Book Lists

The Best Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers

Ten graphic novels and illustrated books that promise to draw in even the most reluctant reader

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

1. Drawing From Memory by Allen Say
Caldecott winner Allen Say tells how he became an artist in this fascinating memoir, which also contains photographs and images of the work that has inspired him.
Grades 5–8.
 

2. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick.
In Selznick’s long-awaited follow-up to The Invention of Hugo Cabrettwo children, 50 years apart, run away to the American Museum of Natural History.
Grades 3–8.

3. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg et al
Fourteen authors, from Stephen King to Kate DiCamillo, share tales inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
Grades 7 and up.

4. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
Patterson departs from his usual thrill rides to tell the story of sixth grader Rafe Khatchadorian, who conspires to break every rule in school.
Grades 5–8.

5. Around the World by Matt Phelan
Got wanderlust? Read this graphic novel about three 19th-century figures who attempted to travel around the world: Thomas Stevens, Nellie Bly, and Joshua Slocum.
Grades 3–6.

6. The Power of Cute: My Very First Graphic Novel by Charise Mericle Harper
Introduce little ones to the world of graphic novels with this colorful tale of a superhero baby who wields the power of cute.
Grades PreK–1.

7. The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon, illustrated by Jake Parker
The first picture book from Pulitzer Prize winner Chabon lets readers in on the fact that even superheroes have secrets.
Grades PreK–3.

8. Stickman Odyssey by Christopher Ford
What if the entire story of The Odyssey was told in bored-student-style stickman doodles? That’s the premise of this laugh-out-loud take on Greek mythology.
Grades 6–8.

9. The Popularity Papers: Book Three by Amy Ignatow
BFFs Julie and Lydia are reunited in the third volume of this cartoon-inspired series perfect for fans of Marissa Moss’s Amelia books.
Grades 3–6.

10. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, illustrated by Ana Juan
Your readers won’t want to come home from Fairyland.
Grades 6 and up.

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