My 8-year-old has discovered graphic novels. This format makes me feel old – I know my mom read comic books as a kid, but I could not understand the appeal of the graphic novel. I remember a conversation with a school librarian who said she needed to take a class to learn to read them. I took my daughter’s challenge to read the ones she liked best.

Below is a chart my daughter created to replace her assigned reading log homework sheet (note: all her spelling, ideas, and design; the font was a flowery script). I added the column with my mom perspective. Generally, she chose from the school library very age-appropriate books with accessible drawings, upfront messages about friendship and accepting others, and benign language. In the public library, she looked through others that are drawn and designed for an older audience; this seemed very clear to her and she did not seem interested in them. She did read one, not included here, which she rated 4 because she thought it too violent. I read the Dorothy Canfield Fisher nominee Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, and was relieved it was recommended for grades 7 and up. I’m not sure what it says about me, but I definitely enjoyed the graphic novels geared towards younger kids!


Title author Main Character Favorite Part Worst Part Favorite Character Problem in the Story Solution in the Story Rating

1 out of 10

Mom Rating/ Comments
El Deafo Cece Bell Cece bell Hearing her teacher go to the bathroom When she got sick El Deafo Hearing aids She has fun with them 8 My favorite, encouraged imagination, empathy, and truthfulness – 10

(Read more from Caitlin Corless on Cece Bell)

Roller girl Victoria Jamieson Astrid The bout Nicole Zoey Astred can’t roller scate She trys her best 9 Second favorite, I liked the relationships Astrid developed with her team and her relationship with her mom was spectacular – 9.5
Zita the space girl Ben Hatke Zita the space girl and friends Her freeing One When she left Piper behind Piper Zita and her friend get pulled through a portal into space and someone talking joseph away She has friends who help her ascape 10 Super drawings and characters, another great story of girl overcoming extreme odds – 9
sisters Raina Telgemeier Raina, Amara Dinosaur valley The snake in the car Amara A snake in the car They capture the snake 9 Really interesting to talk about since my daughter does not have siblings – 8.5
drama Raina Telgemeier Callie The first drama class The dating parts Callie The actor who played maybell woldent come out of the broom closet Jesse took her place 10 She was too young for this one, but hard to make her believe it when she has already read the others – 7
Robot dreams Sara Varon Dog, robot Raccoon remaking robot Dog leving behind robot Raccoon Robot got rusty Raccoon remade robot 8 We had a debate about this one – I felt angry at the robot for abandoning his friend, she thought the robot did the right thing to obey the law – 5
Owly #1 Andy Runton Owly Owly making friends Bird are afraid of Owly The humming birds and wormy none none 8 Unsure why the owl had no friends, I wanted to know why he was sad, but I liked the message of finding friends in unlikely places – 7


The other series she recommended that I did not read were about Chi, Binky, Jellaby, and Fashion Kitty. CLiF blogger Caitlin Corless did a great summation of why graphic novels appeal to kids and how they can hook reluctant readers. We hope these recommendations can help get parents and kids engaging with this book and story format.


Cartoon credit

One response to “If You’re A Parent And…You Need Graphic Novel Recommendations

  1. Some of these are very fun reads, my daughters both read all the time and some of these they really loved. They are reading Cole’s Perfect Puppy by Frances Crossno, is her site. It’s not so much graphic, but a great read for the kids.

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