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Find more Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth
This year’s top 10 graphic novels for youth, reviewed in Booklist between March 1, 2015, and February 15, 2016, cover everything from jaunty body cells to the terrible consequences of Hurricane Katrina, not to mention heartwarming friendships, powerful imagination, and epic space adventures.
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. By Don Brown. Illus. by the author. 2015. HMH, $18.99 (9780544157774). Gr. 6–9.
This spare, emotionally resonant title tracks the infamous hurricane’s destructive effects as well as the epic failure of the aftermath. Haunting, monochromatic panels hit readers like a punch in the gut.
Giant Days, v.1. By John Allison. Illus. by Lissa Treiman. 2015. Boom! Studios, $9.99 (9781608867899). Gr. 10–12.
Though exaggerated, cartoonish occurrences are frequent in this tale following Daisy, Susan, and Esther, the core of the story is their heartening, realistic friendship. Dynamic art with comical visual cues add to the lighthearted tone.
Human Body Theater. By Maris Wicks. Illus. by the author. 2015. First Second, $14.99 (9781626722774). Gr. 5–8.
Cartoon atoms, molecules, cells, and body parts explain their functions in this friendly, accessible graphic-novel guide to the human body. Wicks’ playful cartoon artwork perfectly balances fun and facts.
Little Robot. By Ben Hatke. Illus. by the author. 2015. First Second, $16.99 (9781626720800). Gr. 1–4.
A small child sneaks out of her house, ready for adventure, and she finds an unexpected friend when she encounters a lost robot. Hatke’s lively, near-wordless work is inventive in both vision and execution.
Lumberjanes, v.1. By Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis. Illus. by Shannon Watters. 2015. Boom! Studios, $14.99 (9781608866878). Gr. 6–9.
The Lumberjanes weren’t expecting to encounter vicious magical creatures at summer camp! Pure mystery-solving, bad-guy-bludgeoning fun, filled with buoyant art and a lighthearted feminist message.
March: Book Two. By John Lewis and Andrew Aydin. Illus. by Nate Powell. 2015. Top Shelf, $19.95 (9781603094009). Gr. 7–12.
The second installment in this lauded series focuses on the dangerous freedom rides in 1961 and the monumental March on Washington. Powell’s cinematic artwork carries stunning emotional weight.
The Only Child. By Guojing. Illus. by the author. 2015. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $19.99 (9780553497045). K–Gr. 3.
Guojing’s wordless, sepia-toned tale explores loneliness and imagination, following one intrepid little girl on the long trip alone to her grandma’s, with a detour to a luminous fantasy world. Bittersweet and arresting.
Space Dumplins. By Craig Thompson. Illus. by the author. 2015. Scholastic/Graphix, $24.99 (9780545565417). Gr. 5–8.
When Violet’s dad goes missing during an oil-spill-like wave of space-whale diarrhea, she valiantly sets off to find him. Kinetic artwork and incisive social commentary give this sci-fi adventure depth.
SuperMutant Magic Academy. By Jillian Tamaki. Illus. by the author. 2015. Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95 (9781770461987). Gr. 9–12.
With expert, deceptively simple artwork, Tamaki creates a heartbreaking and hilarious collection of wry vignettes, exploring the thrills and banalities of superhuman teens at boarding school.
Written and Drawn by Henrietta. By Liniers. Illus. by the author. 2015. TOON, $12.95 (9781935179900). Gr. 1–3.
Henrietta is composing a story in effervescent, crayon-bright scribbles. Meanwhile, Liniers’ fine-lined artwork playfully captures the little artist’s over-the-top reactions to her own story.
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