Graphic novels are great for all types of readers and tweens, especially, gravitate towards the genre. They are the perfect combination of text and images used to make complete stories that can be thrilling, thought-provoking, and laugh-out-loud silly. The reading experience is fun and feels “easy” but graphic novels also help kids practice important literacy skills like inference, cause and effect, foreshadowing, and they often have new or more challenging vocabulary words. Below is a selection of graphic novels from 2018 spanning topics from elf-goblin war, summer camp, absent parents, first crushes, and imaginative play. Two were even on the long list for the National Book Award. Check them out here and at any Heights Library!
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson
Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them and war for their nations.
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
All Vera wants to do is fit in–but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range–Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
Crush by Svetlana Chmakova
Jorge seems to have it all together. He’s big enough that nobody really messes with him, but he’s also a genuinely sweet guy with a solid, reliable group of friends. The only time he ever really feels off his game is when he crosses paths with a certain girl… But when the group dynamic among the boys starts to shift, will Jorge be able to balance what his friends expect of him versus what he actually wants?
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn’t know his father’s name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka’s search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist.
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell
Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters–and their own inner demons–on one last quest before school starts again.
In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be–imagine that!