80 Best Graphic Novels for Kids (+ Printable)

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The graphic novel format entices kids into stories with illustrated comics and compelling plots told primarily through dialogue. I love that kids (mine included) get excited to read and READ and read with the book form of graphic novels.

To be clear, while I do have graphic novels under my genre drop-down menu, they are not a genre. They’re a longer-form format of comics (comics are the medium) and can be any genre of fiction or non-fiction, from science fiction to realistic narrative stories, and classic novels to short stories.

And in case you’re wondering about manga — that’s the Japanese term for comic format featuring specific art styles which are read from right to left not right to left. (I can not make my brain do this — so I don’t have any manga book reviews.)

The quality of graphic novels continues to impress me with amazing stories, more representation, and literary devices like you expect in a prose book.

Kids need variety and choice to become good readers — and graphic novels count as reading! They are not for reluctant readers, they are for everyone.

So if you want to get your kids reading more, try these best comics and graphic novel recommendations!

And if you still don’t believe me, there are tons of benefits to reading graphic novels. Read those here. (Inference, prediction, and more.)

If you’re looking for graphic novels in series, visit this list of 38 titles.

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    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids

    Beginning Graphic Novels (for Readers Ages 6 – 9)

    Let's Pretend The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Zoe and Robot – Let’s Pretend by Ryan Sias 
    PRETEND
    Zoe really wants Robot to understand how to pretend in this cute first graphic novel from Balloon Toons!

    graphic novels for kids The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Barry’s Best Buddy 
    by Renee French
    FRIENDSHIP
    I LOVE this book and its many clever details. Polarhog takes his grumpy friend, Barry the Bird, for a walk. The walk and surprise at the end will entertain your kids – and you, too.

    best graphic novels for kids
    The Real Poop on Pigeons!
    by Kevin McCloskey
    PIGEON
    Learn how fast pigeons can fly (faster than a car!) and more fun facts. Readers will be convinced that pigeons are pretty great.

    best graphic novels for kids
    A Goofy Guide to Penguins
    by Jean-Luc Coudray & Philippe Coudray 
    PENGUINS
    A mix of groan-worthy penguin jokes and cool penguin facts, this is a delightful nonfiction graphic novel for beginning readers. The illustrations often answer the questions posed by the narrator penguin and are almost always silly.

    Owly: The Way Home by Andy Runton
    FRIENDSHIP
    It‘s hard for a predator like Owly to make friends. But when he saves a worm from a rainstorm, he makes a friend for life. His kindness and gentle spirit help him befriend more new friends after that.

    Guinea Pig Pet Shop Private Eye The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye by Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yue 
    MYSTERY
    This is a hilarious early chapter book /graphic novel about a detective who just happens to be a guinea pig and solve mysteries in the pet store.

    BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR ELEMENTARY
    We Dig Worms!
    by Kevin McCloskey
    WORMS
    I love, love, love this early reader book with eye-popping illustrations and one sentence of text per page that explains something about the worms. The author painted on recycled grocery bags giving this book a gorgeous, earthy feeling throughout.

    Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell by Melanie Watt
    HUMOR
    Scaredy Squirrel has many fears and therefore, elaborate coping strategies. In the first story, the scariest thing is an adorable pom-pom-tailed creature–a rabbit.


    Zita the Spacegirl
    by Ben Hatke
    SCI-FI
    One of our favorite graphic novels, Zita the Spacegirl is a true friend who not only saves her best friend from aliens but the galaxy as well!

    Bird and Squirrel on Ice The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Bird and Squirrel
     on Ice
     
    by James Burks
    HUMOR
    Hysterical! In this first book, Bird’s over-confident, laissez-faire character pairs perfectly with Squirrel’s logical, fearful one. The duo crash land in the Penguin world where Bird is dubbed the “Chosen One” meant to save the penguins from the Great Whale. 

    Expedition Backyard by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Binglin Hu 
    NATURE ADVENTURE
    Two best friends, Mole and Vole, go on adventures together in nature. When the two friends accidentally move to the city, they make the best of it. In the city, they have exciting new city nature adventures and discover new animal friends, sights, and sounds!

    The Flower Garden by Renee Kurilla
    FRIENDSHIP / FANTASY
    A flowery, magical graphic novel about friends Anna and Tessa’s small-sized adventure with a gnome friend who leads them around a garden world filled with tiny animals and gnome cities. During the exploration, one friend learns how to speak up for herself and one learns how to listen better. This book explodes with colorful, vibrant art.


    Cat Kid Comic Club
    by Dav Pilkey 
    WRITING / HUMOR
    Cat Kid teaches a class for the tadpoles about making your own comic books…which doesn’t go well until the tadpoles get excited about failure and get started writing and drawing. If you like a lot of silliness (including potty humor) with great messages about writing, creativity, and persistence, read this book next.

    Jop and Blip Wanna Know #1 by Jim Benton
    STEM / HUMOR
    If you like kooky stories, playful characters, and random facts, this beginning graphic novel for ages 6 to 10 is a hilarious and informative reading experience. Jop and Blip ponder topics like farts, words that begin with silent letters, perspective, dragons, and more — and as they discuss, you’ll learn a thing or ten.


    Mr. Wolf’s Class: Mystery Club
    by Aron Nels Steinke 
    MYSTERY
    The kids in Mr. Wolf’s class start a birthday and mystery club. First, they’ll investigate what happened to Mr. Green. Then Aziza’s frisbee. And also, if the girls’ bathroom really is haunted. Relatable friendship and school situations told in graphic format. This new series is VERY popular with growing readers.

    Magic Tree House The Graphic Novel Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne, adapted by Jenny Laird, illustrated by Kelly & Nichole Matthews
    HISTORICAL FICTION
    In this exceptional graphic novel adaptation, brother and sister Jack and Annie, find a magical treehouse filled with books. Jack begins a book on dinosaurs and wishes that he could travel to see them and zoom, they do! Annie befriends a flying dinosaur and they help save some baby dinosaurs.


    Pup Detectives
    by Felix Gumpaw 
    MYSTERY
    Someone keeps stealing all the lunches at Pawston Elementary, and it’s up to this group of mystery-solving dogs to investigate!
    Join Rider and her friends as they crack this lunchroom case once and for all. 

    Salem Hyde The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    The Misadventures of Salem Hyde Spelling Trouble
     by Frank Cammuso
    FANTASY
    What a hilarious character! Salem Hyde is an impulsive but very cute little witch who gets spelling words and spells mixed up. Fantastic!

    graphic novels for kids The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Ninjago “Warriors of Stone” 
    by Greg Farshtey and Jolyon Yates
    SCI-FI
    Another fun comic adventure with Jay, Cole, Zane, Kai, and Sensei. They find themselves in a world of stone — even the people are made of stone. If you have a Ninjago or LEGO fan, they’ll love this series of graphic novels.

    Babymouse Queen of the World The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Babymouse #1 Queen of the World!
    by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm 
    GROWING UP
    These crack-you-up stories will resonate with young readers as they follow Babymouse through her days at school and at home, frustrations with friends, and more.

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Hilo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
    by Judd Winick
    SCI-FI
    Hilo can’t remember what happened to him before D.J. finds him crashed landed on Earth. Hilo does remember an evil monster robot that has followed him to Earth. This ends on a cliff-hanger but is worth it — it’s a great page-turning adventure!


    The Sleepover and Other Stories (Fox + Chick)
    by Sergio Ruzzier
    FUNNY 
    Fox is serious and kind while Chick is goofy and playful. In this group of stories, they have a sleepover where Chick is scared of kangaroos but needs his stuffed kangaroo to sleep. Fox is puzzled by this. In another story, Chick asks Fox for a surprise birthday party — which is hilarious because it turns out that it’s not even Chick’s birthday.


    Giants Beware!
     
    by Jorge Aguirre illustrated by Rafael Rosado
    FANTASY
    Claudette is a dragon-slaying, mischievous girl who tricks her little brother and her best friend (a princess) into questing to kill the dragon. And, don’t worry, there is no killing of any dragons.


    Cat Ninja
    by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado
    SUPERHERO
    By day Claude is Leon’s pet but by night, he’s Cat Ninja, Metro City’s protector! His nemesis is Leon’s sister’s evil hamster, Master Hamster. Learn the Cat Ninja’s origin story then follow his perilous, exciting, and humorous adventures!

    comic books for kids The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Mr. Pants It’s Go Time!
    by Scott McCormick, illustrated by R.H. Lazzell
    HUMOR
    Mr. Pants really wants to go to laser tag but since he didn’t clean his room, his sister picks a visit to Fairy Princess Dream Factory. Fun and entertaining. 

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids

    Mal and Chad by Stephen McCranie 
    HUMOR
    A hilarious graphic novel book series about Mal, a young inventor, and his best sidekick, his dog, Chad. Perfect for growing readers and reminds me a little of the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.

    funny graphic novels and comics for kids
    Dog Man
    by Dav Pinkey
    HUMOR
    Weird. Quirky. Funny. I think all three describe this new graphic novel from the creator of Captain Underpants. In this story, a police officer and a dog are joined together — the top from the dog, the bottom from the officer to make: Dog Man. Dog Man solves crimes and has adventures, the likes of which will entertain you for hours.

    Banana Fox and the Secret Sour Society by James Kochalka
    HUMOR
    If you’re about 7-years-old and like very weird and wild stories that ONLY make sense to kids, you must meet Banana Fox. The book is filled with totally ridiculous humor (not potty humor) about Banana Fox whose goofy antics to stop the Secret Sour Society will keep you laughing the book.


    Hound Heroes: Beware the Claw
    by Todd H. Doodler, illustrated by Todd Goldman
    SUPERHERO DOGS / HUMOR
    When a spaceship crash lands, it gives a group of dog friends superpowers…and superhero outfits. Each dog in the group has a unique personality but none of the dogs take their powers seriously at first because they’re too busy wreaking havoc and goofing around. Until…the evil kitties TAKE OVER THE CITY!! Can the Hound Heroes save the day?


    King of the Birds
    by Elise Gravel
    FRIENDSHIP
    Arlo is the self-proclaimed king of the birds who befriends a cute yellow bird named Pip. Arlo explains his many talents to his new friend as they go on many adventures like visiting the big city and hunting for shiny things. Interspersed in the story are impressive crow facts (big brains, counting up to 6 objects, etc.).

    Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song
    HUMOR
    Norma and Belly are squirrel friends who really, really want a donut. Can they work together, sneak in a food truck, and have the biggest ever donut party ever? Minimal text, plenty of silliness, and a lovely surprise ending!

    The Bailey School Kids Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots by Pearl Low based on the novel by Marcia Thronton Jones and Debbie Dadey
    PARANORMAL
    After the misbehaving kids ran off the last teacher, the new teacher seems much worse — she seems like a vampire. Eddie is scared but continues to behave badly until Mrs. Jeepers pulls him out of class and puts a stop to his bad behavior once and for all.


    Baloney and Friends Going Up!
    by Greg Pizzoli
    HUMOR
    From writing a theme song to sleepovers to thinking deep thoughts, this book of stories showcases characters you can’t help but love including Baloney the pig, Bizz the bumblebee, Peanut the horse, and Krabbit the rabbit. Plus, read directions for drawing the characters with emotions in the back.

    Sparks by Ian Boothby, illustrated by Nina Matsumoto
    SUPERHERO
    After escaping the evil laboratory, cats August and Charlie help others in a “Super Dog” dog disguise. But their evil scientist nemesis, a diaper-wearing baby named Princess, will stop at nothing to recapture the escaped cats…and conquer the entire world. Filled with adventure, friendship, and humor!


    Fitz and Cleo
    by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Heather Fox
    FRIENDSHIP
    Want a new graphic novel for readers around ages 8 to 10? In this new book, two ghost siblings adopt a cat, go to the beach, play baseball, and more. Silliness abounds in the stories but their heartwarming relationships steal the show.


    Blue, Barry, & Pancakes
    by Dan & Jason
    HUMOR
    Blue the worm doesn’t want to share the beach ball with Barry and Pancakes because of what inevitably happens– they lose it. (Well, it’s swallowed by a whale.) The misadventures continue a silly cause & effect story, where one disaster leads to another even into outer space and a volcano but ends with a sweet celebration of friendship.

    Middle-Grade Graphic Novels (for Readers Ages 9 – 12)

    First Cat in Space by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris 
    SCI-FI
    Absurdly hysterical, this is a bizarrely perfect adventure in space with a cat and a toenail-clipping robot who journey into space to stop the rats from eating the moon. Silly adventures ensue –like befriending a whale, becoming pirates, and answering a sphynx’s riddle — plus plenty of drama and creative world-building.

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids

    Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
    FANTASY
    When two siblings and their mom move into a creepy inherited house after losing their father, they discover a magical amulet that warns them of danger. But their mom gets kidnapped and the siblings embark on an epic adventure to save their mom in an underground world of elves, demons, robots, and talking animals.

    Your Pal Fred by Michael Rex 
    SCI-FI
    Fred is a robot who brings kindness (and STICKERS!) to a dystopian world he makes better in this funny, warmhearted, and interesting story. 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. Will Fred succeed on his seemingly impossible mission? 

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids

    Smile by Raina Telgemeier
    GROWING UP
    6th grade is hard enough for Raina but it’s even worse with braces, headgear, and friend troubles. My 10-year-old daughter loves this series that starts with Smile. She read Sisters four times the first week she owned it — they’re all excellent books and quite addictive. ALSO READ: Drama, Sisters

    Aquanaut by Dan Santat 
    REALISTIC (ish)
    Wildly imaginative and totally enthralling, this is a heartfelt story of family, legacy, and protecting animals. When a lumbering “aquanaut” controlled by sea creatures stumbles into the Aqualand theme park, Sophia and the creatures uncover a nefarious plot by greedy investors. To save the park’s 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?


    Act
    by Kyla Miller
    REALISTIC
    Olive is upset when she learns that a classmate can’t afford the fees for a class field trip. Her aunt suggests that Olive organize a protest. After researching, she starts a petition and organizes a sit-in. Then she runs for student council and she learns about other big issues students face that should be changed and works hard to make a difference.

    Big Nate Welcome to My World Review - good graphic novels for kids
    Big Nate Welcome to My World
    by Lincoln Peirce
    HUMOR
    Big Nate’s life at school and home will keep kids laughing through the entire book. Hilarious!


    Katie the Catsitter
    by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue 
    SUPERHERO 
    Katie desperately wants to join her friends at their summer camp. To earn money, she gets a job for her neighbor Madeline catsitting 217 super-smart cats with destructive behaviors and powerful abilities. Just when she realizes that her neighbor might be the supervillain, Moustress, Moustress gets captured. Katie decides she and the cats must save their friend.

    best graphic novels for kids
    All’s Faire in Middle School
    by Victoria Jamieson
    GROWING UP
    Growing up, Imogene (aka. Impy) always loved her family’s part in the Renaissance Faire . . . that is, until middle school. Even though she gets her dream to work in the faire as a squire, she also just wants to be like the other girls at her school. Her journey is painful and honest as she figures out who she wants to be.


    I Survived The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (Graphic Novel)
    by Lauren Tarshis, Georgina Ball, illustrated by Haus Studio
    HISTORY
    Retold in a graphic novel format, this tells the story of a boy on the Titanic who is traveling with his mom and sister to reunite with his father in the United States. If you have a reader who prefers graphic novels, give this historical fiction book a try.

    My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun
    GROWING UP
    Four sweet stories of Yu’er and her grandpa show their warm bond and Yu’er’s adventures around their Beijing, Japan neighborhood. The first story is about Yu’er’s desire to compete in the Special Olympics. Other stories include defending herself from bullies with the help of a new friend as well as a magical old mailbox that transports Yu’er through time. This is a beautifully illustrated book of stories that feels nostalgic and heartwarming.

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids

    The Baby-Sitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin, illustrated by Raina Telemeter 
    FRIENDSHIP
    This classic chapter book series is now retold in cartoons! Four best friends work together to handle all sorts of issues — from babysitting to emergencies, to competition from other babysitters. Your kids will love these excellent, addictive stories. ALSO READ: (The Truth About Stacey #2Mary Ann Saves the Day #3)

    best graphic novels middle grade books
    Phoebe and Her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle
    by Dana Simpson
    HUMOR
    Sarcastic and hilarious, this is a laugh-out-loud comic book series about a precocious young girl and her reluctant unicorn “best friend.” 
    My kids and I adore these characters and love this new book. It’s one we’ll read over and over again. BOXED SET

    best graphic novels for kids
    Click
    by Kayla Miller 
    GROWING UP
    Click is an excellent, relatable book about friendships and finding your place. When the talent show is announced, everyone in Olive’s friend group groups up without her, and she feels left out. Olive’s cool aunt helps Olive get ideas for something on her own — and she decides to be the host of the talent show!


    Camp
    by Kayla Miller 
    SUMMER CAMP / GROWING UP
    A story not just about a summer camp experience but also about the challenges of friendship, particularly when you have a friend who is clingy, wants to be your only friend and is jealous of other people. That is hard for Olive! She wants to be Willow’s friend but she also likes other people. Honest and relatable, this is helpful road map to how you might handle your own friendships.


    5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior
    by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun 
    SCI-FI (series)
    Gorgeous artwork sets the tone for an otherworldly story of five worlds that are falling into chaos. When one world attacks another, Oona Lee, a sand dancer, rescues two boys and they journey on a mission to light the unlit Beacons in order to save the worlds. But, they face a dark force and a devastating betrayal.


    Animal Rescue Friends
    by Meika Hashimoto, Gina Loveless, and Genevieve Kote
    REALISTIC
    Interconnected stories of children’s lives show how they find solace and purpose through the Animal Rescue Friends shelter. Each child’s character is well-developed and we feel connected to their story and to their life. Kids who love animals will fall in love with this beautiful, appealing graphic novel.

    best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Awkward
    by Svetlana Chmakova
    GROWING UP
    My 10-year old found this book SO RELATABLE — just like she struggles with confidence and speaking up, so does the main character, Peppi. This well-done graphic novel tackles the issues of friendships and confidence, among other things. (So glad I’m not in middle school anymore.) We highly recommend this graphic novel.


    Brave
    by Svetlana Chmakova
    BULLYING
    Jensen is the miserable target of the school’s bullies attacks. Friends, Jenny and Akilah think that they can use the newspaper to help him, but their plans without Jensen’s consent hurts their friendship. The ups and downs and challenges of Jensen’s life (that he relates to a video game) as he struggles with self-esteem, stop the bullies, and find his place in the world.


    Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad!
    by Nathan Hale
    HISTORY
    Boy readers especially like this series much more than me with its sarcastic tone and the violence. No doubt, these introduce kids to history and can motivate kids to read so those are good things. This particular story takes place during the American Civil War focusing on the ironclad steam warships with the battles, other military aspects of the war, and real people like William Cushing.


    Major Impossible
    by Nathan Hale
    HISTORY
    After the Civil War, Major John Wesley Powell sets off on a perilous expedition through the Grand Canyon. The story begins with his life as a child and it 100% action and dialogue. 


    The Okay Witch
    by Emma Steinkellner 
    FANTASY
    The other kids bully Moth when she dresses up as a witch for Halloween prompting a reaction that can only be MAGIC! Her mom reluctantly reveals to Moth that her family of witches gets their powers around age 13. Even though Moth wants to learn more, her mom won’t teach her. She’s helped by a talking cat and her mom’s magical diary yet it’s not until she learns more about her grandmother and the family legacy that she understands her powers.

    best graphic novels for kids

    New Kid by Jerry Craft
    GROWING UP / RACISM
    Jordan’s parents make him go to a private school across town where he’s one of the only kids of color. Besides having the tricky business of navigating friendships, he now must deal with the two separate worlds of his neighborhood and his school along with racism and balancing academics with his art. This story feels truthful, relatable, and important.

    Barb The Last Berzerker by Dan & Jason
    ADVENTURE / NORSE MYTHOLOGY (ish)
    Join Barb on a funny, gross, and adventurous quest to find the northern tribe of Zerks so they can help rescue her clan from the Witch Head has captured but Barb escaped. Before she did, Barb steals a special magical sword to help her become a Berzerker. As she travels, she’s joined by her yeti friend named Porkchop. Barb’s small but she’s brave and empathetic, both which help her with the snot goblins, a giant, and vampire goat fiends, eventually finding her way to the Northern Zerks. But will they help?


    Stepping Stones
    by Lucy Knisley
    GROWING UP / DIVORCE
    After her parents’ divorce, Jen moves to a farm with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend whose kids visit on the weekends. It’s a huge transition — she doesn’t love how bossy and whiney her stepsisters are and how annoying her mom’s boyfriend is. But she loves the chicks she takes care of and the farmer’s market.  Well, she loves it until her math skills aren’t good enough to be helpful. This story gently shows the ups and downs of living with a new family in a new place.


    Twins
    by Varian Johnson, illustrated by Shannon Wright
    SIBLINGS / GROWING UP
    This year in sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran and wants to do different things than her twin Maureen. Maureen doesn’t understand but at least she has her other friends, right? Then, Fran decides to run for school president and so does Maureen. Will their relationship ever be the same? This book takes readers inside the world of twins, middle school, and changing friendships.


    Super Sidekicks #1: No Adults Allowed
    by Gavin Aung Than
    SUPERHERO
    Sick and tired of their superhero, the sidekicks (who happen to be kids) form their own team that includes a sidekick named Goo who used to belong to the evil Dr. Enok. First, the adult superheroes come to find out where they all are and then, the evil Dr. Enok arrives and kidnaps back Goo. The sidekicks must take action to rescue their new friend. Kid-power, friendship, teamwork, and adventure, this graphic novel is sure to be a hit with 8 to 12-year-old readers!

    best graphic novels for elementary and middle school
    Pashmina
    by Nidhi Chanani
    GROWING UP
    Pashmina is about a girl finding her place in the world. She travels to India to meet her extended family and finds answers about the magical shawl her mother owns. This is a lovely coming of age middle-grade graphic novel conveyed in incredible, irresistible art.


    Guts
    by Raina Telgemeier 
    REALISTIC
    An amazing, honest, and relatable memoir about a topic that is very necessary for children’s literature– anxiety. As in her previous books, Raina shares her own life story, how in elementary school, her fears and anxieties led to terrible stomach aches, days of missed school, and time in therapy. Guts sensitively delves into the mind-body connection, showing therapy in a positive light. When Raina shares her big secret of going to therapy, her friends aren’t judgmental.


    Green Lantern Legacy
    by Minh Le, illustrated by Angie Tong
    SUPERHERO
    Excellent! Before Tai’s Vietnamese grandmother dies, she gives him her Jade ring. He wears it and discovers that he’s a Green Lantern who must protect the earth from evil like Sinesteo. Not long after, he discovers that the rich guy trying to take over the neighborhood for redevelopment turns out to be a Yellow Lantern working for Sinesteo. Lots of action, intrigue, and humor!


    Allergic
    by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter 
    REALISTIC
    A well-done middle-grade graphic novel about a child with allergies! Maggie is devastated that she’s allergic to the puppy she’s finally allowed to get and even more sad when her new neighbor gets a puppy, too. Eventually, the two friends work out a solution for hanging out that won’t be a problem for Maggie’s allergies. The story ends with Maggie helping with her new baby sister and feeling like she doesn’t need an animal pet anymore.

    Strubble Town Squirrel Do Bad by Stephan Pastis
    HUMOR
    Because of her overprotective dad, Wendy the Wanderer is stuck inside all day–until her dad takes a trip and she gets an inattentive teenage babysitter. You might be able to predict that this story will be a cascade of funny cause and effect.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Apocalypse Taco
    by Nathan Hale 
    SCI-FI
    Hale hits it out of the park in this quirky, wild sci-fi adventure! Three theater friends take a weird trip to a taco drive-through that turns into oozing mutant creatures taking over the world. They meet a weird-looking creature of many arms and legs named Wendy who tells them that it was her roommate who started the world-ending disaster. Crazy mutant science experiments never looked so good.


    Ham Helsing Vampire Hunter
    by Rich Moyer
    FANTASY / HUMOR / ADVENTURE
    If you like adventure, some potty humor, surprising plot twists, and characters like treasure-seeking rats, a vampire hunting pig, an evil chicken, a vampire pig, and a wolf-shifter boy, then do not miss this entertaining story with heart and humor. And instead of vampire hunting, the hunter and vampire team up to fight the evil spider-woman who has been terrorizing the town, becoming friends instead of enemies. And the ending?–Perfection!

    Big Hero 6 #1: The Series by Hong Gyun An
    SUPERHERO
    I love this completely new, exciting story (not a rehash of the movie nor is it a manga) that captures the complexities of Hiro’s new life as both a college student and superhero with his friends Baymax, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred.
    As superheroes, they’re trying to defeat a mother/daughter villain team called High Voltage. But at school, Hiro is assigned a mentor who hates him named Karmi, a student who was previously the youngest there until Hiro. And his schoolwork challenges seem overwhelming. Hiro learns from Baymax how his older brother also failed but continued to persevere. Adventurous and fun to read!

    Glitch by Sarah Graley
    VIDEO GAMER
    Izzy gets sucked into her new video game, learning she’s the chosen one who must save Dungeon City. She struggles to balance her virtual task and new friend Rae with her real-life with school, her family, and best friend Eric. It’s an action-packed adventure with relatable characters, humor, and good vs. evil.


    This Was Our Pact
    by Ryan Andrews
    FANTASY
    A compelling graphic novel adventure filled with curiosity, magic, and friendship –as well as a talking bear, a map-drawing crow, and a special journey to the stars. Every year for Autumn Equinox, the town sends lanterns down the river to join the stars in the sky. Curious, Ben and Nathaniel, follow the lanterns on their bikes. Soon, they meet a talking fisherbear and are imprisoned by a potions maker before they eventually learn the unexpected, magical truth about the stars.


    The Crossover
    by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anybwile
    GROWING UP
    The Crossover graphic novel version is a fast-paced read that packs a big punch visually and emotionally. Kids love Alexander’s lyrical writing and how he seems to just “get” the teenage human condition. Basketball player and twin Josh narrates his life in quarters, just like the game he plays. He writes about missing his twin when his twin, Jordan, gets a girlfriend. He shares about getting into trouble when he hits Jordan in the face with a basketball. And he reveals the pain of watching his father as his heart fails.

    Bone The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Bone #1: Out from Boneville
    by Jeff Smith 
    ADVENTURE
    Adventure, excitement, and humor fill these captivating stories of a young bone boy named Bone and his cousins who are banned from Boneville. The illustrations capture each character’s depth so well, and the dialogue will crack you up.


    Roller Girl
     by Victoria Jamieson
    GROWING UP
    Roller Girl shows the struggles of friendship and finding your place in the world as Astrid works hard to become a better roller derby skater, reconcile that her best friendship has ended, and develop a new one. (I recommend going to a roller derby event with your kids to help them know more about this cool sport for girls — it’s such a blast and would be helpful for reading this book, but not essential.) Well-written and relatable.


    Kyle’s Little Sister
    by BonHyung Jeong 
    REALISTIC
    Grace constantly lives in her brother’s shadow, only having two friends who like her for her. But when the trio gets into a big fight, will their friendship be able to survive? And when will everybody stop comparing her to Kyle!?


    Cucumber Quest 1: The Doughnut Kingdom
    by Gigi D.G.
    GRAPHIC NOVEL / FANTASY ADVENTURE
    When the kingdoms of Dreamside need a hero, his parents send Cucumber, a not-adventurous or brave magician. Fortunately, his heroically inclined little sister, Almond, arrives just in the nick of time to save Cucumber the first of many dangers. Together, they set off to find the Dream Sword and stop the evil queen and her Nightmare Knight. Adapted from the Cucumber Quest webcomic.

     
    Pilu of the Woods
    by Mai K. Nguyen
    EMOTIONS
    Willow’s uncomfortable emotions are monsters in bottles who keep escaping in bursts of mean words. In the woods, she meets a runaway Magnolia tree spirit named Pilu. Eventually, as Willow and Pilu talk, Willow realizes that the uncomfortable emotion monsters are a part of her; that if she is kind and listens to them, they won’t be as big. Introspective, sensitive, and important– this is a dazzling openhearted journey of self-discovery and healthy emotional growth.


    Miles Morales: Shock Waves
    by Justin A. Reynolds & Pablo Leon
    SUPERHERO
    In this Spider-Man graphic novel adventure, Miles Morales is faced with a problem. As he struggles to juggle both his superhero and civilian lives at the same time, a fellow student’s father suddenly goes missing with just a few too many connections to strange supernatural activity in the area. Can he figure out what’s going on and save this innocent civilian? 

    Hera best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Hera: The Goddess and her Glory
    by George O’Conner
    GREEK MYTHOLOGY
    Both my kids love O’Conner’s graphic novels and can’t wait for his next book, Hades. If you’re big Greek mythology fans, check out his other books, Athena and Zeus: King of the Gods.

    The Nameless City best graphic novels for kids
    The Nameless City
    by Faith Erin Hicks with Jordie Bellaire 
    ADVENTURE
    First in an Asian-influenced series about an occupied city, we meet two kids from different clans and backgrounds who become unlikely friends. Kaidu is a Dao and new to the Nameless City where he’s studying to be a soldier. Rat is a street girl who teaches Kaidu how to survive in the city. Together they save the city’s leader from an assassination plot. The action and characters are compelling.

    best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Baba Yaga’s Assistant
     by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Emily Carroll
    FAIRY TALE
    Courageous and adventurous Masha knows Baba Yaga from her grandmother’s stories. After her grandmother dies, and her father remarries, Masha decides to become Baba Yaga’s assistant. To pass Baba Yaga’s tests, Masha uses her wits and the stories from her grandmother. She thinks she will fail when she rescues three children from Baba Yaga’s cage but she passes. Excellent storytelling and illustrations kept me totally enthralled in this not-your-average-fairy tale story.


    Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier
    by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
    BIOGRAPHIES
    What a fascinating, informative look at the difficult road that women faced in their journey to become astronauts! Despite facing misogynistic attitudes, American women persisted in their quest to become astronauts. Meanwhile, the Russians started a female space program and launched a woman astronaut long before the U.S. did. Eventually, the U.S. caught up and you’ll be inspired by the stories of these fascinating trailblazers.


    Black Heroes of the Wild West
    by James Otis Smith
    BIOGRAPHIES
    This exceptional graphic novel contains three compelling biographies of little-known individuals who lived during the Old West. Smith is an exceptional storyteller and you’ll be pulled into the stories immediately. Read about Stagecoach Mary, a former slave who had the most interesting life that included many jobs, and Bob Lemmons whose horse training skills helped him capture a wild mustang stallion.


    When Stars Are Scattered
    by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy
    MEMOIR
    In an emotional true story of a Somali boy and his brother who grow up in a Kenyan refugee camp, readers are transported into their day-to-day lives filled with hunger and boredom. Omar doesn’t attend the dusty camp school until age 11 because he cares for his younger brother Hassan with special needs until their kind older guardian takes over. When the brothers get an interview with the UN, Omar gets his hopes up…but they’re not approved. Years pass with many struggles yet education and the camp friendships continue to be bright spots for Omar. The book ends with a bittersweet, wonderful new beginning.

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    The Croc Ate My Homework
    by Stephan Pastis
    HUMOR
    This book is so funny I can hardly stand it. My kids LOVED this book, as did I. The crocs are not the smartest and their stupidity will keep you thoroughly entertained. You’ll be sharing page after page with your family, friends, and neighbors.

    Human Body Theater - best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Human Body Theater: A Nonfiction Revue
    by Maris Wicks
    SCIENCE
    This nonfiction graphic novel ROCKS! It should be required reading for students studying the human body because the information presented this way is so memorable and understandable. I love Skeleton’s narration and the awesomely cute illustrations of every body system from the smallest cell parts to the biggest organs.

    The Bright Family by Matthew Cody and Carol Burrell, illustrated by Derick Brooks
    SCI-FI
    It’s a wild trip into new worlds when Jayden sneaks into his dad’s lab and accidentally sends his mom and dad into a dimensional portal, then jumps in after them with his sister, Nia, and their robot nanny, Dusty. The siblings work together to face beasts, weather perils, and an entire species before they eventually reunite with their parents. If you like epic adventures in space and relatable characters with heart, don’t miss this first book in a new series.

    Rapunzels Revenge best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Rapunzel’s Revenge
    by Shannon Hale & Dale Hale
    FANTASY
    One of the BEST books, not just graphic novels, EVER! This Rapunzel uses her long braids to lasso the bad guys in the wild west. 

    Ms. Marvel Stretched Thin by Nadia Shammas, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali
    SUPERHERO
    Juggling school, family, and being a secret superhero is tiring and stressful for Kamala Khan, aka. Ms. Marvel. When a robot attacks Avengers Tower, Kamala’s stretched too thin (literally) and learns to rely on her team which helps her become more confident in her problem-solving abilities. A great read with a likable main character.


    Conspiracy of Ravens
    by Leah Moore, John Reppion, and Sally Jane Thompson 
    FANTASY
    An action-packed fantasy graphic novel about a girl named Anne who inherits an estate called Ravenhall and a magical locket from a long-lost relative. Anne discovers that the locket connects her to the power of ravens; she can transport from one place to another. Not only that, Anne learns that other girls also are also descendants of the first group of magical women, each connected to magical jewelry and specific birds.


    Sanity & Tallulah
    by Molly Brooks 
    SCI-FI
    Sanity and Tallulah are two good friends who live on a space station. Sanity is a brilliant inventor — but her newest (illegal) creation, a three-headed kitten named Princess Destroyer of Worlds has escaped and is living up to her name — destroyer. The friends look for their missing kitten but instead discover a big problem that will destroy the space station. I love the space station setting, the super-smart problem-solving main characters, and the non-stop action.


    Anti/Hero
    by Kate Karyus Quinn & Demitria Lunetta, illustrated by Maca Gil 
    SUPERHERO
    Piper and Sloan are girls who are opposite in almost every way– super-strong Piper is a superhero and genius Sloane is a villain. But when Piper catches Sloane with a stolen device, it switches them into each other’s body. Besides developing empathy about each other’s lives and struggles, it’s really tricky for them to pretend to be the other person. The girls work together to stop the Bear and switch back into their correct bodies. It’s an AWESOME story with an empowering message of empathy and friendship.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Star Scouts
    by Mike Lawrence 
    SCI-FI
    Not fitting in and finding your place in the world never was so out of this world! Avani hates her new school and the girls in her Flower Scouts troop who talk about makeup and boys. When she’s accidentally abducted by a friendly alien named Mabel, Avani joins Mabel’s Star Scout troop– a more crazy and adventurous group than her human troop, just like she wants. It’s always important to find your tribe of friends, even if they’re aliens. This is a fantastic romp through space with stunning illustrations.


    Agent 9
    by James Burkes 
    ADVENTURE
    Agent 9 is a cat secret agent who’s currently on probation for how reckless she is on her missions. What will she do when the entire rest of her organization gets captured by the evil King Crab, and only she can help?


    Be Prepared
    by Vera Brosgol 
    REALISTIC
    Russian summer camp is not what Vera was hoping … at least until she finds a new friend. (Which takes awhile, lots of valuable life lessons, and many mishaps.) This is a slice-of-life glimpse into the author’s own summer camp experience. The illustrations are in green, black, and white, not full color.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
    by Joseph Lambert 
    BIOGRAPHY
    I’ll admit that it took me a few chapters to embrace the cursive font used to write the diary entries that often punctuate the action and dialogue of the panels. Once I did, I could fully immerse myself in the story. And I’m so glad — because it was excellent! The book shows both Annie and Helen’s strengths and weaknesses as well as really significant character arcs. If you don’t know the story, or even if you do, read this book. You’ll be entranced with how laborious it was to teach Helen yet how Annie’s persistence paid off.

    Best graphic novels for kids
    Science Comics: Bats Learning to Fly
    by Falynn Koch
    SCIENCE
    Factual information is embedded within this story about a lost little bat who observes a tour group in the desert learning about bats from a tour guide. When the little bat gets hurt, he’s taken to a wild animal hospital where he meets other kinds of bats. At the hospital, the bats lively conversations help the little brown bat learn more about bats — what they eat, how they fly, different species, echolocation, and where they live. SO well done!

    best graphic novels for kids
    Lupin Leaps In: A Breaking Cat News Adventure
    by Georgia Dunn
    HUMOR
    Get the news that matters (to cats) as reported by three cats including one named Lupin. My daughter laughed her way through these funny cartoons. She stopped repeatedly to show me her favorite pages. Because when something is funny, you just want to share it! (Don’t miss the previous book, Breaking Cat News.)


    Cub
    by Cynthia L. Copeland
    MEMOIR
    Excellent! In this historical memoir, Cynthia Copeland shares about the time in her life when she got to be a “cub” reporter –when middle school was composed of predators and prey (she was prey), and she discovers her strength. While a mentor reporter helps Cynthia become interested in local and national politics and events like equal rights for women and Watergate, we also see Cynthia going “steady” with a boy and making new friends when her best friend dumped her. Wise, relatable, and thoroughly enjoyable to read, I loved this life snapshot of a girl coming into her own. (*Sensitive readers, this book includes the word cr*p.)

    Prisoner of Shiverstone by Linette Moore
    ADVENTURE
    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
    FANTASY
    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.

    best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Secret Coders: Get with the Program
     by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
    STEM 
    What’s happening at Hopper’s new school? She and her friends discover something very amazing about the birds — they’re robotic and can be controlled by numbers. Which leads the kids to go up against the scheming, evil janitor.  Readers learn some basics of how to use the programming language Logo with sequence, iteration, and selection, and must apply their knowledge to help the characters. I love the interactivity, the diverse main characters, and the progressive way the authors teach the logical thinking of programming. Very well-done!


    Black Canary Ignite
    by Meg Cabot, illustrated by Cara McGee
    SUPERHERO
    Dinah Lance keeps breaking things with her voice–and getting in big trouble at school. She learns that she’s the daughter of the famous superhero, Black Canary. And that she has a power she better learn how to control. But, she thinks it’s a dumb gift and is mad that her parents kept her mom’s superhero identity a secret. Then her bandmates kick her out of the band and her mom gets kidnapped by Bonfire. How will Dinah find a solution? She’ll embrace her powers and become the new Black Canary.


    Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
    HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY
    A must-read, atmospheric historical graphic novel about the early years of Queen Elizabeth the First of England for graphic novel and history buffs ages 8 – 12. Margaret is an orphan who grows up in an island convent. She doesn’t learn that she is a secret princess until her half-sister, Eleanor, is banished to the island. Eleanor is the former queen. On the island, she’s both kind and manipulative and yet bonds with Margaret so much so that when she escapes at the end of the story, Margaret joins her. This is an interesting, marvelous story—I found the balance between the text and illustrations to be eye-pleasing and provide perfect harmony. The illustrations are simply captivating!


    Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer
    by Gillian Goerz 
    MYSTERY
    Perfect for anyone who loves a good mystery story with themes of friendship and helping others. Unlikely friends, Jamily and Shirley aka. Bones join forces so they’ll be able to do what they want over the summer. Bones is observant and smart and while Jamila plays basketball, kids come to Bones with their mysteries. Jamila wants to be part of Bones’ crime-solving and together they investigate a stolen gecko at the swimming pool, finding that misunderstanding and jealousy can turn into understanding and friendship.


    The Boy Who Became a Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story
    by Jim Di Bartolo
    BIOGRAPHY
    You don’t have to love martial arts to enjoy this engaging biography about the martial artist and movie star legend Bruce Lee. From his birth in San Francisco to life in Hong Kong during and after the Japanese occupation, then his move back to the U.S., you’ll meet a troubled kid who gets into lots of trouble yet even as a child, manages to work as an actor like his father. He experiences racism for having mixed-race heritage and a dad who worked for the hated Japanese so Bruce leaves his home in Hong Kong for the U.S.. There, he’s a more settled man who opens up several martial artist studios, falls in love, and becomes a movie star. Lee’s life is fascinating and the author does a great job with all the historical references.

    The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook
    by Eleanor Davis
    STEM
    A group of unlikely science-geek friends solve a mystery in order to thwart a museum robbery. This is a fantastic (STEM) story.


    Primer
    by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski, illustrated by Gretel Lusky 
    SUPERHERO / ART
    16-year-old Ashley hopes her latest foster home will be a fit — they’re funny, quirky, and really accepting. Then, Ashley finds very special lab-created body paints in her foster mom’s closet and quickly learns that when applied to her body, they give her superpowers. Meanwhile, her not-very-nice incarcerated dad is giving her trouble and the government lab and military will stop at nothing to find the missing paints. Fast-paced, exciting, and perfect for readers who love underdogs, girl power, friendship, creativity, and art!


    History Comics: The Roanoke Colony: America’s First Mystery
    by Chris Schweizer
    HISTORY
    Learn about the Native American nations that occupied the land in and around Roanoke including their life and culture. Then learn about the politics of England and Spain that led to Europeans arriving to settle the land already occupied by Native Americans. What happened afterward, only some of it known…We do know about the unscrupulous English colonial leaders, a pirate captain with an agenda, and the initial colonial settlement(s). But did you know that all the European colonists of Roanoke vanished? More than once? This historical comic book brings early American history to life, in an intriguing, interesting, and seemingly three-dimensional way.


    Doodleville
    by Chad Sell
    ART
    Drew is an artist whose mischievous doodles don’t seem artistic enough compared to the other art club students’ work. Her doubt turns into a destructive Leviathan doodle. The art club members rescue her other doodles and helps them power up; they all work together to stop the Leviathan from taking over and eating everything. As Drew gains confidence in herself and her abilities, we see the connection between her monster and her inner thoughts. An action-packed adventure featuring the personification of emotions and creativity!


    Anne of West Philly
    by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Myisha Haynes
    REALISTIC (ages 10+)
    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.


    DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless
    by Amy Wofram, illustrated by Agnes Garbowska
    SUPERHEROES
    The electric grid and computer cloud go out which is a huge change for our superhero girls who aren’t used to life without technology. But it becomes a good learning experience with lessons of teamwork, friendship, and family. Of course, the girls also find the culprit and restore power to Metropolis.
    See more 2020 DC graphic novels here.

    The Drawing Lesson- best Graphic Novels for Kids
    The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw
    by Mark Crilley
    ART
    Art lessons are woven within the larger story of a young boy named David who asks a young woman named Becky to give him drawing lessons. She reluctantly agrees, first asking him to draw her watch. This becomes a lesson in seeing scale, the blank spaces, and the differences between the real watch and the drawing. She declines other lessons saying she’s not a teacher but David bumps into her (even finding her house!) and she continues (reluctantly) to give him lessons on shadowing, loose sketching, negative space, proportions, and more. The Drawing Lesson is a marvelous graphic novel that both entertains and teaches.

    graphic novels for kids best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Primates The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas 
    by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks 
    BIOGRAPHY
    Well-written, this graphic novel captures the intersecting stories and scientific advancements of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas who have spent their lives studying primates.

    Non Fiction Books for Kids
    Around the World 
    by Matt Phelan 
    BIOGRAPHIES
    Around the World shares the stories of three historical individuals who traveled around the world post-Verne. Thomas Stevens bicycled around the world with an early prototype of the bicycle, the kind with one large wheel and one small. (Lots of falling.) Famous for being a daring female reporter, Nellie Bly tried to beat Jules Verne’s record. Finally, Joshua Slocum sailed around the world in his old sailboat. 

    The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Sunny Side Up
    by Jennifer L. Holm
    GROWING UP
    Sunny’s summer vacation is spending time with her grandfather at his retirement home. (Not exactly her idea of fun.) Luckily, she meets the caretaker’s son, Buzz, and as their friendship and love of comic books develop, she also starts to deal with the real reason she’s there — her brother’s drug use. Well-written with an enjoyable narrative.


    Camp
    by Kayla Miller
    REALISTIC
    Both my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this meaningful graphic novel from the author of Click (a story we also loved). It’s not just about a summer camp experience but also about the challenges of friendship, particularly when you have a friend who is clingy, wants to be your only friend and is jealous of other people. That is hard for Olive! She wants to be Willow’s friend but she also likes other people. The story feels honest and relatable as well as being a helpful road map to how you might handle your own friendships.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Real Friends
    by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
    GROWING UP
    Kids will relate to the ups and downs of Shannon’s friendship in elementary and middle school in this true-to-life graphic novel with incredible artwork. We see Shannon struggle with friends, the popular girls, and even her own behavior, we watch as she discovers her passion — using her big imagination to make up stories.


    Catherine’s War
    by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel
    HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY
    When World War II comes to France, Rachel, a Jewish girl, must change her name and go into hiding. She moves frequently to avoid Germans but one thing stays the same, her love for photography. Using her camera, she documents the war from her perspective. Based on the author’s mother’s life, this is a beautiful story of WWII that focuses on growing up, the kindness of strangers, and art.

    New DC Comics Graphic Novels
    Batman Overdrive
    by Shea Fontana, illustrated by Marcelo DiChiara
    SUPERHERO COMICS
    You’ll zip through this exciting Batman origin story; personally, I couldn’t put it down! Almost 16-year-old Bruce Wayne is angry at the world and doesn’t believe the story of his parents’ murder. At the same time, he also wants to restore his dad’s first car — a ’66 Crusader. Both the car restoration and his quest for truth help Bruce to realize the truth about Alfred and to make his first friends, Mateo and Selina. Bruce undergoes quite a character arc with a lot of growth in this book, from impulsive and angry to focused and collaborative.

    Plants vs. Zombies: The Best Graphic Novels for Kids
    Plants vs. Zombies
    by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan
    PARANORMAL
    I wasn’t expecting these books to be so funny in an ironic way that you don’t see in children’s books.  Yes, there are zombies and kids with plants trying to kill the zombies (just like the video game) but you’ll be surprised (as I was) to read comic panels like these: a man calling the police saying, “This is a mysterious call” or a woman reading her notebook with the words “no choice” and remarking, “This leaves me no choice,” HA. If your child likes these graphic novels, there are TONS of books in the series.



    Artemis Fowl The Graphic Novel
     
    by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin
    FANTASY 
    Also available as a full-text novel, this series is about an anti-hero evil genius kid named Artemis. He plots to steal the fairies’ gold which leads him to kidnap a fairy cop and hold her for ransom. Very entertaining.

    Fable Comics review best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Fable Comics
    edited by Chris Duffy 
    FABLES
    My kids and I ADORE this book as well as the series’ previously published books, Nursery Rhyme Comics and Fairy Tale Comics. We love that 17 different cartoonists created one or more of the 28 illustrated fables, sometimes retelling a traditional, often unknown fable, and sometimes retelling with their own twist. The neat thing about this diversity in cartoonists is seeing what the artist envisions for the style and tone of the art for each story.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Cici’s Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training
    by Joris Chamblain and Aurelie Neyret
    MYSTERY
    Because Cici is always observing people, she’s good at finding mysteries, too. First, she discovers an old man who visits the long-abandoned zoo and paints murals of the animals that used to live there. Cici rallies her friends and family to help clean up the zoo, giving it new life. As she ends that mystery and looks for another, her friends get mad at her for her dogged focus on her own interests. She finds a second mystery but her friends don’t help. Cici needs to let people in and fix the relationship problems she’s created. Entertaining with an excellent story arc and valuable life lessons.

    best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman 
    SCI-FI
    Gorgeous drawings share the story of a foster girl named Red who is kidnapped by a UFO and marooned on a planet with her fellow UFO alien companions where a grumpy planet guardian lives. Red finds that with her new friends, anywhere can be a home. 


    Zatanna and the House of Secrets
    by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani
    FANTASY
    In a day of huge events, Zatanna stands up to a bully he turns red, Zatanna’s father disappears, and an evil witch tries to take over their home, a home that turns out to be magical and sentient. Crazy day, right? Zantanna, along with the witch’s son and her dad’s magical familiar pooka, searches for her father and how to stop the witch. It’s a fun, girl-powered book filled with adventure and magic.


    Escape at 1,000 Feet
    by Tom Sullivan 
    NONFICTION
    This nonfiction graphic novel story with comic panels, documents, photos, and sidebars with facts recounts D.B. Cooper’s infamous plane hijacking from 1971–-a feat in which he escaped with $200,000 dollars and mysteriously dropped off the face of the earth. 


    Bluebeard
    by Metaphrog
    FAIRYTALE
    Beginning in a small village shadowed by Bluebeard’s castle, this is a richly illustrated retelling of a classic, macabre fairy tale by Charles Perrault. When Bluebeard invites the starving villagers to his country home, he takes Eve as his wife and imprisons her with magic. The authors skillfully build suspense with every page which is realized when Eve discovers a terrifying secret room filled with Bluebeard’s dead previous wives and buckets of blood. With the help of her sister and her childhood love, Tom, Eve defeats Bluebird at long last.

    Young Adult Readers Ages 13+


    Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel
    by Jason Reynolds 
    REALISTIC
    An illustrated version of Jason Reynolds’ free verse book about Will, a teenager who witnesses his own brother get shot. He needs to follow The Rules and take revenge on the killer. But, as he travels seven floors in an elevator, each level provides an encounter with a deceased person, and their conversations halt Will’s plans and reveal to him the bigger story of what really happened with his brother. 

    best graphic novels for kids
    Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation
    adapted by Ari Folman, illustrated by David Polonsky
    MEMOIR
    SOOOO good! Initially, I felt skeptical that an adaptation could work but it really does. The diary bits and dialogue are well-balanced into a cohesive story that feels seamless, well-written, and insightful. Anne’s personality really shines through as she sets the historical context and describes her daily life in hiding which isn’t always very exciting but does result in a romance with the boy her age who lives there, too.


    Go With the Flow
    by Karen Schneemann, illustrated by Lily Williams
    GROWING UP / ACTIVISM
    This graphic novel about periods, women’s rights, friendship, and activism is SO good! Sasha is a new high school girl who is helped by other girls when she gets her first period— and they all become friends. But one of the friends is outraged that the bathrooms aren’t stocked with female supplies, let alone, they don’t have any free female supplies. She and the friends take action–writing a blog, creating art, and even “vandalizing” the school to make a statement. All the while, we see the ups and downs of high school life, made easier by a supportive group of girlfriends.


    Almost American Girl
    by Robin Ha
    YA MEMOIR / KOREAN – AMERICAN CULTURE / IMMIGRATION
    Robin’s mom moves them from Korea to the US where they live with her mom’s boyfriend’s family in Alabama. It’s a tough transition. Robin doesn’t speak English. Her new step-family is unfriendly. She has no way to contact her friends back home. But she finds solace and a friend in a comic-drawing art class. Her mom leaves her husband which brings them close again and Robin eventually finds her place and her confidence. It’s a realistic, heartwarming memoir that shows the challenges of immigration.

    good graphic novels
    They Called Us Enemy
    by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, & Steven Scott, illustrated by Harmony Becker
    GRAPHIC MEMOIR
    George’s family are sent to a cramped, smelly horse stable and then to a bare-bones, overcrowded barracks surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. George and his brother adapt well –mostly because they have amazing parents but this story also shows the reality for the adults in their new, unfair situation. It shows George’s parents’ resiliency and perseverance. When World War II ended, leaving the camps isn’t an easy, happy ending for any of the detained families. As you can imagine, they have nothing– no jobs nor bank accounts and are returning to a world of prejudice.


    Shadow of the Batgirl
    by Sarah Kuhn, illustrated by Nicole Goux
    SUPERHERO
    You are going to LOVE this origin story of Cassandra Cain, an abused Asian American girl trained as a killer who, in an incredible character arc, ends up becoming Batgirl. Not only is Cass illiterate but she barely understands any spoken words. She realizes that there might be a different way to live and runs away to the library where she discovers the meaning of friendship, choices, and heroism.


    The Oracle Code
    by Marieke Nijkamp, illustrated by Manuel Preitano
    SUPERHERO
    Hacker teen Barbara Gordon is paralyzed after she tries to stop a robbery. Now she’s in a strange rehab facility to get used to her wheelchair where she realizes something is very wrong— some of the kids are disappearing. As she tries to figure out what’s happening, she learns to trust both herself and other people again. This helps her unravel the secret behind the missing kids. Excellent character development and suspenseful plot.

    best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang &  Sonny Lieu
    SUPERHERO
    This is an origin story of the Green Turtle, a 1940’s masked Asian-American superhero. I loved everything about this man who is a reluctant vigilante! His overbearing mother pushes him to become a hero and is disappointed in him, thinks him a failure. There’s a cool element of Chinese mythology (the turtle spirit) that comes into play, affecting Hank, who steps up to fight the Chinatown gangs, a hero at last.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Snow White: A Graphic Novel
    by Matt Phelan
    FAIRY TALE
    I adore this reimagined graphic novel about Snow White set in New York City in the 1920s. Snow White’s dad is a Wall Street king, her stepmother is a Zigfield Follies star, and her seven small protectors are street kids. It’s interesting how Phelan uses this historical setting to retell a familiar fairy tale. The black and white illustrations set the tone for this dark story with a happy ending.

    best graphic novels for kids
    Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World
    by Pénélope Bagieu 
    BIOGRAPHIES
    Brazen stands with its colorful, visually appealing biographies. Some of these stories will be familiar (Temple Grandin) but most of them will be new to you (Clementine Delait, Nzinga, or Sonita Alizadeh.)

    best graphic novels and comic books for kids
    Nimona 
    by Noelle Stevenson 
    SUPERHERO
    Shape-shifter, Nimona, appoints herself the sidekick to villain, Lord Ballister Blackhart. But Nimona is way more serious about real villainy than Lord Blackhart. She kills and creates chaos whenever possible which distresses Lord Blackhart.  Nimona thinks Lord Blackhart’s rules are weird and totally unnecessary. But, despite Nimona’s dark side, together they set out to prove that the heroes are not really heroic. The main characters are very well-developed and both have back-stories that make them really interesting. 


    Messenger The Legend of Joan of Arc
    A Graphic Novel
    by Tony Lee and Sam Hart
    HISTORY
    Tween and teen readers probably don’t know the true story of Joan of Arc. While the authors don’t claim that this is anything but fiction, I would say it’s closer to nonfiction since it’s only based on historical facts. It’s amazing to see Joan never waver in her convictions and stand strong in the face of doubt and eventually death. This is an excellent depiction of her life.

    best graphic novels for teens
    Spill Zone
    by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland 
    DYSTOPIAN
    Great artistry and suspense! The Spill was an event we can only guess about but seems radioactive with monsters and floating bodies. Now, afterward, two sisters live alone. The oldest, Addison, earns money by photographing inside the spill zone, a glowing area of the city where her parents and many others died. Addison decides to put herself in more danger (getting off her motorcycle) when a rich benefactor makes Addison a lucrative but dangerous offer for different photographs. The plot thickens when a mysterious man with Spill-based powers arrives in the country — and then the story abruptly ends on a cliffhanger.


    Wonder Woman Tempest Tossed
    by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Leila Del Duca
    SUPERHERO
    In this reimagined refugee origin story, Diana leaves the safety of her island to rescue drowning children then gets stuck outside the island’s secret border. She arrives in a refugee camp where she befriends two Americans who help her get to the US. All the while, she feels lost and displaced. In her new home, Diana stops a child trafficking scheme and realizes that helping others on the outside of her island is where she belongs.

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  • WELCOME

    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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