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Growing Reader

Tween

12 Graphic Novels Elementary Schoolers Love

by Janssen Bradshaw

graphic-novels-for-growing-readers
Photography by Seana Williamson

When I was an elementary school librarian, graphic novels were one of my favorite tools for helping reluctant readers get excited about checking out a book.

They tend to be small and paperback and they can seem much less intimidating than a traditional novel. The illustrations help guide the story along and they are usually much less text-heavy.

And even great readers can benefit from the opportunity to use their brains in slightly different ways, piecing together the story through both words and images.

Plus, they’re just fun.

When I took over the library, there wasn’t a single graphic novel on the shelves, so I got to start a collection from scratch. Here are some of the ones that were most beloved among my 600 students. Best thing is, each book listed below begins a whole series, so once a kid gets hooked, there are many more adventures to be had!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022.