11 Graphic Novels Tween Girls Can’t Get Enough Of
by Melissa Taylor
Graphic novels are like chocolate to my kids — tasty treats they can’t get enough of. My oldest daughter read Rapunzel’s Revenge more times than she read Harry Potter (five), and my youngest daughter has the family record for readings of Sisters (four). Neither girl can let a graphic novel linger in our house without sampling it immediately, sometimes to the point of rudeness. (Weren’t we eating dinner?)
As a parent, you’ll be glad to know that unlike the stereotypical female characters in the comic books of our youth, the selection and depth of today’s graphic novels is sublime and includes strong female characters worthy of admiration.
Here are the graphic novels my tween girls can’t live without.
Katie the Catsitter
Super cats, a villain on the loose, and an unforgettable summer combine into a graphic novel purrfect for tween girls! When Katie takes a catsitting job for her upstairs neighbor, she gets in over her head. In addition to the 217 cats she’s caring for, Katie notices that the city’s worst crimes always happen when her neighbor is out. Girls that love Raina Telgemeier’s books will want to read this graphic novel again and again.
Max and the Midknights
Tweens can’t resist the goofy story about a girl named Max who wants to become a knight. When her uncle gets kidnapped by the evil king, Max and her friends set out to liberate him. This highly illustrated novel is jam-packed with comic strips, misadventure, and laugh-out-loud moments.
Hilo Book 7: Gina — The Girl Who Broke the World
If your kids read the Hilo series on repeat, they won’t want to miss Gina’s story. When enormous magical creatures appear on Earth, Gina is the only person who can see them. With the help of DJ and Hilo, Gina must use her newfound magical abilities to save the creatures — and the world.
5 Worlds Series
Magic and adventure await in this stunning graphic novel series. Kids that love watching Avatar: The Last Airbender will get swept into this story about three outcasts who team up to save the five worlds from destruction. With action, adventure, and drool-worthy artwork, this graphic novel series is a must-read!
Aster and the Accidental Magic
When Aster’s family moves to the middle of nowhere, she expects boredom. Instead, she adopts a dog, meets a trickster spirit, makes a wish, and lands in a world of trouble. This quirky story and crisp artwork will tickle your child’s funny bone and have them reaching for the sequel, Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic.
The Runaway Princess
If your girl grew up on a steady diet of The Princess in Black, this graphic novel is a must-read! When Princess Robin gets tired of being a princess, she runs away to find adventure. She meets new friends and explores her kingdom, all while evading her royal parents, who are hot on her trail.
Akissi: Even More Tales of Mischief
Readers will find endless entertainment with Akissi and her neighborhood friends as they stir up mischief around their village on the Ivory Coast. Inspired by the author’s childhood, this graphic novel introduces readers to a high-spirited girl with a big heart and a penchant for trouble.
Witches of Brooklyn
When Effie’s mother dies unexpectedly, she finds herself in the care of her two aunts. Her aunts are weird — very weird — and Effie soon finds out why. They’re witches, and so is she! This graphic novel is full of humor, wit, warmth, family, and friendship. Your girl will be counting down the days until the sequel comes out!
Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer
This graphic novel is a favorite of young mystery lovers. Faced with a long, boring summer, Jamila and Shirley team up to solve crimes in their neighborhood. When a boy’s gecko goes missing, the two girls must work together to find it. Along the way, they’ll discover what it takes to be a great detective and, more importantly, a great friend.
When Jen and her mother move to the countryside, she finds herself struggling to fit into her new blended family. Life on a farm is difficult, and Jen feels out of place and out of sync with her two new stepsisters. Inspired by the author’s childhood experiences, this graphic novel introduces readers to a girl who must find her place in the world and her family.
Babymouse: Miss Communication
Kids who grew up with Babymouse also love this continuation of the beloved characters many adventures. In this installment, Babymouse really wants a cell phone. When her parents finally let her have one, she realizes she can’t keep up with all the text messages, social media posts, and cute koala videos. With clever humor and experiences kids relate to, you can’t go wrong with Babymouse!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2021.