Murder Mystery, Graphic Novels, and More
Innovative Programs for Engaging Teens in Your Library
by Thane Benson
June 2019, 133pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-6136-9
$45, £34, 38€, A65
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6137-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Provides a wealth of ideas for engaging teens in different creative workshops.

This book offers step-by-step details on how to plan and execute library workshops and programs to inspire creativity in teens.

Music, movies, graphic novels, and magazines for teens are now commonplace in libraries, and librarians are in a unique position to go beyond simply providing teens with access to them; they can engage teens in creating and sharing their own original content. Written in a light, accessible manner, this book empowers youth services librarians to do just that.

Murder Mystery, Graphic Novels, and More provides instruction on hosting creative workshops dedicated to creating and publishing graphic novels; writing and performing interactive murder mystery events; creating animation films; and more—all within a reasonable budget. The chapter on creating graphic novels is itself an original graphic novel drawn by the author, who is also a comic book artist, and a portion of the book lists and explains different “creativity games” both short and long that may be used as everything from icebreakers to exercises to programs in their own right.


  • Empowers librarians to teach graphic novel creation, create murder mystery events, make animated films, and offer other creative programs on a shoestring budget
  • Provides exercises and games librarians can use to kick-start creativity in teens
  • Includes other fun elements such as further information offered in word bubbles in the graphic novel section and a built-in flip book
Thane Benson is librarian for Denver Public Library. He works with teens to create original programming that fosters creativity and encourages expression among young people. When he is not at the library, Benson moonlights as an independent comic book and graphic novel creator. He is the writer and artist of the infernal mystery graphic novel Burnt, the adventure comic book miniseries Quick: The Clockwork Knight, and the comic strip Mr. Skizz. Benson also writes and draws the ongoing noir serial web comic HellHole, which updates weekly on


"Many useful ideas make this a handy manual. VERDICT: A go-to for overworked librarians who want to bring some pizzazz to their programming."—School Library Journal, October 1, 2019
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