[caption id="attachment_118961" align="alignleft" width="150"] Supporters say graphic novels help students develop language skills, reinforce vocabulary, and develop critical thinking skills, among other benefits.[/caption]

In an honors English class at Alan B. Shepard High School near Chicago, sophomores are analyzing Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" with the help of another book filled with drawings and dialogue that appears in bubbles above characters' heads.

"Capote in Kansas" is what generations of kids would recognize as a comic book, though it has a fancier name—a graphic novel.

That honors students at the Palos Heights, Ill., high...

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