AGE-APPROPRIATE GUIDELINES

At LibraryPass™, we believe that comic books, graphic novels, and manga offer an incredible opportunity to engage readers of all abilities and ages, and Comics Plus® is our unique gateway into that diverse and engaging world. Our staff includes experienced teachers, librarians, and publishing professionals, and we fully support the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements, and this informs our Collection Development Plan, including our age-appropriate guidelines.

We wholeheartedly believe the library has a unique responsibility of introducing young citizens to the world of information, and they have the right to a relevant, balanced, and diverse library collection that represents all reasonable points of view. As such, we aim to provide unlimited access to a broad range of ideas and information through Comics Plus, and we purposefully partner with a variety of publishers to curate materials that offer diverse viewpoints across a variety of subject areas, including well-known favorites and under-the-radar gems.

We also understand that providing age-appropriate materials is a primary concern for librarians, educators, and parents, and that appropriateness can often be a subjective judgement that’s different in every school and library system. We take that part of our curation process very seriously, following a specific set of guidelines to determine appropriate age ranges for every title we offer, and make them publicly available for maximum transparency.

Our Reconsideration of Materials Policy offers our customers a process to request a review of age-appropriateness of individual titles or the removal of specific titles from their Comics Plus collection. Each request will be reviewed and evaluated solely in accordance with the principles and guidelines stated in our Collection Development Plan, and a decision will be rendered within one business week after the request is acknowledged.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, or how they’ve been applied to specific titles, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@librarypass.com.

K-3/Ages 5-7

  • Readers: Beginning and early readers in preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school; reluctant and remedial readers in elementary.
  • Format: Easy readers and picture books; comic books with simplified panel layouts, including comic strips.
  • Language: Simplified word balloons; no swearing.
  • Content: Story intensity, action, and violence should be similar to G-rated movies, reflecting age-appropriate experiences.
  • Educational value: Readers in this age range will benefit from content that supports school-readiness, including social-emotional skills such as self-control. Younger children will benefit from content that supports the transition to first grade, such as early reading and writing skills, basic math functions, and problem-solving. Stories should expose them to diverse experiences; encourage them to think about other people’s lives; or teach them about different times and places.
  • Comics Plus Package(s): Elementary, Children’s LibraryAll-Access for SchoolsAll-Access for Public Libraries

Gr 3-5/Ages 8-10

  • Readers: Elementary school age readers; reluctant and remedial readers in elementary through early middle school.
  • Format: Regular comic books and manga with simplified panel layouts, including comic strips.
  • Language: While some readers in this range can handle mild profanity, particularly in a humorous context, every family has different rules about swearing, so a very conservative approach is required at this level.
  • Content: Story intensity, action, and violence should be similar to PG-rated movies, reflecting age-appropriate experiences. Romantic relationships and scenes of affection between partners (hugging, holding hands) are age-appropriate; emphasizing beauty, hypersexualized appearances, sexual behaviors, and stereotyped sexual roles is not age-appropriate. Drinking, drugs, smoking, and risky stunts aren’t age-appropriate.
  • Educational value: Readers in this age range will benefit from content that supports school-readiness, including social-emotional skills such as self-control. Older children are often reading for pleasure, so stories can build on school lessons from a full range of subjects, including history and science. Stories should expose them to diverse experiences; encourage them to think about other people’s lives; or teach them about different times and places.
  • Comics Plus Package(s)Elementary, Middle SchoolChildren’s Library, All-Access for SchoolsAll-Access for Public Libraries

Gr 6-8/Ages 11-14

  • Readers: Active readers in upper elementary and middle school; reluctant and remedial readers in high school.
  • Format: Comic books, manga, hybrid prose/comics; more sophisticated panel layouts.
  • Language: Mild profanity is age-appropriate in small doses, but every family has different rules about swearing, so a conservative approach is advisable.
  • Content: Action and violence similar to a Star Wars movie, scare factor similar to a Harry Potter movie; basically light PG-13. At this age, readers can grapple with historical contexts of violence, including violence experienced by particular social groups. Humor on the slightly naughty and gross side, and mild potty humor are age-appropriate. Kissing and dating are age-appropriate; partial or full nudity and simulated sex are not age-appropriate. Disrespectful portrayals of characters as sexual objects or as sexual aggressors are not age-appropriate, nor is humor that relies on these themes.
  • Educational value: These readers are often reading for pleasure, so stories can build on school lessons from a full range of subjects, including history and science, and can expose them to diverse experiences, encourage them to think about other people’s lives, or teach them about different times and places.
  • Comics Plus Package(s)Middle School, High SchoolChildren’s Library, All-Access for SchoolsAll-Access for Public Libraries 

Gr 9-12/Ages 15-18

  • Readers: Active teenage readers in upper middle and high school; reluctant and remedial adult readers.
  • Format: All.
  • Language: Every family has different rules about swearing, so a conservative approach is always preferable; similar to the average PG-13 movie.
  • Content: Minimal violence; some blood, but no explicit, gratuitous, or excessive gore; similar to the average PG-13 movie. Some might have some nonsexual, partial nudity, or sexually suggestive content, but nothing graphically portrayed. Some humor depending on sexual innuendo is age-appropriate, but disrespectful portrayals of characters as sexual objects or as sexual aggressors are not age-appropriate, nor is humor that relies on these themes. Pairing sex and violence is not age-appropriate.
  • Educational value: Teenagers can glean educational value from less obvious lessons, and understand that negative situations can be educational, especially in a historical context. It’s important for teens to become global citizens and learning how other societies behave is a critical 21st-century skill. Stories can build on school lessons from a full range of subjects, including history and science, and can expose them to diverse experiences, encourage them to think about other people’s lives, or teach them about different times and places.
  • Comics Plus Package(s)High School, All-Access for SchoolsAll-Access for Public Libraries

Adult/Ages 18+

  • Readers: Mature teens and adult readers of all interests.
  • Format: All.
  • Language: Similar to the average PG-13 to R-rated movie.
  • Content: Explorations of mature themes with language and imagery appropriate for audiences 18 and over. Some titles may contain violence, blood, or even explicit gore; partial or full nudity may appear, but pornographic content is not included. Similar to a PG-13 or R-rated movie.
  • Educational value: Readers who enjoy complex concepts and nuanced storytelling in both fiction and nonfiction will be exposed to a diverse range of stories and experiences.
  • Comics Plus Package(s)All-Access for Public Libraries
  • Key Titles in Comics Plus: 30 Days of Night; American Gods; B.P.R.D.; Berserk; Catalyst Prime; Clumsy; Everything is Beautiful and I’m Not Afraid; From Hell; Gender Queer; Heavy Metal; Sin City; The Boys