One of the biggest mistakes I see when serving as a Children’s Librarian is when an adult discourages a child from reading a book…for any reason. Grown-ups often have the best intentions and valid reasons for steering kids away from particular titles, but I always strongly suggest that kids have a say in what they choose to read.
Kids are naturally drawn to graphic novels because of the eye-catching illustrations and fast-paced stories. Believe it or not, there are some quality comic books out there! From award-winning series, to adaptions of classic literature titles, graphic novels have it all. Check out some of my favorites! (Summaries taken from goodreads.com, follow me @ Megan Suzanne & Miss Megan Moon)
Ninja-Rella (Far Out Fairy Tales ) by Joey Comeau, Omar Lozano & Jaymes Reed
Rella’s stepmother and two stepsisters treat her like dirt. Each and every day, they force her to clean their clothes, cook their meals, and only give her rags to wear and crumbs to eat. But each night, in secret and in shadows, Cinderella trains to be a ninja! More than anything, Cinderella yearns to become the Prince’s personal bodyguard. When the opportunity to prove her worth to the Prince finally arrives in the form of an invitation to a royal costume ball, Cinderella’s stepmother won’t let her go! But this time around, Ninja-rella isn’t going to take “no” for an answer . . .”
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.
March: Book One by John Robert Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.
Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).
March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.
Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.
El Deafo by CeCe Bell
Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.
Happy Birthday, Babymouse by Jennifer & Matthew Holm
New York Times bestselling, three-time Newbery Honor-winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated, award-winning graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal—BABYMOUSE! Winner of multiple Children’s Choice awards and with over 1.8 million books sold, kids, parents, and teachers agree that Babymouse is perfect for fans of Junie B. Jones, Ivy and Bean, Bad Kitty, and Dork Diaries!
You are cordially invited to the birthday event of the year! Babymouse is having a birthday and she wants it to be BIG! Mount Everest BIG. Eiffel Tower BIG. Tyrannosaurus rex BIG. (Okay, maybe inviting a T. rex isn’t such a good idea). Will all of Babymouse’s birthday dreams come true? Will she have a five-hundred-tier cupcake? Find out in Happy Birthday, Babymouse—the eighteenth hilarious, action-packed installment of the beloved Babymouse graphic novel series by Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm!(less)
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale
Nathan Hale, the author’s historical namesake, was America’s first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before being hanged by the British. In the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.
One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson, Madeleine L’Engle
The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O’Keefe, and the three Mrs–Who, Whatsit, and Which–the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never been illustrated. Now, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read.
Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The race is on for a new student council president, and the Breakfast Bunch is rallying for Hector! The competition is already heavy, but the race heats up when school security is at stake: student and staff high-tech gadgets are disappearing left and right. Whoever the culprit is, this is one stealthy thief—and the school is so busy with the election that he gets away with it every time. Luckily some of Lunch Lady’s own culinary gadgets have eluded the crook, but will they be enough to catch this sticky-fingered bandit? And will Hector be able to pull off a victory?
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Fishy Business by Maxwell Eaton III
The Flying Beaver Brothers are back, and this time they’re hot on the trail of another eco-villain: Fish Stix Environmental Manufacturing. When Fish Stix sets up shop, most of the islanders are thrilled. After all, Fish Stix are the most popular, best-selling sticks around AND they’re good for the environment! But this eco-friendly facade is just a cover for a nefarious plot involving dirty money, fish who walk on dry land, and a great big smoking volcano. It’s up to the dauntless beaver brothers to set things right—and they better do it fast or the island’s forests are history! Now if only Bub can stop napping and they can all make enough pancakes to save the day. . . .
This second installment to Max Eaton’s new graphic series ups the ante in terms of both action and humor. The Flying Beaver Brothers are poised to take off as beloved comic book heroes.
Knights of the Lunch Table by Frank Cammuso
The Knights seek fame and fortune by entering a talent show!
A battle is looming at Camelot Middle School–a battle of the bands, that is! Artie, Wayne, and Percy enter the talent show seeking fame and fortune. But only one of them plays an instrument: Percy. And he plays the tuba. Their only hope of winning is finding the long-lost “Singing Sword,” the fabled instrument of awesome power.
But how can Artie find time to rock when he’s been assigned a new lab partner, Melody Claymore? Melody is a klutz and a goof, and she harbors a not-so-secret crush on Artie. Is Melody his worst nightmare or secretly the answer to his prayers?