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40 Graphic Novels for Novel Studies Teachers and Kids Will Both Love

Looking for the best graphic novels for novel studies? Here are some great children’s graphic novels for classroom read alouds or for students to read. Children’s graphic novels that are historical fiction, biographies, realistic and more. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children’s graphic novels as a central theme including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Best Graphic Novels for Novel Studies

Drama

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department’s stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

Looking for the best graphic novels for kids? Here are some great children's graphic novels for classroom read alouds or for students to read. Children's grpahic novels that are historical fiction, biographies, realistic and more. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children's graphic novels as a central theme including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different. She’s sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
 
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school—in the hallway . . . in the teacher’s lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

Smile

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

Ghosts

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

Sisters

Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.

Guts

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away… and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on? Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face — and conquer — her fears.

New Kid

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Class Act

Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying “You have to work twice as hard to be just as good.” His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn’t afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted?

When Stars Are Scattered

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future…but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.

Narwhal and Jelly Series

When Jelly wonders what a unicorn is, Narwhal explains that they’re pretty much narwhals of the land (!) — and then gets carried away with a grand plan to see one. With the help of Star, Narwhal’s wish comes true in the wildest, weirdest way: Narwhal gets some land legs and takes their first step ashore. After some wibble-wobbling and a bit of practice, Narwhal is soon galloping along in search of unicorns, though Jelly is a little land sick. Before they know it, Star has the duo blasting off to a magical planet where everyone is a unicorn! But Jelly’s out-of-this-world adventure makes him feel out of his comfort zone, and he wishes he were at home . . . can Narwhal cheer Jelly up and also party down with their new unicorn pals?

Cat Kid Comic Club

In the Cat Kid Comic Club, Li’l Petey, Flippy, and Molly help twenty-one spirited, funny, and talented baby frogs learn to express themselves through comics. The adventures unwind with mishaps and hilarity as the creative baby frogs experience the mistakes and progress that come with practice and persistence.

Dog Man

Dog Man is the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO! This deluxe boxed set includes the first six books in the Dog Man series: Dog Man, Dog Man Unleashed, Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties, Dog Man and Cat Kid, Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas, and Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild.Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.

Catstronauts

When the world is thrust into darkness due to a global energy shortage, the Worlds Best Scientist comes up with a bold plan to set up a solar power plant on the moon. But someone has to go up there to set it up, and that adventure falls to the CatStronauts, the best space cats on the planet! Meet the fearless commander Major Meowser, brave-but-hungry pilot Waffles, genius technician and inventor Blanket, and quick thinking science officer Pom Pom on their most important mission yet!

The Flying Beaver Brothers

Meet Ace and Bub, the flying beaver brothers! Ace loves extreme sports and is always looking for a new adventure. Bub loves napping and, well, napping. But when penguins threaten to freeze Beaver Island for “resort and polar-style living,” the brothers put their talents to work saving their tropical island paradise. Can they save Beaver Island from environmental destruction? And can they do it in time to still win the annual Beaver Island Surfing Competition?

Minecraft

Tyler is your everyday kid whose life is changed when his family has to move from the town he’s always known. Thankfully, Tyler has a strong group of friends forever linked in the world of Minecraft! Tyler, along with his friends Evan, Candace, Tobi, and Grace have been going on countless adventures together across the expanses of the Overworld and are in need of a new challenge. They decide to go on the Ultimate Quest–to travel to the End and face off against the ender dragon!

Baby-Sitters Club

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up — cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls — you can count on them to save the day. Baby-sitting isn’t always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.

The Crossover Graphic Novel

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. ’Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood—he’s got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line.

Amulet series

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather. The strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a tentacled creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into a fantastical world inhabited by robots, mysterious plants, and talking animals. It’s up to Em and Navin to figure out how to set things right and save their mother’s life!

5 Worlds Series

The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

• Oona Lee, the clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.

• An Tzu, a boy from the poorest slums, has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.

• Jax Amboy is the star athlete who is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?

When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!

Last Kids on Earth

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and the fiercest girl Jack knows, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it?

Mighty Jack

Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk―to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made.

Click!

Olive wants to get in on the act . . . . . . Any act! Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?

Zita the Space Girl

Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.

White Bird

In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. Here, Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère’s heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II; how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend.

Nimona

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Olga

When Olga crosses paths with a weird creature and becomes the first kid to discover the species olgamus ridiculus, she is ecstatic! What does an olgamus eat? How does it poop? Why does its burp sound like the word rubber? With her trusty observation notebook and the help of a librarian, a shopkeeper, and some friends, Olga sets out to do science—learning the facts about her smelly, almost-furry pal and searching for him when he goes missing. The scientific method is the best way to discover anything!

Epic Zero

All Elliott Harkness wants is to be a superhero. His parents are superheroes. His older sister is a superhero. Heck, even his dog is a superhero. But Elliott has a problem—he’s a “Zero”—which is super-speak for powerless! So, while his family is off fighting crime, Elliott is stuck muddling through middle school.

Elliott feels ever-so-ordinary, until a mysterious girl changes everything. For some reason, she believes Elliott is the only one who can capture a mega-powerful, extraterrestrial orb before it falls into the wrong hands. But with menacing supervillains and globe-conquering aliens closing in fast, will Elliott find the power to be the epic hero he’s always wanted to be—or will he always be just an Epic Zero?

Stargazing

Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.

Moon’s visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine’s best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a modern day classic that has plenty of higher level language structures for students to analyze, especially some of the humor.

Wings of Fire

Peace has come to Pyrrhia… for now.

The war between the tribes is finally over, and now the dragonets of the prophecy have a plan for lasting peace: Jade Mountain Academy, a school that will gather dragonets from all the tribes and teach them to live together, perhaps even as friends.

Moonwatcher isn’t sure how she feels about school, however. Hidden in the rainforest for most of her life, the young NightWing has an awful secret. She can read minds, and even see the future. Living in a cave with dozens of other dragons is noisy, exhausting―and dangerous.

In just a few days, Moon finds herself overwhelmed by her secret powers and bombarded by strange thoughts, including those of a mysterious dragon who might be a terrible enemy. And when someone starts attacking dragons within the academy, Moon has a choice to make: Stay hidden and safe? Or risk everything to save her new friends?

Sunny Side Up

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun — it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It’s full of . . . old people. Really old people.Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains — why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer. . .

Roller Girl

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship.

As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales

Hilarious, gruesome, and packed with facts, this series introduces readers to some of the strangest moments in history. In this boxed set, readers will meet Revolutionary War spy Nathan Hale in One Dead Spy: A Revolutionary War Tale, learn about the most famous battles and little-known secrets of the First World War in Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood: A World War I Tale, and travel the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman in The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales are graphic novels that tell the thrilling, shocking, gruesome, and TRUE stories of American history. Read them all—if you dare!

Nat Enough

Making friends isn’t easy, but losing them is even harder!Natalie has never felt that she’s enough — athletic enough, stylish enough, or talented enough. And on the first day of middle school, Natalie discovers that things are worse than she thought — now she’s not even cool enough for her best friend, Lily! As Natalie tries to get her best friend back, she learns more about her true self and natural talents. If Natalie can focus on who she is rather than who she isn’t, then she might realize she’s more than enough, just the way she is.

I Survived

These are the graphic novel editions of some favorite titles from the novel editions. These are obviously a great way to get kids interested in the historical fiction genre!

The Lightning Thief Graphic Novels

Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson’s textbooks and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.

Allergic

At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!

Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet?

Sheets

A story of ghosts, family, loneliness, and laundromats. Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen-year-old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for. Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world.

When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.

Anne of Green Gables

When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan who can help manage their family farm, they have no idea what delightful trouble awaits them. With flame-red hair and an unstoppable imagination, 11-year-old Anne Shirley takes Green Gables by storm.

Anne’s misadventures bring a little romance to the lives of everyone she meets: her bosom friend, Diana Barry; the town gossip, Mrs. Lynde; and that infuriating tease, Gilbert Blythe. From triumphs and thrills to the depths of despair, Anne turns each everyday moment into something extraordinary.

The Greatest in the World!

Rot is a mutant potato who wakes up feeling great, maybe even…the greatest in the world! But that only makes Rot’s brother Snot the grumpiest in the world. The only solution? An epic contest to prove who is the greatest once and for all, judged by the only impartial party they can find—their small fry little sister Tot.

But as the stakes get higher through the muddy potato sack race, sacred hot potato roll, and a hilarious laughing contest, their rivalry spirals out of control. Suddenly Rot’s not feeling so spudtacular anymore. Will this tater trio ever be able to determine who the greatest in the world really is?

Best Graphic Novels for Novel Studies

What are some of your favorite best graphic novels for novel studies? Are there any must read best graphic novels for novel studies that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Looking for the best graphic novels for novel studies? Here are some great children's graphic novels for classroom read alouds or for students to read. Children's graphic novels that are historical fiction, biographies, realistic and more. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children's graphic novels as a central theme including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.
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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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