Great Graphic Novels for Tweens
There is a lot of buzz around graphic novels and comics lately, especially with the rise in popularity of superhero movies. However, tons of creative graphic novels spanning multiple genres have come out in recent years for kids and tweens. Research shows that reading comics and graphic novels helps younger readers’ literacy skills, especially if they struggle with traditional texts.
Graphic novels help tweens and teens build not only traditional literacy skills, but also visual literacy skills. Learning to read and discuss comics can be difficult. Here is an article to help get you started.
A few basic terms that are important to know to discuss comics/graphic novels are:
- panel (the individual frames, which may or may not have a border)
- thought/speech bubble
- gutters (the white space between panels)
The book How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels can also help you understand comics more thoroughly.
Books labelled as graphic novels may include novel-length narratives in sequential, paneled graphic format, or several comic issues or strips collected into a single volume that focuses on one story. There is a lot of debate about the term “graphic novel;” rather than being one genre, “graphic novel” more so denotes a literary medium, like “poetry”.
It’s easy to find graphic novels for teens and adults, but in recent years, graphic novel authors and artists have released titles that would be great reads for tweens, especially those who don’t normally like to sit down to read a traditional book. Here are two lists of fiction and nonfiction titles to get tweens started on their journey into graphic texts, along with a few highlighted books. If you already have a tween who’s a fan of graphic novels or comics, perhaps these are new books to put on their radar!
Fiction Graphic Novels for Tweens booklist
- From the Desk of Zoe Washington (2020) by Janae Marks
- New Kid (2019) by Jerry Craft
- Sal & Gabi Break the Universe (2019) by Carlos Alberto Pablo Hernandez
Nonfiction Graphic Novels for Tweens booklist
- Guts (2019) by Raina Telgemeier
- Major Impossible (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) (2019) by Nathan Hale