Some memoirs, some made up, some a mixture of both, but all delightful summer reading—these graphic novels are bold, fearless, and bound to reach readers.
This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
Each year, during the Autumn Equinox Festival, the townsfolk release lanterns into the nearby river in honor of a local folk song. And every year, a group of boys ride their bikes along the river to follow the lanterns, always stopping partway through. This year, however, something is different... This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they've made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
A fictionalized graphic memoir that captures the ups and downs (let's be honest—mostly downs) of a stint at a Russian Orthodox summer camp, where our protagonist struggles with primitive plumbing, snobby tentmates, and boys-versus-girls competitions. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
New Kid by Jerry Craft
In this Newbery Award-winner, not only is Jordan Banks anxious about being the new kid at school, he realizes that, unlike in his prestigious previous neighborhood Riverdale, he's one of the few kids of color. Jordan is learning plenty: to put up with white teachers who confuse him with other Black students, to avoid the patronizing librarian who hands African American students gritty tales of inner-city woe, and, finally, to take a stand against ignorance and injustice. Craft’s exploration of racism and microaggressions is deeply relatable to a young audience.
Akissi: More Tales of Mischief written by Marguerite Abouet; illustrated by Mathieu Sapin
Inspired by Abouet’s childhood growing up in Côte d’Ivoire on the West African coast, these stories of a mischievous young girl are full of whimsy and hilarity. Sapin’s artwork pops with life and color; notably, the backgrounds shift hues throughout the stories, and Akissi’s zany, laugh-out-loud adventures brim with appeal.
Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey
Pilkey’s latest Dog Man series finds the half-man, half-dog superhero going up against a new supervillain. Meanwhile, Petey the Cat embarks on some wild and unexpected adventures of his own. Pilkey’s knack for over-the-top, kid-friendly humor is on full display in this laugh-out-loud story.
Guts by Raina Telgemeie
Telgemeier remembers her childhood anxiety, which took hold after a bout with the stomach flu led to fears of vomiting in public. Her humor is top-notch, balancing Simpsons-style asides and punch lines with more juvenile humor, and her younger self’s exaggerated, anime-like reactions clearly capture her turmoil and uncertainty.
Search our catalog today for these titles and to find more great graphic novels to read!