The last few years have been great for excellent graphic novels. Below is a list of some interesting series openers that have come out recently. Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact us at the library, and we’ll point you in the right direction!
The Only Living Boy by David Gallaher
Ages: 7 – 12
Every once in a blue moon, we’ll get an elementary school-aged kid who wants a book “like The Hunger Games.” This could be a good option for that kid. In this series, a 12-year-old runaway named Erik who can’t remember his past wakes up in a dystopian future inhabited entirely by aliens. He is captured almost immediately, escapes about as quickly, and the action keeps going from there. The species included are unique, and the world is drawn in stunning detail, with a dark-toned palette. A fantastic sci-fi action-adventure.
Cleopatra In Space by Mike Maihack
Ages: 8 – 12
When I first saw this, I was dubious, but I’m glad I read it! Cleo is an opinionated, independent-minded young future ruler of Egypt, just trying to have fun exploring with her best friend while avoiding her tutor. Next thing she knows, she’s transported into the distant future where she is expected to save the galaxy from the dread invader Xaius Octavian. To prepare her for her fate, she is enrolled at Yasiro Academy, with a mix of human and alien students, to learn sharpshooting, algebra, and other useful life skills. Adventures ensue. Try it yourself!
Dream Jumper by Greg Grunberg & Lucas Turnbloom
Ages: 8 – 12
Ben’s been having some really strange nightmares recently, made even stranger because they’re not all his! Somehow, he’s developed the ability to enter and manipulate other kids’ dreams while he sleeps. There are monsters in there, though, and they have plans of their own. When kids from Ben’s school start getting stuck in sleep, unable to wake up, Ben knows he has to do something to save the day. This series starter has a good mix of humor and adventure, with just a pinch of creepy mystery, and it should find wide appeal.
Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
Ages: 8 – 12
Jack’s family has it kind of rough right now. His single mother has to work two jobs to keep food on the table, and, since it’s summer break, that means that it’s Jack’s job to watch out for his sister Maddy, who has ASD. Still, Jack doesn’t really regret trading his mom’s car for that box of seeds when Maddy (usually nonverbal) urges him to, because they grow into a garden that’s literally magical. Soon, the siblings and their friend Lilly are having a blast trying to figure out what all the different plants do. Then a dragon shows up, and Jack has to ask himself: is a magical life worth the danger? The word for this book is “vibrant” – colors, characters, the plot – it’s all brilliant. Great for any young reader.
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
Ages: 9 – 13
There’s only one way to get from the far side of the mountains to the sea, and that’s through a city that’s been conquered and renamed countless times. Natives call it The Nameless City. Kaidu is the son of an occupying general, and has arrived in the city to complete his education. Kaidu isn’t satisfied staying behind the Palace walls, though – he wants to explore the city itself. Soon he has met and begrudging befriended Rat, a city girl who runs over rooftops as easily as others walk across the street. When conspiracies start to roil in the city, will their friendship last? A fascinating story with intricate artwork – hand to any adventure lover today!
Princeless: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
Ages: 9 – 14
Princess Adrienne Ashe is clever, brave, strong, smart, and….locked in a tower, guarded by a fire-breathing dragon named Sparky. Fed up with being governed by other people’s low expectations (and unwilling to marry someone she’s never met, just because they’re good at dragon-slaying), Adrienne decides enough is enough. Thus begins one princess’s epic (and funny) quest to save herself and her sisters, one monster-ridden tower at a time. With the added bonus of a ruling family of color, this series is perfect for any kid who has ever heard a fairy tale. A must-have book.