Given their visual nature, comics are easy targets for would-be censors. CBLDF Discussion Guides are tools that can be used to lead conversations about challenged graphic novels and to help allay misconceptions about comics.
CBLDF Discussion Guides can be used by librarians, educators, retailers, or anyone who wants to lead a conversation about a graphic novel. In each guide, you will find the following:
- Synopsis: A brief summary of the major plot points in the graphic novel
- Themes: The overarching ideas that the creator(s) express in the graphic novel
- Reasons Challenged: The reasons why people have tried to censor the book
- Suggested Age Range: The age group for which the book is most likely suitable
- Discussion Questions: Tiered questions organized by cognitive complexity, from basic recall to higher-order thinking
- Activities: Projects and activities to take the conversation about graphic novels beyond the library or classroom and to encourage greater engagement with comics
We will be creating a complete set of discussion guides for Neil Gaiman’s seminal comics work, Sandman. There will be a guide for each of the ten volumes of the regular series and Death.
For more discussion guides please visit the Discussion Guide landing page here. In the meantime, you can use to following links to lead amazing discussions about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman!
In the first volume of Sandman, readers are introduced to the series’ central character, Dream. After 70 years of imprisonment y an occultist and his son, Dream must undertake a journey to recover thee objects of power: a pouch of sand, a helm, and a ruby. In doing so, Dream battles a drug addict, demon, and madman and incurs the wrath of Lucifer. The volume collects the first eight issues and the series and also introduces readers to Dream’s older sister, Death.
Download a PDF of the discussion guide for Preludes and Nocturnes here.
In the second volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, The Doll’s House, Dream embarks on another quest: the retrieval of four escaped dreams. In doing so, Dream encounters a false Sandman, battles his most terrifying creations, takes down a convention of serial killers, and threatens the life of a young woman who can break down the walls between dreamers. The book also introduces three more members of the Endless: Destiny, Desire, and Despair.
Download a PDF of the discussion guide for The Doll’s House here.
Dream Country is a collection of four independent stories: “Calliope,” which focuses on the imprisonment and abuse of the muse Calliope; “A Dream of a Thousand Cats,” in which cats seek to change the world through dreams; “A midsummer Night’s Dream,” during which William Shakespeare puts on a play for Faerie; and “Facade,” which portrays the despair of an immortal superhero.
Download a PDF of the discussion guide for Dream Country here.
In Season of Mists, Dream is goaded by Desire and Death into returning to Hell to free Nada. Upon his arrival in Hell, Dream discovers that Lucifer has abdicated his throne and evicted everyone from Hell. Dream accepts the key to Hell and soon finds himself entangled with various factions who are seeking ownership of the abandoned domain.
Download a PDF of the discussion guide for Season of Mists here.
We’ll be adding discussion guides for the remaining volumes of the series as the week goes on, so return here for updates and more!