We often speak with parents and caregivers concerned that their children only want to read graphic novels (a.k.a. comic books). How can children become better readers when they stick to “easy” books? Won’t they miss out on great literature? In response, we’d like to highlight a few benefits of graphic novels.
For more information, we suggest this Scholastic Guide to Using Graphic Novels with Children and Teens.
Check out some of your Wilmette librarians' favorite graphic novels in different genres. Dig into a world where text and images come together in fun, adventurous, and often beautiful ways!
Endlessly fun and silly books about cats in space. Start with Mission Moon, in which the CatStronauts help the president solve a global energy crisis! Suggested for grades 1–5.
Check out number one in this series, The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, in which a mysterious boy falls from the sky. His friends D.J. and Gina must discover the secrets of his identity and help him save the world. These full-color stories are action-packed, heartfelt, and hilarious with a diverse group of kids including some powerful girls. Suggested for grades 2 and up.
Kamala Khan is a Muslim girl from Jersey City. She’s totally ordinary, until she develops superpowers and must discover how to use them. No Normal is the first book in the series. Suggested for grades 7 and up.
Hilarious, gruesome, and packed with facts, this series introduces readers to some of strangest and most notorious events in American History. The first book is One Dead Spy, but they can be read in any order. Suggested for grades 3–6.
Three forest-dwelling sisters whose grandfather is the Guardian of the Forest adventure with wild animals. The first volume is May's Wild Walk. Suggested for grades K–3.
After a deadly political coup, twins Hawke and Grayson go undercover in a community of magical women. In their new identities, they discover new talents and hatch a plan to retake their beloved home. This exciting, fantastical graphic novel will appeal to fans of Witch Boy and The Prince and the Dressmaker. Suggested for grades 4–8.
The story is about Hilda, who is adventurous and brave and always finds a way to explore her enchanting world! This is a fun and magical story about fearless Hilda! Suggested for grades 2–5.
Fresh takes on Hans Christian Andersen's "Red Shoes" and "Little Match Girl," along with original work by Metaphrog, make this a surprising and delightfully dark trip down fairy tale lane. Suggested for grades 3–6.
Princess Robin is on the run to the Aquatic Carnival and beyond. Menacing characters are easily turned into friends and problems are solved with ingenuity as Robin jumps from one colorful, fantastical situation to another. This volume collects three books in one. Suggested for grades 2–6.
As a boy, Aster is supposed to be a shapeshifter, but his talents lie in witchcraft. Defying gender norms can be dangerous, though—literally. Aster and his diverse group of friends come into their powers in a series of adventures, while discovering and remaining true to themselves. Suggested for grades 3–7.
Funny short stories relay the adventures of Akissi, an exuberant girl growing up in an Ivory Coast village. Her scrappy, mischievous nature brings to mind Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes and Ramona Quimby, and the unique setting adds an extra layer of interest. Suggested for grades 2–6.
It is the first day of Mr. Wolf’s class, and he is ready for the exciting day. This is a very funny story which captures the first day of school in a delightful way! Suggested for grades 2–4.
Happy-go-lucky Narwhal and no-nonsense Jelly find their inner superheroes in these under-the-sea adventures. Each book of three short and silly stories will charm the youngest graphic novel readers. The first book is Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea. Suggested for kindergarten and up.
Peter loves their tree and wants to stay there forever. Ernesto hopes to go on an adventure to see all the places. This is a sweet story about two sloth friends who are so different, but they are good friends to each other! Suggested for grades 1–4.
Follow the adventures of a group of neighborhood children who create costumes from cardboard to transform themselves into knights, robots, and monsters. After you read this book, you will be saving your delivery boxes to create a fantasy world of your own! Suggested for grades 3 and up.
Being new is always hard, but Jordan finds it’s even more challenging as one of the few Black students at an elite private school. Humorous and relatable, this Newbery Award winner is a great jumping off point for discussions of racism. Be sure to check out its follow-up, Class Act. Suggested for grades 4–8.
When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique. Suggested for grades 3–6.
Being Chinese American is almost the only thing straitlaced Christine and free-spirited Moon have in common, yet their friendship works…mostly. Each girl has insecurities, and when Moon receives terrible news, their friendship is tested as never before. Heartfelt and moving. Suggested for grades 3–7.
Maureen and Francine: twin sisters with very different personalities, both vying for the student council presidency! What could possibly go wrong? Everything, of course. Fans of Smile and New Kid will gobble up this thoughtful, slice-of-life graphic novel. Suggested for grades 3–6.
The author of reader favorite Roller Girl teamed up with Omar Mohamed, a Somali refugee and social worker now living in the United States, to tell his story. Omar and his brother have been living in a refugee camp for years. What will it take for them to survive, thrive, and get resettled? This graphic novel tells an urgent, emotionally wrenching, and ultimately hopeful story. Suggested for grades 5 and up.