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Find more Great Graphic Novels for Teens
The Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is compiled annually by a committee of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and comprises recommended graphic novels for readers ages 12 to 18. Titles published in late 2013 are noted; all others were published in 2014. The committee’s top 10 choices are identified with a star (*).
Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics. Ed. by Chris Duffy. illus. First Second, paper, $24.99 (9781626720657).
A collection of WWI trench poetry and lyrics interpreted by modern cartoonists.
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. By Box Brown. Illus. by the author. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781596438514).
Andre the Giant, famous for his wrestling career, has always been considered larger than life, but his story fascinates well beyond the mat.
The Boxer: The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft. By Reinhard Kleist. Illus. by the author. SelfMadeHero, paper, $22.95 (9781906838775).
Harry Haft overcomes extreme odds during the Holocaust to become a famous boxer in America.
The Dumbest Idea Ever! By Jimmy Gownley. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Graphix, paper, $11.99 (9780545453479).
Gownley’s memoir recounts his teenage years and how he started drawing comics.
El Deafo. By Cece Bell. Illus. by the author. Abrams/Amulet, $21.95 (9781419710209).
Bell tells the story of navigating school, friendships, crushes, and being OK with not being able to hear. A 2015 Newbery Honor Book and a 2015 Notable Children’s Book.
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story. By Vivek J. Tiwary. Illus by Andrew C. Robinson. 2013. M Press, $19.99 (9781616552565).
Worldwide phenomenon the Beatles hit the big time with the help of an extraordinary and secretive manager.
Gandhi: My Life Is My Message. By Jason Quinn. Illus. by the author. 2013. Campfire, paper, $16.99 (9789380741222).
An illuminating biography of the legendary peacemaker of India.
The Great American Dust Bowl. By Don Brown. Illus. by the author. Houghton, $18.99 (9780547815503).
A speck of dust is a tiny thing, but in 1920s America, dust caused widespread devastation.
I Remember Beirut. By Zeina Abirached. Illus. by the author. Lerner/Graphic Universe, $26.34 (9781467738224).
A remembrance of the author’s childhood in Lebanon during its civil war.
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood. By Nathan Hale. Illus. by the author. Amulet, $12.95 (9781419708084).
Anthropomorphic animals depict the events of WWI.
Shackleton. By Nick Bertozzi. Illus. by the author. First Second, paper, $16.99 (9781596434516).
An account of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition in the early 1900s.
Sisters. By Raina Telgemeier. Illus. by the author. Scholastic, $24.99 (9780545540599).
The true story of how fun and frustrating relationships between sisters can be.
Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History. By Joel Gill. Illus. by the author. Fulcrum, paper, $23.95 (9781938486296).
Great stories of lesser-known African Americans throughout American history.
Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir. By Liz Prince. Illus. by the author. Zest, paper, $15.99 (9781936976553).
Prince wasn’t a girlie girl or one of the guys, but somewhere in the middle. A 2015 Top 10 Amelia Bloomer Project Book and a 2015 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. By Peter Bagge. Illus. by the author. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 (9781770461260).
The story of the Planned Parenthood founder, who tirelessly fought for reproductive rights her entire life.
*47 Ronin. By Mike Richardson. Illus. by Stan Sakai. Dark Horse, $19.99 (9781595829542).
The Japanese legend of the 47 ronin and their epic mission to avenge their wronged master.
Adventure Time. By Ryan North. Illus. by Braden Lamb and others.
More fun from the land of Ooo.
Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake. By Natasha Allegri. Illus. by the author. 2013. KaBOOM!, paper, $19.99 (9781608863389).
It’s up to Fionna and Cake to save the day from the Ice Queen.
*Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale. By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Illus. by Francesco Francavilla. Archie Comics, paper, $17.99 (9781619889088).
A zombie outbreak in Riverdale forces Archie and his fellow survivors to take refuge in Veronica’s mansion.
Alex + Ada, v.1. By Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn. Illus. by Jonathan Luna. Image, paper, $12.99 (9781632150066).
Alex gets a humanoid robot as a present from his grandmother and decides to give it sentience.
All Star. By Jesse Lonergan. Illus. by the author. NBM, paper, $13.99 (9781561638352).
Carl Carter, high-school-baseball star, discovers the inequality inherent in the system when he gets into trouble with the law.
All You Need Is Kill. By Ryosuke Takeuchi. Illus. by Takeshi Obata. Viz, paper, $14.99 (9781421576015).
Humanity’s battle against a formidable alien race is placed on hold when Keiji begins reliving the same day’s events over and over.
Bad Machinery. By John Allison. Illus. by the author.
The kids of Tackleford solve the mystery of a toddler-eating monster in the woods.
Linton and Sonny investigate who has been setting fire to old barns. Could it be the troll living under the bridge?
Baltimore, v.3: A Passing Stranger and Other Stories. By Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. Illus. by Ben Stenbeck. 2013. Dark Horse, $24.99 (9781616551827).
Lord Henry Baltimore battles monsters in his search for the vampire that killed his family.
Barbarian Lord. By Matt Smith. Illus. by the author. Houghton, $17.99 (9780547859064).
Barbarian Lord recruits allies and battles monsters, ghouls, and bad poets in his quest for justice.
Batman ’66, v.1. By Jeff Parker. Illus. by Jonathan Case. DC, paper, $14.99 (9781401249311).
When crime strikes in Gotham City, police commissioner Gordon calls upon the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin.
Batman Black and White, v.4. By various authors. illus. DC, $29.99 (9781401246433).
Batman short stories written and illustrated by all-star authors and artists.
Beautiful Darkness. By Fabien Vehlmann. Illus. by Kerascoët. Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95 (9781770461291).
A community of tiny people emerges from a dead girl’s body.
Black Widow, v.1: The Finely Woven Thread. By Nathan Edmondson. Illus. by Phil Noto. Marvel, paper, $17.99 (9780785188193).
When not fighting as part of the Avengers, Black Widow seeks redemption on her own terms.
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem. By Steve Niles. Illus. by Dave Wachter. Dark Horse, $14.99 (9781616553449).
A Jewish village brings to life a giant monster to defend against the Nazis.
Brilliant, v.1. By Brian Michael Bendis. Illus. by Mark Bagley. Marvel, $24.99 (9780785159148).
College students figure out how to give themselves superpowers, with disastrous consequences.
Buzz. By Ananth Panagariya. Illus. by Tessa Stone. 2013. Oni, paper, $19.99 (9781620100882).
Webster finds himself swept up in the cutthroat world of competitive, head-to-head spelling bees.
Cast Away on the Letter A. By Fred. Illus. by the author. TOON, $16.95 (9781935179634).
Philemon falls into a well that transports him to an island in the Atlantic that doesn’t exist.
Cleopatra in Space, v.1: Target Practice. By Mike Maihack. Illus. by the author. Scholastic, $12.99 (9780545528436).
According to a prophesy, Cleopatra will save the world, but she’s still just trying to learn algebra.
Down Set Fight! By Chad Bowers and Chris Sims. Illus. by Scott Kowalchuk. Oni, paper, $19.99 (9781620101162).
Football star Chuck Fairlane was expelled from the sport for fighting, but he finds unlikely fame when mascots track him down for revenge.
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. By Stephen Collins. Illus. by the author. Picador, $20 (9781250050397).
Dave lives in the tidy world of Here when his beard begins to grow uncontrollably.
The Graveyard Book. By Neil Gaiman. Illus. by P. Craig Russell.
The story of Nobody, a boy raised in a graveyard, and the dangers that threaten his life.
*In Real Life. By Cory Doctorow. Illus. by Jen Wang. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781596436589).
By way of her avatar in an online game, Anda discovers a bigger world than she had imagined.
Les Miserables. By Victor Hugo and Crystal Silvermoon. Illus. by SunNeko Lee. Udon, paper, $19.99 (9781927925164).
A classic tale of passion and tragedy in nineteenth-century France, rendered in manga-style art.
Mara. By Brian Wood. Illus. by Ming Doyle. 2013. Image, paper, $12.99 (9781607068105).
A volleyball player in the future gets superpowers, and it changes her life.
Moonhead and the Music Machine. By Andrew Rae. Illus. by the author. Nobrow, $24.95 (9781907704789).
When the school’s talent show is announced, Joey Moonhead sets out to create a music machine, and it’s out of this world.
*Ms. Marvel, v.1: No Normal. By G. Willow Wilson. Illus. by Adrian Alphona. Marvel, paper, $15.99 (9780785190219).
Kamala Khan is a geeky teenager navigating her Muslim identity and parents’ expectations when she gains bizarre and inexplicable powers. A 2015 Top 10 Amelia Bloomer Project Book and a 2015 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
My Little Monster. By Robico. Illus. by the author.
Mizutani is distracted from being the top student in her grade when Haru decides to be her friend.
My Little Pony, v.5: Friendship Is Magic. By Katie Cook. illus. IDW, $17.99 (9781631401053).
The ponies travel to a new world that mirrors their own.
My Love Story! v.1. By Kazune Kawhara. Illus. by the author. Viz, paper, $9.99 (9781421571447).
Takeo wonders if he will play second fiddle to his best friend when it comes to dating girls.
Red Sonja, v.2: The Art of Blood and Fire. By Gail Simone. Illus. by Walter Geovani. Dynamite, paper, $19.99 (9781606904817).
A dying king promises to free 1,000 slaves if Sonja will bring him the world’s greatest artisans in time for his last hurrah.
The Return of Zita the Spacegirl. By Ben Hatke. Illus. by the author. First Second, paper, $12.99 (9781596438767).
Zita will need help from friends to stop the plan of an evil intergalactic prison warden.
Rust, v.3: Death of the Rocket Boy. By Royden Lepp. Illus. by the author. Archaia, $24.99 (9781608864133).
Jet’s secret might force him off the farm where he works while risking the family who took him in.
Sally Heathcote, Suffragette. By Mary Talbot. Illus. by Kate Charlesworth. Dark Horse, $19.99 (9781616555474).
Sally Heathcote is drawn into the politics of the women’s suffrage movement in early twentieth-century England.
*Seconds. By Bryan Lee O’Malley. Illus. by the author. Ballantine, $25 (9780345529374).
Katie is not satisfied with her life and discovers a way to make some changes to her past using magic mushrooms.
The Secret Service: Kingsman. By Mark Millar. Illus. by Dave Gibbons. Marvel, paper, $12.99 (9780785165460).
A secret-service agent takes his deadbeat nephew under his wing.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. By Takaya Kagami. Illus. by Yamato Yamamoto.
Yuichiro and his friends try to escape their fate as livestock in a vampire city.
*The Shadow Hero. By Gene Luen Yang. Illus. by Sonny Liew. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781596436978).
Hank Chu helps out at his family’s grocery store when his mother makes him a superhero suit and offers to give him rides to fight crime.
Silver Surfer, v.1: New Dawn. By Dan Slott. Illus. by Michael Allred. Marvel, paper, $17.99 (9780785188780).
Silver Surfer challenges the Never Queen to save the life of an earth girl he’s never met.
Sing No Evil. By J. P. Ahonen. Illus. by K. P. Alare. Abrams, $24.95 (9781419713590).
A new metal band struggles to succeed and save the city from supernatural forces.
Summer Wars. By Mamoru Hosoda. Illus. by Igura Sugimoto.
The world’s foremost social network is infected with a malevolent AI that threatens to hurtle society into the Stone Age.
This One Summer. By Mariko Tamaki. Illus. by Jillian Tamaki. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781626720947).
Summer friends get tangled up in crushes, coming-of-age, and a family crisis. A 2015 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2015 Printz Honor Book.
Three Thieves. By Scott Chantler. Illus. by the author.
Dessa and her pals continue to search for her brother while the captain of the king’s guard remains on her trail.
*Through the Woods. By Emily Carroll. Illus. by the author. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $21.99 (9781442465954).
Five tales of sinister things that live in the woods. A 2015 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
*Trillium. By Jeff Lemire. Illus. by the author. Vertigo, paper, $16.99 (9781401249007).
The twentieth and thirty-eighth centuries meet in a time-travel romance.
The Undertaking of Lily Chen. By Danica Novgorodoff. Illus. by the author. First Second, paper, $29.99 (9781596435865).
According to custom, Deshi needs to find his brother a corpse bride, but meeting Lily changes everything.
Voice Over! Seiyu Academy. By Maki Minami. Illus. by author.
Hime wants to be a voice actress like her idol, Sakura, but not being able to talk like a princess might dash her dreams.
*Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki. By Mamoru Hosoda. Illus. by Yu. Yen, $26 (9780316401654).
Hana must raise two werewolf children on her own after their father dies in an accident.
The Woods, v.1: The Arrow. By James Tynion IV. Illus. by Michael Dialynas. BOOM!, paper, $9.99 (9781608864546).
A modern-day high school is transported without warning to another world.
World Trigger. By Daisuke Ashihara. Illus. by the author.
Osamu and the mysterious new kid battle monsters from a neighboring dimension.
X-Men: Battle of the Atom. By Brian Michael Bendis and others. Illus. by Frank Cho and others. Marvel, $49.99 (9780785189060).
X-Men past, present, and future collide.
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