Graphic Novel Recs for Young Readers
by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)
Hi! It's been quite a while since I shared some thoughts and recommendations on a Bookish Fave. It's been a crazy year for me personally and for my family, but I'm hopeful that the fall of this year will bring calmer times.
One genre I've really enjoyed discovering and reading over the past few months is graphic novels. The ones I'm recommending in today's Bookish Fave are all appropriate for young audiences - I've read these with my five and seven year old daughters. They're mostly classified as middle grade reads - I've been on quite the middle grade reading kick recently!
Sophie Escabasse's Witches of Brooklyn series (Bookshop.org) - After a family tragedy, Effie goes to live with two distant aunts she's never met before and quickly discovers that there's a side to her family (and herself!) that she had not yet discovered. As she discovers her own abilities as a young witch, she balances having a "normal" social life with her new responsibilities and learning. I love the way Escabasse shows that things are often more than they seem and that friendships can be difficult but are worth the effort. It's a sweet series with strong characters, and we're excited to read Book 3 when it comes out in September!
John Patrick Green's InvestiGators series (Bookshop.org) - This fun, pun-filled series focuses on two investi-gators, Mango and Brash, who are partners and have to find ways to go undercover and to foil the hijinks of criminals who are up to no good. These are silly, funny, and compelling, and they will keep the attention of young readers.
Remy Lai's Pawcasso (Bookshop.org) - In this story, eleven-year-old Jo meets a sweet dog who routinely runs errands around town for a mysterious family Jo has not met. When people mistakenly believe that Jo is the owner of the dog, who gets falsely named "Pawcasso," Jo finds herself in the middle of a long-lasting charade and struggles to figure out how to tell the truth without losing her newfound friends. This one also touches on how issues can create divisions between people (leash laws become a hot topic!) and explores ways to break down those barriers.
Kayla Miller's Click series (Bookshop.org) - In this series, protagonist Olive navigates finding her way amid the different friendship challenges that emerge. In the first book of the series, Olive's grade has a talent show, and she begins to learn what cliques look like as she tries to figure out her place within the talent show events. I love Olive's character and her family, and I appreciate the way Miller reveals important aspects of navigating friendships.
Dana Simpson's Phoebe and Her Unicorn series (Bookshop.org) - This has been a longtime favorite for my girls. The premise, that Phoebe has a magical unicorn as a best friend, is appealing to young readers, but the characters are full of dry wit and often get into mischief, so it works for a wide age range. A lot of the books in this collection are more like comics than graphic novels in the sense that it's not always a continuous narrative, but the sketches are fun and enlightening and do not disappoint! Johan Troïanowski's The Runaway Princess (Bookshop.org) - Princess Robin has had enough of doing the normal (boring) princess things, so she decides to head off on an adventure, or several adventures! This is a fun, affirming story full of escapades and opportunities for bravery, and there are interactive components for the reader that maintain interest and momentum.
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