If you are dealing with a reluctant reader—especially a boy—this series of books just might come to the rescue. Credited with enthralling young people 12 years old and up for the last 81 years, the Adventures of Tintin includes fantasy, science fiction, mystery, slapstick comedy, satire—and high adventure—all in an easy to read, comic book style format that is popular the world over.
Before you dismiss the comic book format, take into account that a slow reader—one who is put off by pages of printed words—might be more willing to read the small amounts of text that go along with the very detailed and accurate drawings in these books–especially when the stories are about a young boy traveling to mysterious and unknown places.
Tintin was written—and illustrated—by Belgian author Georges Remi starting in 1929. Remi used the pen name Herge and his books are some of the most popular ever to be published, having been translated into more than 50 languages and having sold more than 200 million copies—and still going strong. The books are useful as a learning tool because Herge researched his settings and included a high degree of accurate detail from locations around the world in his story settings.
First seen as a newspaper comic strip, the stories tell of the adventures of a young reporter named Tintin and his dog Snowy. While the stories are sometimes referred to as formulaic, Herge used his own sense of humor to develop characters that young readers can really identify with. Tintin sometimes makes mistakes and jumps to conclusions (even though Snowy, who has his own “thought bubbles” in the stories, knows better) but in the end, he always thinks things out and solves the mystery.
There were a total of 24 Tintin books written, the last left incomplete when Herge died in 1983, with titles like The Black Island, The Seven Crystal Balls and Explorers on the Moon.
Tintin was written in a time when not very many people traveled, there was no TV, and radio was limited—and these books opened up a window to the world for many young readers—and reluctant readers can still benefit from this today.