Favorite Graphic Novels
Smile & Sisters by Raina Telgemeier: Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel memoirs are hugely popular, and it’s easy to see why. They’re hilariously funny (the sequences in Sisters with the family pets comes to mind), but they also show the trials and frustrations of growing up, of finding your way with friends and family.
El Deafo by Cece Bell: Bell’s graphic novel memoir for kids won a Newbery Honor this year, and for good reason. Bell tells the story of her deafness and the trials of having to wear a hearing device at school. But at the same time, it’s really a story about wanting to fit in and find friends, and not knowing quite how to do it. Plus, everyone is a rabbit. Why not?
Adult and Teen:
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks: This is my favorite graphic novel, maybe ever. It features a group of teenagers who are forced to enter a robot fighting competition together, and it is glorious. Friendship, humor, angst, and did I mention the robots?
Relish by Lucy Knisley: A graphic novel memoir of Knisley’s early life. It’s a tender, hilarious, and sometimes poignant story told through the lens of Knisley’s relationship to cooking and food. She includes recipes with each section, for added fun.
This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki: A beautiful, thoughtful exploration of friendship and growing up. This One Summer won both a Printz Honor and a Caldecott Honor this year, and it’s totally deserved. Jillian Tamaki’s art and Mariko Tamaki’s text work together to convey the tensions and dreaminess of summer.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: Okay, I’m sort of cheating with this one. It’s not out in book form yet, but it was originally a webcomic written and posted by Stevenson. The story starts out funny, with a supervillain who has doubts about villainy and his shapeshifting sidekick, but it turns into one big emotional punch.
Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks: You may recognize Hicks’ name from Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, above. I like her artwork quite a lot. Superhero Girl was originally a webcomic, telling the exploits of a girl superhero and her friends and family. It’s lots of fun.
The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison: I love Allison’s work, and especially the Bad Machinery series, which features a group of teen detectives solving crimes around their Northern English town. It’s incredibly smart and fun, and the characters have become some of my favorites ever.