Writing from Behind the Fence: Incarcerated Youth and a Graphic Novel on HIV/AIDS

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Library and Information Science


Graphic novels are an increasingly popular format that educators can use as a tool to teach reading and writing skills across the K-12 curriculum. This article describes a project in which incarcerated youth collaborated with a graphic illustrator to create a graphic novel about teens dealing with issues relating to HIV/AIDS. The graphic novel is currently being used as an HIV/AIDS education and prevention tool for teens. The article examines the impact that creating a graphic novel had on the literacy lives of the young authors, as well as the ways it is currently being used with teens in two states. The authors present qualitative data from their observations of and interviews with the students who created the graphic novel. Further, the article provides information on how educators can teach students to write and draw their own comics and graphic novels.