10 graphic novels for children to add to their summer reading list
If you’re looking for ways to keep your children reading throughout the summer graphic novels might be the answer. Take a look at the compiled list of graphic novels that will keep kids entertained and learning with ease this summer.
1. March — written by John Lewis, illustrated by Andrew Aydin
A gripping story covering the early days of what would become the civil rights movement told from the perspective of John Lewis, U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. This story recounts the history and events of the civil rights movement with snippets of John Lewis’s personal life alongside very prominent civil rights figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Andrew Aydin does a spectacular job with his illustrations, conveying the heavy emotions of these events in a sophisticated and easy to understand way. Recommended to middle schoolers and up.
2. Ms. Marvel Vol. — Written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated Adrian Alphona
Ms. Marvel does something extraordinary by introducing a new teenage superhero that offers a bold new perspective on teenage life not felt since the days of the early Spider-Man comics. All the typical problems of a teenage superhero are here but told from the fresh perspective of the Muslim American Kamala Khan. On her journey as Ms. Marvel, Kamala finds herself dealing with villains, heartache, and all the typical trappings of modern day life.
3. Smiles — Written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeler
This graphic memoir provides insights into a young woman dealing with many uncomfortable situations and coming out better despite all the hardships. A beautiful coming of age story centered on Raina, who struggles with her image after a head first fall caused severe damage to her two front teeth. From braces to headgear and retainer; Raina embarks on a journey of self-discovery while also dealing with the daily stress of growing up as a teenager. A simple yet effective story, Raina tells the all too relatable struggles of teenage adolescents in a way that is comical, heartfelt, and sincere.
4. Bone — Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith
Bone follows the misadventures of the Bone cousins as they embark on a quest to reach Boneville. On their journey, the bone cousins end up in an Inn where they are taken in by a bold young girl and her grandmother. Together they journey to Boneville only to get caught up in an epic struggle between good versus evil. Both a comedy and dark fantasy thriller, Bone succeeds as a grand epic offering with something for everyone.
5. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl — Written by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson
When Squirrel Girl decides to start studying computer science at a university, her life quickly gets involved with villains and awkward social situations. Quirky and fun in ways that most superhero comics currently aren’t, Squirrel Girl succeeds in captivating the imagination with witty banter and new solutions to superhero and everyday life problems.
6. Lumberjanes — Written by Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis, Illustrated by Brooke Allen
Lumberjanes is the story of a group of Girl Scouts who enjoy their summer at camp earning badges, playing games, and exploring the wilderness. However, things are not as simple as they appear when mysterious creatures and items are encountered. These girls are tested in ways they didn’t see coming. Originally conceived as an eight-issue short miniseries, Lumberjanes has gone on to captivate readers of all kinds and win various awards for its heartfelt and joyous story.
7. Nancy by Olivia Jaimes — Written and illustrated by Olivia Jaimes
When creator Ernie Bushmiller retired in 2018 female cartoonist Olivia Jaimes took up the mantle and reinvigorated the Nancy strips. Jaimes brought new life to the 80-year-old comic strip with her bizarre and experimental storytelling. Keeping with the classic look and adding a flare of modern sensibility this online favorited comic strip offers an amusing look into the life of Nancy and her various misadventures.
8. The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America — Written and illustrated by Jaime Hernandez
Does the idea of a kitchen maid going up against a dragon appeal to you? What about a woman marrying a mouse? Alternatively, maybe a colony of ants teaching a child a lesson? Famed cartoonist Jaime Hernandez uses the comic book format to tell his reworking of these three classic Latin folk tales. These stories pop off the page and do what any folk tale should by capturing the wonderment and imagination of its readers.
9. Calvin and Hobbes — Written and illustrated by Bill Watterson
What started as an innovative newspaper strip comic, Calvin and Hobbes quickly rose to prominence with it’s witty and creative storytelling. A young boy and his imaginary tiger friend go on numerous mind-bending and fun adventures limited only by a child’s imagination. A classic that leaves a lasting impression to everyone who reads it, Calvin and Hobbes provide a joyful and lighthearted experience.
10. Coraline — Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by P. Craig Russell
Adapted from the novel, and the subsequent film, Coraline tells the tale of a young girl that doesn’t receive much attention until she stumbles upon a different world with better versions of her parents. Although things are not as they seem, Coraline is forced to confront these distorted beings. The illustrations stand out as both whimsical and eerie in a way that can only be portrayed through comic format.