depression looks like? Or is seeing what they see and feel more powerful? 

One recent graphic novel I read reminded me of the power of illustration. Lighter Than My Shadow, by Katie Green, is a powerful story of her experience with anorexia as a preteen, teen, and young adult. Check out a review from The Guardian: 

This book might speak to patients or community members on the subject of eating disorders in a way that a non-fiction or consumer health book never could. If you have an eating disorders program at your institution, I would highly recommend purchasing the book for your medical library. 

Brenda Fay
Librarian, Aurora Sinai Medical Center
Milwaukee, WI

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