Graphic Novels and Nonfiction to Share with Kids
Sometimes, the best way to connect with the kids in your life is over a good book. But you might be wondering what constitutes a good book when it comes to little literatis. Fear not, the Children’s Librarian is here! Below, find six great graphic novels (and two graphic format nonfiction) to share with kids, whether you’re looking to start a conversation or just want a good story.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie’s one true love is theatre. While she’s best suited for life behind the scenes, she’s got plenty of friends for her work on middle school productions. Callie is determined to make the best set ever for Moon over Mississippi, but it’s a little hard to focus on set design when the show is struggling to attract attendees and social dynamics within the cast and crew are as weird as ever. There’s drama everywhere you turn in Raina Telgemeier’s colorful and heartening Drama.
Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, color by Jane Poole
In this autobiography-of-sorts, Shannon Hale explores the friendships of her adolescent years, starting with Adrienne, who nearly-inexplicably dumps Shannon for another friend group in middle school. Soon, Shannon starts in on a string of new friends, each friendship dissolving for different reasons. Still, Shannon misses her days with Adrienne. Will they become friends again? Will Shannon ever be popular? Does it matter? Find out in Real Friends.
Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila
Set in the unspecified future, Luz Sees the Light introduces readers to young Luz, who lives in a world where energy is sometimes scarce and there’s no guarantee of affordable food. Struck by the challenges her mother encounters in trying to provide for their small family, Luz assigns herself the task of improving her community. It’s a big task, though, and she’ll need a little help from the boy next door who has an obsession with rabbits.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Astrid is experiencing the deterioration of a friendship. While she’s pulled into the world of roller derby, her best friend Nicole is off to ballet camp. Letting her mom believe they’re both at roller derby camp -- and that Astrid is getting rides home from Nicole’s mom -- is the least of her worries when Astrid realizes how in over her head she is. Everyone around her seems like a superstar on the derby track, so how can she ever measure up? Find out if Astrid has what it takes to be a roller girl in Roller Girl.
Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale
Pulling from the true story of the infamous Donner Party catastrophe of 1846-47, Nathan Hale tells the tale of the ill-fated travelers in the graphic format with a framing story of the historical Nathan Hale killing time before his hanging. Perfect for the morbidly curious, Donner Dinner Party goes into extraordinary detail with the story leading up to and including the cannibalism survivors participated in to make it through the harsh winter in the mountains. But fear not! This book is intended for kids and gives plenty of warning for some of the more gruesome bits.
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Bina has always spent her summers with her best friend and neighbor, Austin. But this summer is different. There will be no more Summer Fun Index and no more Austin as he heads off to soccer camp. Bina is left to her own devices and forms an unlikely friendship -- or is it? -- with Austin’s older sister. Before she knows it, she’s listening to killer new music, playing her guitar like a rock star and embarking on impromptu babysitting adventures. But Austin won’t be gone forever and who knows how things will feel when he returns.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
It’s shapeshifting Nimona’s dream to be a sidekick. When she teams up with Lord Ballister Blackheart to reveal the true nature of Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin to his adoring village, Nimona is the most diligent side to ever kick. But as the pair get deeper into their plot, Blackheart realizes Nimona perhaps has a hidden history of her own. What is her mysterious past? This is a story best shared with older children.
Snow White by Matt Phelan
Matt Phelan takes the classic “Snow White” tale and brings it to 1920s New York City. Young Samantha White has returned from exile imposed by her evil stepmother. Her father, known as the King of Wall Street, is suddenly and inexplicably dead. Enlisting the help of a group of street urchins, Samantha takes up against her stepmother -- but as the stock market improves from the crash and the stepmother’s wealth increases, so does her power.