Library Blog

YA Book Recs Based on Your Favorite Cartoons

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Whether or not you admit it to others, you probably still watch cartoons.  It might not be all the time, but I bet you at least catch an episode here and there.  And given the rise in popularity of anime and cartoons geared for the not-little-kid audiences, that’s perfectly fine.  Or perhaps you enjoy reliving your younger days and prefer the cartoons of your childhood. That’s okay, too!  But there are quite a few similarities between some of those cartoons out there and YA books.  So here are some recommendations based on popular cartoons. 

(For the record, I freely admit that I still watch cartoons.) 


If you like My Hero Academia, you should try Renegades by Marissa Meyer 

Like MHARenegades is set in a world where superpowers are normal.  And like MHA, there are heroes and there are villains.  Renegades, though, tells the story of two teens – Nova, who was raised by her villain uncle and his sidekicks after her family was killed when the heroes didn’t make it in time to save them, and Adrain, who was raised by two his hero dads after his hero mom was killed fighting villains.  Nova wants revenge, so she goes undercover to train with the heroes to find their weaknesses…and her uncle’s helmet that could bring him back to full strength.  But Adrian wants justice, and he has a one-track mind when it comes to protecting his family and friends.  This first-in-a-trilogy, action-packed book will have you questioning who the real heroes and villains are! 


If you like Steven Universe, you should try Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

While Carry On deals with magic rather than alien beings, there are quite a few overlaps in Simon’s and Steven’s stories.  Simon is an orphan and has never known who is parents were.  But as a child he was found by The Mage, who took Simon to Watford School of Magicks.  Simon’s magic may be unpredictable, but his desire to do what’s right isn’t.  And, like Steven, Simon develops a solid group of friends & allies.  While trying to save magic, Simon also ends up on a side quest of finding out who his parents are…and also trying to prove that his roommate Baz is a vampire.  Another first in a trilogy, Carry On will take you on an emotional journey as Simon tries to find his place in the world (and among his friends) while trying to save it (and them). 


If you like Avatar: The Last Airbender, you should try Children of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Aang was the world’s last hope to bring peace across the nations, and Zélie from Children of Blood & Bone can relate.  As a maji, she has to keep her magic secret from a king who sent his army to kill anyone with magic, including Zélie’s mother.  But Zélie plans to fight and bring magic back.  But she’s not alone.  Her older brother Tzain is helping her, and soon the siblings gain another unlikely ally.  And while Zélie is slow to trust, she’ll need all the help she can get as her quest gets more dangerous by the day.  Things get even more complicated as romantic feelings develop for the king’s son, and he isn’t sure where his loyalties lie.  An epic, world-building fantasy, this book will transport you to a world filled with magic based on West African mythology and full of adventure! 

Don’t be ashamed if you still watch cartoons…that’s really okay!  Books are good, too, though, so be sure to break up the binge watching with some binge reading.  Hopefully these recommendations give you a good place to start! 

Happy reading! 


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”