10 Graphic Novels To Kick Off Summer Reading

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Summer is almost upon us, which means it’s time to consider your kids’ summer reading picks. Some kids naturally gravitate toward reading during the summer, but others might require encouragement to read.

We’ve compiled a list new, award-winning and diverse graphic novels. Each one is an artistic take on the written word and speaks to a different aspect of the human experience.

These fresh, intriguing books are sure to entice even reluctant readers.




Noodleheads See the Future

by Tedd Arnold (Author), Martha Hamilton (Author), Mitch Weiss  (Author)

A Geisel Honor Book & Junior Library Guild selection. ✔

Cute, appealing illustrations to attract reluctant readers. ✔

Short, funny stories that will keep kids engaged. ✔

Best for ages 6-9.




Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1)

by Ben Clanton  (Author)

Winner of the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Early Readers. ✔

Covers relevant issues such as friendship, discovery and working together. ✔

Presents fun facts about sea animals in a clever comic strip format. ✔

Best for ages 6-9.




Where’s Halmoni?

by Julie Kim  (Author)

Great addition to a multicultural school, classroom or home library. ✔

Includes English and Korean passages to introduce kids to a second language. ✔

Good for multiple re-readings as there are nuances to catch throughout. ✔

Best for ages 5-9.





The Big Bad Fox

by Benjamin Renner  (Author)

A comical spin on a classic folk tale. ✔

Told in a series of illustrations on each page. ✔

Teaches the importance of accepting oneself and taking care of others. ✔

Best for ages 7-11.




The Witch Boy

by Molly Knox Ostertag  (Author)

Explores society-assigned gender roles in a kid-friendly way. ✔

Contains diverse characters. ✔

So immersive and entertaining, kids might forget they’re reading. ✔

Best for ages 8-12.




New Kid

by Jerry Craft  (Author, Illustrator)

A brand-new release from an award-winning author & illustrator. ✔

Centers on a boy from a diverse background who has trouble fitting in. ✔

Relatable for any kid who has had to learn how to navigate a new situation. ✔

Best for ages 8-12.



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Awkward (Berrybrook Middle School)

by Svetlana Chmakova  (Author, Artist)

A sweet story about the new girl and the boy who doesn’t have any friends. ✔

Relatable for middle schoolers, especially if they are interested in school clubs or the arts. ✔

Highly recommended by librarians, parents & kids alike. ✔

Best for ages 10-13.




Compass South: A Graphic Novel (Four Points, Book 1)

by Hope Larson  (Author), Rebecca Mock (Illustrator)

A fast-paced adventure with pirates, gangs and action from coast to coast. ✔

Effortlessly weaves together various diverse characters’ storylines and backgrounds. ✔

The first in a series for readers who want more. ✔

Best for ages 10-13.





by Eoin Colfer  (Author), Andrew Donkin  (Author), Giovanni Rigano (Illustrator)

An Amazon Best Book of 2018 and one of the ALA’s 2019 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. ✔

Brings awareness to important issues surrounding people of different backgrounds. ✔

Full of thrilling action sequences that will keep your young reader flipping pages. ✔

Best for ages 10-14.




Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation (Pantheon Graphic Library)

by Ari Folman (Adapter), Anne Frank  (Author), David Polonsky (Illustrator)

Brings the words of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl to life in visual form. ✔

Praised for its masterful illustrations and accuracy to the time period. ✔

Best for ages 10-15.


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