Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer 2014 Reading: A-Z Graphic Novel Suggestions for Kids of all Ages

With summer 2014 knocking at our doors, I thought I'd put out an A-Z  list of some great graphic novels for readers of all ages, with my sincerest apologies to letters  "Q, V,  and Y"

[Note that I have tried to keep this list to new releases with a few outstanding 'never-old' favorites that I just couldn't resist putting out there for you.]

Adventures in Cartooning (ongoing series) by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost - illustrates basic elements of cartooning while telling tells of knights, princesses, kings, dragons and faithful steeds.
Adventure of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks (Ages 10+) about the trails and tribulations a young female superhero must face in our modern world today (from dealing with having to buy capes from second-hand stores and having a weakness for kittens).
Amelia Rules(series) by Jimmy Gownley (Ages 8+)  is about Amelia McBride, her friends, her uber cool rock'n roll rockstar aunt, and life in small-town Pennsylvania which is anything but boring.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (10+)is about the struggles of a Chinese student and the clashes and obstacles he must overcome among his peers and within himself.
Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi (Ages 8+) - wonderful adventures of Emily, Navin and their mom, who move into the home of her deceased great-grandfather. Emily
finds a weird amulet and she are Navin are lured into an underground world of demons, robots, talking animals and adventures galore!
Ann Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert (Ages 8+) - shows us how difficult it was for Helen (being blind and deaf) and her family and how Ann Sulivan, a young woman who herself was visually impaired revolutionized the treatment and education of the blind and deaf.

Babymouse (series) by Jennifer and Matthew Holm (Ages 7+) about a daydreaming, ambitious young mouse how loves cupcakes and her pink dress but hates her curly whiskers and the troubles she gets into because of her locker (more like a black hole), her friends, and her nemesis a popular cat named Felicia.
Battling Boy (ongoing series) by Paul Pope about a twelve-year-old demigod whose rite of passage is to save monster-plagued Acropolis
Bone (series) by Jeff Smith (Ages 10+)
Boxers and Saints (two-volume set)by Gene Luen Yang (Ages 12+)  that relates the history of China's Boxer Rebellion from each of the respective sides - those of the Chinese peasants versus those of the converted Chinese Christians and their European backers.

The City of Ember: the graphic novel by Jeanne Duprau (author) adapted by Dallas Middaugh and Niklas Asker (Ages 10+) about a dystopian underground city and the secret to its past and future. An oldie but goodie!
Comics Squad:Recess  (Ages 8+) -  a collection of short stories by Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dav Pilkey, Dan Santat, Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman, Ursula Vernon, Eric Wight, and Gene Luen Yang.
Cursed Pirate Girl (series) by Jeremy A. Bastian (Ages 10+) is about the sea-faring adventures of cursed pirate girl who while trying to find her lost father, encounters mythic creatures, gnarled and crusty pirates and much more.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Ages 12+) the companion book to Smile - now letting us in on Raina's life in high school and the drama of the drama club.
The Dodgeball Chronicles  (series) by Frank Cammuso (Ages 7+) - an Arthurian legend re-imagined about kids at Camelot Middle School - full of awesome heroes and dastardly villains.
 Dogs of War by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox - about the role dogs have played in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
Explorer: The Lost Islands
The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley is a memoir about Mr. Gownley's dumbest idea ever - to show a teacher the merits of comic books and write one of his own.  More importantly, though, it's about Gownley and effect his friends had back then and continue to have now.
Explorer: The Lost Islands (series) by Kazu Kibuishi (Ages 10+) is a a graphic anthology of stories written and illustrated by award-winning graphic novelists including Kazu Kabuishi, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Jake Parker, Jason Caffoe, Michel Gagne, Katie and Steven Shanahan, and Chrystin Garland. Each story is centered around the theme of hidden places.
Fairy Tale Comics (All Ages) - a collection of favorite fairy tales told by favorite graphic novel artists
Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (Ages 12+) about a home-schooler who transitions to high school  along with the mystery of the ghost who has followed her most of her life.
Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre, illustrated by Rafael Rosado (All Ages) about three stalwart companions and their trusty dog and their quest to defeat a local giant.
Genius by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen (Ages 16+) about the challenges of being a theoretical physics genius, working with other theoretical genuis' and finding a fulfilling life amid undaunting competition.
Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier (Ages 12+) and her story of being hidden as a young girl, surviving the holocaust
Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes (Ages 10+) the story of one of Houdini's tricks (jumping  from the Harvard Bridge with hand and feet bound in cuffs and the role his wife Bess played (told in black and white)

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Nimura  about a girl struggling with life who claims she kills giants.  An oldie but awesome goodie!

Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi (Ages 12+) - about the personal and political issues and decisions various members of a Jerusalem family must face in the 1940's.

King by Ho Chi Anderson (Ages 12+) chronicles the life and times of Martin Luther King through third-person narratives, interviews, letters and speeches. It is a breath-taking work well worth the time and effort.
Korgi (series) by Chirstian Slade (All ages) - a wordless graphic novel about Ivy, her dog Sprout and the amazing things they learn about themselves and those around them as they face one dangerous adventure after another.
Jon Chad Leo Geo and the Cosmic CrisisLeo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis by John Chad  (Ages 9+) is about Leo Geo an intrepid explorer working in his lab at Fizzmont Institute when he learns that a comet is on a collision course with his brother Matt Data's space  station.  Leo grabs his computer, leaps into a rocket and launches into space determined to save the day. Matt, however, soon learns that Leo Geo's computer is about to suffer a malfunction and turn to evil, so Matt and his trusty sidekick Maff (the smartest dog i the galaxy) leap into a spaceship to save the day. Together, Matt and Leo are in for an awesome adventure. Click here for a preview.
Lunch Lady (ongoing series) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Ages 7+) about the Lunch Lady who's a super hero in disguise. and inevitably ends up saving the day...
March (ongoing series) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (Ages 19+) about Congressman John Lewis and his life in the 1960's and his role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Monster on the Hill  by Rob Harrell (ALL ages) about three misfits, a disbarred doctor, a town crier, and fearful dragon work together to help the dragon find his "inner-dragon" while renewing old friendships and saving the town and its reputation.
Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales (series) by Nathan Hale (Ages 8+)
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong  by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks (Ages 12+) about high school life of Geeks and Cheerleaders and how even when you think nothing can possibly go wrong, something always does.
Olympians  (ongoing series) by George O'Connor - Greek myths boldly and intelligently told for fans of all ages.
Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (series)  by L. Frank Baum 's classic adapted for graphic novel  by Eric Shanower (artist) and Skottie Young (colorist)
Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks  (Ages 8+) - the true story of three scientists who changed the ways we think and study primates.

The Reason for Dragons  by Chris Northrop and Jeff Stopkely (Ages 11+) is the coming of age story about Wendell a lonely high-school outcast who has to come to terms with bullies and his stepfather, Ted.  But, it's also the coming of age story for Sir Habersham, a Medieval Fair worker who's lost himself and his mission.
Rust (ongoing series) by Royden Lepp (Ages 9+) about a world where machines (good and bad) have had an increasing and more questionable role in war, life, and farming.
Sidekicks by Dan Santat (Ages 8+) Captain Amazing is so busy fighting crime in Metro City, he doesn't even notice that his pets at home have developed superpowers of their own. When Captain Amazing announces he needs a sidekick the fun and battles begin!
Squish (ongoing series) by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Ages 8+) about life for pre-teen single-celled "kids"
Tommysaurus Rex by Doug Tennapel (Ages 9+) about a boy who loses his dog, his only friend, and the summer adventures that face him on his grandfather's farm.
Tune (series) by Derek Kirk Kim and Les McClaine (Ages 12+) is part science-fiction part slice-of-life romantic comedy adventure  about Andy an art-school drop-out who finds himself in jail in a parallel universe. Click here for a preview.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (Ages 12+) while not new - a classic for anyone interested in visual literacy and creating graphic stories.

Wonderstruck by Brain Selznick about Ben who longs for the father he has never known and Rose who dreams of a mysterious actress whose life che chronicles in a scrapbook -and how they set out on their desperate quests.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle adapted for graphic novel and illustrated by Hope Larson (Ages 9+) - a story of how Meg and Charles Wallace and the three Mrs. --Who Whatsit and Which fight off a dark force and save the universe.
XOC by Matt Dembicki (Ages 8+) follows the journey of a great white shark from the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco to Hawaii and back. It has wonderful details about sharks and the deep-sea perils they face as well as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch they must swim through.

Zita Space Girl (series) by Ben Hatke  (All Ages) about a girl who travels to another world, rescues a friend she sent there by mistake. She then becomes famous, must deal with her fame and the adventures that lay before her.

To all of you I wish a warm wonderful summer of happy reading.
As always, thanks for your visit and feel free to fill in any reading gaps with your own favorite suggestions in the comments below.


  1. Great reminder! We have our district calling parents weekly to remind all about the importance of reading for kids every day!

  2. Plenty of research Down here, Great work putting it altogether.
    Have a nice day!!

  3. You've got quite a library there! Thanks. Your X is also a good one and it deals with the sea like my post.
    Have a great week!
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  4. I can't believe A Wrinkle in Time is now a graphic novel. The book is one of my favorites, but I wonder if it would lose something in this context. Also, where are The Diary of A Wimpy Kid books? Those are hysterical and the kids love them.

    1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is not really a graphic novel - it is illustrated prose or a hybrid which is why it's not on the list. That said, it is a great read, you're right.

  5. My fave is A Wrinkle In Time! First book that I have read that is not required in school =P #WW

  6. I'll have to check out the X book - maybe my grandson would like that one.

    abcw team

  7. Great work!

  8. Great list! I'm making notes for my great-grandchildren.