Here at the library we love graphic novels! In fact, we recently started a new section just for juvenile graphic novels. This way kids can easily find these popular materials. 2011 has been a strong year for graphic novels. As an avid reader of the genre there are many I would recommend. Here are my top choices for the year. Drumroll please!
J Graphic Novels
Squish by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm (ages 7-9)
From the creators of Babymouse comes a funny new character. Squish was introduced in Babymouse: Mad Scientist when Babymouse discovered a new kind of amoeba. Squish is just your regular amoeba. He reads graphic novels starring his favorite super hero Super Amoeba. He's late to school. His best friend mooches his lunch money every day. And Squish has a problem with the school bully. If he doesn't let the bully cheat off his test the bully will hurt one of Squish's friends. What's an amoeba to do?
Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett Krosoczka (grades 3-4)
The Lunch Lady graphic novels is hands down one of my favorite series. This is an imaginative take on what if the school's lunch ladies were crime busters and their inventive food related items actually helped them with their crime fighting abilities. Only the Breakfast Bunch gang knows their secret. In the latest addition to the series Lunch Lady fills in as a chaperone for the field trip to the art museum. However she's so excited to see how the fantastic works of art that she's oblivious to the fact that something is suspicious about the museum. Can the Breakfast Bunch figure out what's going on and wake Lunch Lady up to the misdoings at the museum?
Sidekicks by Dan Santat (ages 8-12)
Sidekicks is my pick for older J Graphic Novel readers. Captain Amazing decides that since he's getting older it's time for a sidekick. His dog, hamster, and chameleon decide that want the job. While out working on their training that run into Captain Amazing's old sidekick, Static Cat. Static Cat agrees to help train them. Which sidekick will Captain Amazing choose? Will he defeat the villain Dr. Havoc? Older readers will enjoy this superhero comic with plenty of heart and adventures.
YA Graphic Novels
Stickman Odyssey: An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford (grades 5-8)
Once this graphic novel starts the action never stops. It's a clever retelling of The Odyssey. Zozimos is the King of Sticathia and he's trying to make his way back to his kingdom. The figures are all cleverly done in stick figure style and there's lots of sly humor mixed with potty jokes ("By Zeus' butt!") which is perfect for middle school boys (and girls).
Astronaut Academy by Dave Roman (ages 10-14)
Author Dave Roman takes the drama and fun of middle school and sets it in a futuristic space academy that includes a panda as an instructor. Hakata Soy is new transfer to the school. Starting a new school is challenging and it's about to get even worse for Hakata when his enemy creates a duplicate robot version of Hakata and sends it to the school to destroy him. Ah, the joys of middle school.
Next time you're at the library stop by to check out one of these titles for your child or feel free to ask a librarian for more great suggestions. If your child loves graphic novels please tell them to come to the desk and tell us about their favorites! We always love to hear what they enjoy reading.