Marcus Johnson has just been named star quarterback for the Marina High School Pirates. Former quarterback Brad Timmerman will do anything to depose this new rival and regain his position and popularityincluding setting up Marcus with Maria Cruz, who is HIV positive. As secrets are exposed, this encounter will shake the halls of Marina High and change the lives of these students forever. AIDS in the End Zone approaches HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention through a compelling narrative with high school drama, the dangers of high-risk behaviors, and the benefits of public health resources. The graphic novella is the result of an innovative collaboration between editors Kendra S. Albright and Karen W. Gavigan, illustrator Sarah Petrulis, and the authorsstudents at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ).
Albright and Gavigan began this project in response to research indicating that the graphic novel format is a highly successful educational tool for motivating young adults to read. They chose HIV/AIDS as their topic because South Carolina ranks eighth in the nation for new HIV cases, while the capital city of Columbia ranks sixth nationally among metropolitan areas. By working with teen students at the SCDJJ, Albright and Gavigan were able to develop characters, a storyline, setting, and dialog as a collaborative projectengaging the students in the public health subject matter as well as in the creative process. This project was funded in part by a grant from the Association for Library and Information Science Education.
About the Author
Kendra S. Albright is an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research has focused on the role of information and communication in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and domestic violence and the ways in which people feel about different kinds of messages across different cultures.
Karen W. Gavigan is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include the use of graphic novels in schools and libraries and the instructional role of the school librarian. With Mindy Tomasevich, Gavigan is co-author of Connecting Comics to Curriculum: Strategies for Grades 6-12 and the "Connecting Comics to Curriculum" column in Library Media Connection.
Sarah Petrulis studied illustrations and painting at the University of South Carolina and the School of Visual Arts in New York.