DROP EVERYTHING and RUN TO BUY at least one of these new graphic novels. You will love them and so will your kids!
Every now and then, I read a book that feels perfect to me — the writing, the plot, the characters, the pacing, all of the things that make up a book work in harmony with absolute precision. Cress Watercress was like that a few months back. Genuinely perfect and will be one I always recommend forever and ever.
And now, with a completely different vibe but equally as compelling comes The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett. Besides being a peek inside Barnett’s goofy and creative brain, it’s a silliness fest of adventurous genius. I love absolutely everything about it.
But, that’s not all the goodness I am sharing with you today. There are even MORE amazing new graphic novels that I couldn’t put down to tell you about.
Let’s dive into the latest middle-grade graphic novels that I love and think you will, too.
Compelling New Graphic Novels (May 2022)
First Cat in Space by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris
Absurdly hysterical, this is a bizarrely perfect adventure in space! When rats eat a second of the moon, the world’s leaders send their secret weapon– a cat and a stowaway toenail-clipping robot. The two adventurers meet the Queen of Moonopolis who leads them beneath the moon’s surface through the mine tunnels where they have more silly adventures like befriending a whale, camping and eating pizza, discovering names (like the “Sea of Tranquility”) are VERY misleading, becoming pirates, answering a sphynx’s riddle, I could go on…but basically it’s all bizarre and hilarious and wonderful. Then, the spaceship’s computer joins the Rat King’s side with revenge in mind and when the heroes arrive at the Rat King’s they GET CAPTURED. But, don’t worry — somehow they’ll escape. Right?
Your Pal Fred by Michael Rex
Fred is a former kids’ toy robot who brings kindness (and STICKERS!) to a war-filled dystopian world– and you will love his genuine good nature and hopeful attitude in the midst of war, injustice, and chaos. When Fred discovers that two warlords are capturing innocent people to fight as soldiers for them, Fred knows what he has to do–ask the two bad guys to try peace. He irritates and surprises everyone he meets with his cheerfulness and positive attitude, even when he’s caught and “tortured” with drumming, which, of course, he loves. His character oozes charm, you can’t help but love him–along with the other curious characters that he meets. Will Fred succeed on his seemingly impossible mission? Funny, warmhearted, and interesting, this is the most unique dystopian world adventure that I’ve ever read.
Aquanaut by Dan Santat
Wildly imaginative and totally enthralling, this is a heartfelt story of family, legacy, and protecting animals. Ever since Sophia’s father died in a shipwreck, she’s lived with her workaholic scientist uncle who runs the theme park called Aqualand. When a lumbering “aquanaut” stumbles into the park, Sophia discovers that it’s a deep-sea diver’s body controlled by sea creatures in its head. The creatures give Sophia her father’s journal and together they uncover a nefarious plot by greedy investors. To save the park’s sea creatures, Sophia and the Aquanaut release them back into the wild. But will her uncle see the truth about his investors and about his brother’s last wishes?
Prisoner of Shiverstone by Linette Moore
In a mysterious “all is not as it seems” story, shipwrecked Helga sneaks onto a remote island where mad scientists are kept separate from mainlanders. Her goal is to rescue her grandfather from his imprisonment inside a giant crystal. With the help of a specialized robot, she searches the island for components to make a crystal-breaking machine. The writing is excellent plus I loved the world-building and wanted to know what would happen next. This is a fast-paced delight of science and adventure!
Legend of Brightblade by Ethan M. Alddridge
Elf prince Alto runs away to become a bard while his mom negotiates a peace treaty with the trolls. He befriends a troll and they form a musical group. Before he can go on a big adventure, he witnesses another bard group using magic that controls listeners, pushing them to violence, and overhears their sinister plot for the leaders of the elves and troll. Alto, Ebbe, and another new friend named Clarabel know they must warn Alto’s family and stop the bad magic before it’s too late. If you like magical fantasy worlds, you’ll love this story about pursuing your passion, making friends who become family, and the magic of music.
Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Myisha Haynes
An updated Anne of Green Gables story — with a modern Anne, a foster child in the 8th grade, who moves in with a brother and sister. Anne talks non-stop (which is a bit much for her new foster mom) and occasionally loses her temper. But she’s a smart girl who learns from her mistakes. She loves having a room of her own, a best friend, and soon, a forever family. And she even makes friends with her nemesis, Gilbert, when they work on a robotics team together.