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Graphic Novels

What is a graphic novel?

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Free Graphic novels and comics online!

Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth

Comic Series about Native Americans

Graphic Novels by Women

African Americans in Comics

Online Resources for Librarians


What is a graphic novel?

A graphic novel is simply a comic book. However, graphic novels tend to be more sophisticated than traditional comic books. They are bound in book format rather than magazine, which was how comic books were initially published. For more information on graphic novels visit the ALA's Reference on the Web: Graphic Novels.

Another term for graphic novel is manga, which is the Japanese work for comics. For more information on manga visit the Librarian's Guide to Anime and Manga.

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Free Graphic novels and comics online!


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Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth by the American Library Association


The books below give themes of friends and family new expression thanks to their visual format. Some of the selections were published with adults rather than young people as the primary readership, but they are excellent crossovers for YA readers. Several other crossover possibilities that may attract some mature, more sophisticated young adults, including the self-aware, nostalgia-tinged Brooklyn Dreams, by J. M. DeMatteis and Glenn Barr and Blankets, by Craig Thompson, are included in Ray Olson’s Top 10 Graphic Novels list for adults on p.962. —Francisca Goldsmith

Asamiya, Kia. Batman: Child of Dreams. Ed. by Max Allan Collins. 2003. illus. DC Comics, $24.95 (1-563-89906-X).

Gr. 7–up. The intrepid Dark Knight is thrown into battle with a Japanese impostor who pushes a drug that seems to promise the realization of one’s dreams. Asamiya’s manga, in grainy black and grays, sets the mood superbly.

Gaiman, Neil. The Wolves in the Walls. Illus. by Dave McKean. 2003. HarperCollins, $16 (0-380-97827-X).

Gr. 3–6. Her family is slow to believe that their cozy home is being overtaken by wolves, so it’s up to Lucy to lead everyone to safety. McKean’s dramatically messy collage images are in perfect harmony with Gaiman’s hyperbolic text.

Irwin, Jane and Berndt, Jeff. Vögelein: A Clockwork Faerie. 2003. illus. Fiery Studio, paper, $12.95 (0-9743110-0-6).

Gr. 6–up. Gray-tone artwork captures both motion and mood in this old-fashioned fairy-tale setup, in which a 300-year-old winged creature reflects on her past and searches for someone to keep her wind-up mechanism going.

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Ed. and illus. by Peter Kuper. 2003. Crown, paper, $18 (1-4000-4795-1).

Gr. 8–up. Kuper uses strikingly stylized, block-print-style art in his adaptation, which highlights the effects Gregor Samsa’s transformation to a giant insect have on his family, particularly his devoted sister.


Kim, Ho Sik. My Sassy Girl. Illus by Dae Hong Min. 2003. ComicsOne, paper, $13.95 (1-58899-342-6).

Gr. 9–up. In this full-color manga romance, a rich parody of real-life young love, college-student Geon-woo is attracted to a young woman who seems to bring him nothing but trouble and embarrassment.

Kubert, Joe. Yossel: April 19, 1943: A Story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 2003. illus. iBooks, $24.95 (0-7434-7516-X).

Gr. 8–up. Using the conceit of a sketchbook, teenage Yossel “speaks” vividly from the midst of the Warsaw ghetto uprising as he and his friends fight to the death for freedom from brutal Nazis oppressors.

Rabagliati, Michel. Paul Has a Summer Job. Tr. by Helge Dascher. 2003. illus. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $16.95 (1-896597-54-8).

Gr. 9–12. Canadian high-school dropout Paul stumbles onto a job at a summer camp for disadvantaged children and discovers a way to move forward with his life. Expressive black-ink images capture the individuality of the characters and the Quebec landscape.

Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. 2003. illus. Pantheon, $17.95 (0-375-42230-7).

Gr. 9–up. This insightful memoir about growing up female during Iran’s Islamic revolution spins out in black-and-white images, from realistic to fantastic, that are perfectly in keeping with a young girl’s experiences in a society rocked by change.

Sfar, Joann. Little Vampire Does Kung Fu! 2003. illus. Simon & Schuster, $12.95 (0-689-85769-1).

Gr. 4–7. In one of the best of the French picture-book-size series about the boy Michael and his nonhuman friends, Michael and Little Vampire deal with local bullies. Full coloring and a zany cast in a wacky story that offers hope to kids dealing with their own oppressors.

Weissman, Steven. White Flower Day. 2003. illus. Fantagraphics, paper, $14.95 (1-560-97514-8).

Gr. 9–up. Scratch panels highlighted in ocher cast an appropriately jaundiced pall over three intriguingly twisted tales of rascaldom. They feature the Frankenstein-like Pullapart Boy, devilish L’il Bloody, and several equally weird young characters who venture forth to create mayhem, from innocent to morbid.


Comic Series about Native Americans




Graphic Novels by Women



African Americans in Comics


http://www.blacksuperhero.com/history.html African Americans in comics

Online Resources for Librarians:



Brainchild of acclaimed writer Warren Ellis and Internet producer Peter Siegel, ArtBomb aims to broaden the appeal of comic books and graphic novels through promoting and reviewing diverse and sophisticated titles. Reviews may be searched by creator, title, or genre, and some include previews. This site also offers a "What is a graphic novel?" introductory tour in comic book format aimed at librarians, educators, and new fans.

The Comic Book Database

An extensive database of comic books from a variety of publishers.

Graphic Novels and Comic Trade Paperbacks--An Annotated List by Dawn Imada

Compiled by a young adult librarian at the San Jose Public Library System, this Web site lists graphic novels and comic books appropriate for all ages. It is divided into three sections: All Ages, 12 and up, and 16 and up.

Graphic Novels for Younger Readers by Michael Gorman

An annotated bibliography of graphic novels that are appropriate for elementary aged children.

Lambiek Comiclopedia

Lists over 6,000 international comic books artists.

Librarians Guide to Anime and Manga

Almost everything you need to know about Anime and Manga, the Japanese forms of graphic novels.

no flying, no tights -- graphic novel reviews

Created and maintained by library technician and MLS-holder Robin Brenner and friends, this resource contains three comic book and graphic novel review sites, one each for kids, teens, and adults. Each includes core lists of recommended and reviewed titles divided into various topics, with some aimed at librarians and teachers. Aside from genre divisions, indexes for creator, title, and publisher offer great search tools for finding reviews.

Recommended Graphic Novels for Public Libraries selected and annotated by Steve Raiteri

All graphic novels selected for this bibliography are appropriate for young adults.