Great Graphic Novels – Pure Power Reading!

Great Graphic Novels – Pure Power Reading!

Great Graphic Novels For Kids

(Don’t you mean comic books….NO!)  

Come on Parents! Get with the 21st century! The “comic books” that we grew up with and loved as children have become all grown up. While comic books tend to be for entertainment only, graphic novels are full, unedited stories that offer awesome artwork, challenging vocabulary and are being used very successfully with “reluctant readers”, or children who haven’t formed a love of reading….yet. The visuals make it exciting, more engaging than traditional book formats and action-oriented while also developing your child’s reading skills, vocabulary development, sequencing and inferencing skills and also “visual literacy” (which is so important now in our digital age).

The best thing is there are graphic novels for all ages and all interests, so there is no stopping you from reading these books together! Listed below are some picks to try, recommended to us by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).  Please share with our school community some of your favorites in our COMMENT section below. So, while it’s cold outside but WARM inside, take a trip to your local library or online and explore graphic novels. Happy Reading!

Grades Kindergarten – 2

grades-kgA Day at the Fire Station
by Lori Mortensen. illus. by Jeffrey Thompson. Capstone, (2011).
Explains the everyday life of fire fighters in the station house as well as the quick actions they take when a call comes in. A glossary and a bibliography for additional reading and internet sites are appended. One of the First Graphics: My Community series.

Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!
by Geoffrey Hayes. (2009)
Two mice meet their new neighbor and discover that she is not as scary as they feared. First of the Benny and Penny series.

The Adventures of Polo
by Régis Faller, (2006).

Little dog Polo takes up his backpack and umbrella and sets out in his boat to explore exciting new places.

Grades 3-5

The Secret of the Unicorn 
by Hergé. Little, Brown, (1974).
Young journalist Tintin is hot on the trail of a secret hidden in a model ship in this classic. First in the Adventures of Tintin series.

Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs 
by Marcia Williams. Candlewick, 2011.
Tales of Isis, Tutankhamen, and the important figures of Egyptian myth and history are given humorous treatment.

Wrting your own graphic novelArt Panels, BAM! Speech Bubbles, POW! Writing Your Own Graphic Novel
by Trisha Speed Shaskan. illus. by Stephen Shaskan. Picture Window, (2011).
A young girl explains how to create your own graphic novel including the tools, techniques and conventions of the format. Some exercises are included to get started. One of the Writer’s Toolbox series.

Bake Sale 
by Sara Varon. Roaring Book/First Second, 2011.
Cupcake runs a successful bakery with his best friend, Eggplant, but dreams of going abroad to meet his idol, Turkish Delight, who is the most famous pastry chef in the world.

Grades 6-8

9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation
by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón. Farrar/Hill and Wang, (2006).
This accurate and accessible version of the 9/11 Report captures its investigative thoroughness, and covers its entire scope including the Commission’s final report card. Colón’s stunning artwork powerfully conveys the facts, insights, and urgency of the original. (a personal favorite!)

grades-kg2The Arrival 
by Shaun Tan. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, (2007).
A wordless but very moving story about a lonely man who has just arrived in a new city. ( This is a personal favorite! And, yes there are such things as “wordless” books! They are wonderful tools to grow your child’s imagination.)

Rapunzel’s Revenge 
by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. illus. by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury, (2008).
Two traditional fairy tales—”Rapunzel” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”—merge in a fresh and funny adventure with a Western flair.

Grades 9-12

macbethNo Fear Shakespeare gives you the complete text of “Macbeth “on the left-hand page, side-by-side with an easy-to-understand translation on the right. Each No Fear Shakespeare contains the complete text of the original play A line-by-line translation that puts Shakespeare into everyday language. A complete list of characters with descriptions with plenty of helpful commentary. (No Fear has a whole line of Shakespeare classics.)

Here at Concept Schools, we have been inspiring students for over 15 years with proven results.  Even though we provide a high level STEM focused education, we also like to encourage discovery and exploration which helps us more successfully prepare our students for tomorrow!


  • I Love Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association

  • Amazon books


Tags: graphic novel, visual literacy, comic booksreading, Concept Schools

Leave a Comment