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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 ala.org/yalsa/2021-great-graphic-novels-teens-top-ten. Titles published in 2019 are noted; all others were published in 2020.
Almost American Girl. By Robin Ha. Illus. by the author. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $22.99 (9780062685100).
Ha discusses the challenges of moving to America from her childhood home in South Korea, providing an honest and thoughtful perspective on being an outsider, finding your community, and how it feels to return to a home you’ve left behind. A 2021 Notable Children’s Book.
An unexpected love quadrangle forms when Taichi agrees to help Futaba pursue her crush, Toma, while friend Mami looks on. But Toma has feelings for someone else, and as friendships and romantic relationships develop, nothing is as clear cut as it seems.
Fights: One Boy’s Triumph over Violence. By Joel Christian Gill. Illus. by the author. Oni, $19.99 (9781549303357).
Gill narrates what it was like for him to grow up in a single-parent household in the 1980s, from childhood to young adulthood, Black, broke, and surrounded by uncertainty.
Go with the Flow. By Karen Schneemann. Illus. by Lily Williams. First Second, $21.99 (9781250305725).
Fed up with the empty tampon and pad dispensers at Hazelton High School, sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha decide to start a “menstruation revolution.” Through blog posts, letter-writing campaigns, and online fundraisers, the girls work together to make change. A 2021 Notable Children’s Book.
Guantánamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison. Ed. by Sarah Mirk. Abrams ComicsArts, $24.99 (9781419746901).
Narratives about the infamous Guantánamo prison are illuminated in this anthology by multimedia journalist Sarah Mirk and a team of talented artists.
The Low, Low Woods. By Carmen Maria Machado. Illus. by Dani and Tamra Bonvillain. DC Comics, $22.99 (9781779504524).
El and Vee black out and lose time in a movie theater. While trying to figure out what happened, the girls uncover horrifying secrets about their community that span generations.
The Magic Fish. By Trung Le Nguyen. Illus. by the author. Random/RH Graphic, $16.99 (9780593125298).
Tiến is a first-generation Vietnamese American who struggles with coming out of the closet to his parents. Will Tiến find a way to connect in the fairytales he shares with his mother? A 2021 Notable Children’s Book and a 2021 Top 10 Rainbow List selection for Younger Readers.
Snapdragon. By Kat Leyh. Illus. by the author. First Second, $12.99 (9781250171115).
Snap knows witches aren’t real, but when her dog goes missing, she checks at the local witch’s house just in case. From there, an unlikely friendship begins, and Snap discovers that witches may be real after all. A 2021 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers and a 2021 Top 10 Rainbow List selection for Younger Readers.
Superman Smashes the Klan. By Gene Luen Yang. Illus. by by Gurihiru. DC Comics, $16.99 (9781779504210).
In 1946, Lan-Shin (Roberta) Lee and her family move from Chinatown to central Metropolis and attempt to fit in with their neighbors. But when the Klan begins harassing the Lees, Roberta must team up with new friends to help Superman take down the Klan in this smart, action-packed adventure. A 2021 Notable Children’s Book.
In this humorous and satirical reboot, alien twins Zan and Jayna have to balance their lives as high-schoolers in Metropolis while trying to figure out if their actions as heroes are actually helping to solve any of the world’s real issues.
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