walking the wire for literacy

Click the image above to learn more about Wireman Comics, an incredible series of comics designed especially for struggling readers.

This series is engaging and effective: the first four issues load readers with 50% of the most commonly-used words in English, all through amazing graphics and a compelling storyline. Plus, there’s no “beginning reader” label emblazoned on the cover. Readers can feel confident reading the comicbooks in public, without fear of the stigma associated with illiteracy.

The truth is, illiteracy is far more widespread in the U.S. than we’d like to think.  Now more than ever, students who want to compete in a tough job market need the skills to become great writers.  And great writing begins with great reading.

You can help fund the next installment in this impressive series by visiting Wireman Comics‘ Indiegogo campaign. With just 18 days left, will you spread the word and help bring the next chapter of this story to life?

I first learned of Wireman creator Sue Stauffacher when I was working as managing editor for Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac. I reviewed Tillie the Terrible Swede, her illustrated story of the first woman to win the world cycling championships. Interviewing Stauffacher about the process of writing the book, I learned that there’s a lot more to her art than great storytelling. She’s an activist for at-risk youth and a literacy warrior.


After publishing Tillie, Sue took the story’s message on the road, riding 254 miles from her home in Battle Creek, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois. Along the way, she stopped at underserved schools to give a presentation about Tillie Anderson, encouraging children to read and ride bicycles for fun and health.

Sue told me: “I wanted kids to learn that stories about people can inspire a new generation, and what happens when you’re inspired is how the characters ‘live outside the books.’”

This summer, help Wireman ‘live outside the books’ by funding the next installment in the saga. Loyal readers are waiting to find out what happens next! Give what you can, and encourage your friends to do the same.

Thank you!



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