By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd

When I hear parents say their children do not like books, I am met with a twinge of sadness. I have always believed that among the millions of books in the world, there is at least one book that each child will want to read and enjoy. The challenge is finding the type of book that appeals to each child. When a child finds the right book for him/her, then a whole new world will open up for them.

A great option for reluctant readers is graphic novels. This type of book has grown in popularity in recent years. Graphic novels are fast-paced, have illustrations to support comprehension, and they give children a sense of accomplishment when they successfully read an entire book with ease. For some children, a graphic novel helps them quickly connect with a story and holds their attention for the duration of the book.

There may be a perception that graphic novels are simple comic books, but that is far from the truth. They are full-length stories told in a paneled, sequential and graphic format. Graphic novels can help children discover a true interest in reading and encourage them to give other types of books a try as well. They can also be a nice change of pace for the voracious reader of longer books, providing a different type of reading experience.

Here is a list of graphic novels in different age groups to consider for your children. Who knows — the graphic novel may just be the key to unlocking the magical world of books and reading for your child!

Ages 5-7

The Adventures of Polo by Régis Faller

Airplane Adventure by Cari Meister and illustrated by Marilyn Janovitz

Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes

Blinky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires

Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates by Kevin O’Malley and Patrick O’Brien. illus. by Patrick O’Brien

A Day at the Fire Station by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Jeffrey Thompson

Hamster and Cheese by Colleen Venable and illustrated by Stephanie Yue

Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost in the World! by James Kochalka

Korgi: Book 1 by Christian Slade

Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith

Luke on the Loose by Harry Bliss

The Meeting by Brigitte Luciani and illustrated by Eve Tharlet

Otto’s Orange Day by Jay Lynch and illustrated by Frank Cammuso

Owly: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runton

Patrick in a Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories by Geoffrey Hayes

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Rick & Rack and the Great Outdoors by Ethan Long

Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons by Agnès Rosenstiehl

The Chronicles of Claudette series by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado


Ages 8-10

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future by Dav Pilkey

Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger

Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost

The Secret of the Unicorn by Hergé

The Stig and Tilde series by Max d Radigues

Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs by Marcia Williams

Art Panels, BAM! Speech Bubbles, POW! Writing Your Own Graphic Novel by Trisha Speed Shaskan. illus. by Stephen Shaskan

The Olympians series by George O’Connor

Bake Sale by Sara Varon

Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith

The Boxcar Children by Shannon Eric Denton and Illustrated by Mike Dubisch

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman illustrated by Ross MacDonald

Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds. illus. by Neil Numberman

Knights of the Lunch Table: The Dodgeball Chronicles by Frank Cammuso

Fashion Kitty and the Unlikely Hero by Charise Mericle Harper

Hyperactive by Scott Christian Sava. illus. by Joseph Bergin III

Into the Volcano by Don Wood

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Magic Pickle by Scott Morse

Mal and Chad: The Biggest Bestest Time Ever by Stephen McCranie

The Purple Smurfs by Yvan Delporte and Illustrated by Peyo

Babymouse: Queen of the World! by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon

Sardine in Outer Space by Emmanuel Guibert. illus. by Joann Sfar

Salt Water Taffy: The Seaside Adventures of Jack and Benny: The Legend of Old Salty by Matthew Loux

Scratch 9: The Pet Project by Rob M. Worley and Illustrated by Jason T. Kruse. Ape Entertainment

Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest by John Lechner

Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Super Chicken Nugget Boy and the Furious Fry by Josh Lewis and illustrated by Douglas Holgate

To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel by Sienna Cherson Siegel and Illustrated by Mark Siegel

The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier

The Whole World’s Crazy by Jimmy Gownley

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower and L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Skottie Young

Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor. First Second

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke


Ages 11-13+

9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews

Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Whitney Gardner

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Coraline by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by P. Craig Russel

The Demon of River Heights by Stefan Petrucha and Illustrated by Sho Murase

Foiled by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mike Cavallaro

Blue Period, vol. 1 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes and Nick Bertozzi

Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall and illustrated by A. D’Amico

Prime Baby by Gene Luen Yang

Rapunzels Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and Illustrated by Nathan Hale

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

The Golden Age, book 1 by Roxanne Moreil and illustrated by Cyril Pedrosa

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri and Illustrated by Randy DuBurke

Zebrafish by Sharon Emerson and illustrated by Renée Kurilla


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

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