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Find more Top 10 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. The titles below make up the top 10 picks from the full list, which is available at www.ala.org/yalsa/2019-great-graphic-novels-teens. Titles published in 2017 are noted; all others were published in 2018.
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation. By Anne Frank and Ari Folman. Illus. by David Polonsky. Pantheon, $24.95 (9781101871799).
This beautiful retelling of Anne Frank’s Diary is a feast for the eyes, bringing the powerful, unforgettable story to life in full color. Even readers familiar with the original will be drawn to this new version.
Crush. By Svetlana Chmakova. Illus. by the author. Yen, $11 (9780316363242).
Perfectly capturing the challenges of friendship drama and the anguish of first crushes in middle school, this is the story of Jorge Ruiz, sweet, gentle, and strong, who’s crushing on Jazmine, strong, kind, and intelligent. A 2019 Top 10 Amelia Bloomer Project Book.
Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt With Family Addiction. By Jarrett Krosoczka. Illus. by the author. Scholastic/Graphix, $24.99 (9780545902472).
Krozoczka’s memoir about being raised by his grandparents and finding art as a method of communication and self-expression movingly deals with family addiction and absenteeism. A 2019 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction finalist, a 2019 Notable Children’s Book, and a 2019 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
Illegal. By Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin. Illus. by Giovanni Rigano. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $20 (9781492662143).
Alone and refusing to be left behind by siblings who migrated to Europe before him, Ghanaian Ebo catches up with his brother so they can make the trip together, living on the streets, negotiating with human smugglers, and struggling to survive. A 2019 Notable Children’s Book.
My Brother’s Husband, v.2. By Gengoroh Tagame. Illus. by the author. Pantheon, $24.95 (9781101871539).
Yaichi has been struggling to fully understand and accept his brother’s husband, Mike. Spending time together during Mike’s visit to Japan, Yaichi and his daughter realize just how important he is to their family.
On a Sunbeam. By Tillie Walden. Illus. by the author. First Second, $32.99 (9781250178145).
Mia becomes the newest member on a ship that travels through space reconstructing historical ruins. Though quiet and unsure of herself, she fits in with the crew and eventually reveals her true purpose for taking the job: finding her lost love.
The final volumes of this series explore the experience of the teenage Pike siblings in the past and bring the story to a thoughtful close in a unique exploration of loss, grief, family, and acceptance.
City-dweller Yuugo Hachiken thinks agricultural high school will be a breeze, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Instead of doing math problems and reciting poetry, he’s waking up at five a.m. to do chores, raise piglets, and learn to ride a horse.
Speak: The Graphic Novel. By Laurie Halse Anderson. Illus. by Emily Carroll. Farrar, $19.99 (9780374300289).
In this beautifully, hauntingly illustrated graphic adaptation of Anderson’s groundbreaking novel, Melinda works on coming to terms with her sexual assault at a summer party and learning how to speak up about it. A 2019 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers and a 2019 Top 10 Amelia Bloomer Project Book.
The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees. By Don Brown. Illus. by the author. HMH, $18.99 (9781328810151).
This minimalist graphic account takes a journalistic approach to describing the political and social implications of the Syrian refugee crisis. Featuring stories of individual refugees, it also focuses on local and global trends contributing to the crisis. The 2019 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction winner, a 2019 Sibert Honor Book, and a 2019 Notable Children’s Book.
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