6 Graphic Novels to Add to Your Classroom or School Library
by Melissa Taylor
In this era of vibrant storytelling, graphic novels often get kids reading voraciously — they’re visually appealing, complex stories told through lively art and dialogue. From coming-of-age plots to fairy tale retellings, these kid-favorite graphic novels are must-haves for any classroom library. Don’t be surprised if these books become the most checked-out on your shelf.
5 Worlds Series
First the Five World’s beacons begin to fail, then the capital is attacked. Three unlikely friends — a sand dancer, a robotic star athlete, and a boy from the slums — join forces to fix the beacons and stop the war. Lush illustrations, captivating characters, and an exciting, otherworldly plot will hook readers from the first page.
The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Complete Edition
Philip Pullman’s modern classic — beloved by kids everywhere — is a whole new experience in this graphic novel adaptation. Lyra and her daemon’s epic journey to the North is captured in all its imaginative, full-color glory. The utterly absorbing complete edition is perfect for kids who loved Pullman’s original story, and for those who’ve been too intimidated to try it.
The City of Ember
Another modern classic told anew, Jeanne Duprau’s The City of Ember follows the story of two brave young friends living in a doomed post-apocalyptic city that’s experiencing foreboding blackouts. When Lina and Doon discover a cryptic ancient message, they’re determined to find a way out of the city and convince the rest of its residents to follow them into the unknown.
The Cardboard Kingdom
One neighborhood — home to sixteen quirky kids — is transformed into the Cardboard Kingdom again and again in this graphic novel packed with heart. The royal residents of the Cardboard Kingdom use their endless imaginations to create all sorts of fantastical situations, as they also navigate the emotional ups and downs of adolescence.
Soupy Leaves Home
The unique, sophisticated artwork in this one will draw readers in and transport them back to 1932 as a young runaway girl befriends a kind, rail-hopping paternal figure who shows her the way to California. Both Pearl “Soupy” Planket and Remy “Ramshackle” Smith have difficult paths to reckon with as they embark on an odyssey across America and hope for brighter futures.
Noir adaptations of classic tales are all the rage these days, and award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan adds to that atmospheric body of work with his "Snow White" retelling set in Roaring Twenties New York City. Young Samantha White’s troubles hit all the right notes and then some, including her heartwarming friendship with a group of street children called “the Seven.”