Monday, February 16, 2015

10 Favorite Graphic Novels

Do you read graphic novels?

Graphic Novels were always a mystery to me. I just did not understand the appeal of comics or manga.  When I started working with teens at the library who read graphic novels I was forced into reading them around 2007.  I am still not really a fan of Manga, it just doesn't not speak to me but I did find an appreciation for graphic novels.  There were certain titles that really spoke to me and since starting I have now collected quite a few favorite graphic novels that I would love to share with you today.  I definitely have a certain preference when it comes to graphic novels.  I enjoy ones that focus on female characters and real life situations. No super powers just real life. Lately there have been some artists who are really blazing trails and making graphic novels for a predominately female audience.  Below are my list of favorites.

The first line of Graphic Novels/Comics I loved was a line called Minx by DC comics. It was designed for young women you read comics and manga and honestly I'm shocked it did not take off. It was exactly what I was looking for in comics.  Real Life scenarios drawn with a little angst and humor.  They were exactly what I was looking for as a reader.
Some of my favorites were:

I wish they had continued this line it, but sadly it was discontinued in September of 2008. :(

Other Graphic novels I have read and loved over the years.

 **Summer as kid was always my favorite season and it still is.  This graphic novel perfectly encapsulates summer at the sea mixed with teen angst.

Summary (via goodreads)
 Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

 ** Beautifully sad coming of age story set in Oregon. I really loved it.

summary (via Goodreads
Lives intersect in the most unexpected ways when teenagers Anne and Lewis cross paths at an estate sale in sleepy Failin, Oregon. Failin was once a thriving logging community. Now the town's businesses are crumbling, its citizens bitter and disaffected. Anne and Lewis refuse to succumb to the fate of the older generation as they discover - together - the secrets of their hometown and their own families. Bad Houses is a coming-of-age tale about love, trust, hoarding, and dead people's stuff from award-winning creators Sara Ryan (Empress of the World) and Carla Speed McNeil

 **I was so excited when this book received the Newberry Honor this year. Its the first time a graphic novel has been recognized by the children's literary award and this book completely deserved it. This novel does a fantastic job portraying a young girl who has difficulties hearing and how she deals with that growing up.

summary (via Goodreads)
 Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is 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 school--in the the teacher's 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?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

 * The Middle School years are rough and even rougher for Raina who is in a car accident and loses her front teeth. I loved the way this novel portrays this painful time in a young girls life with humor and grace. I cannot keep this book on the shelf. My tween girls are always asking for it.

summary (via Goodreads)
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.

* A quirky and angsty story about being friends with a ghost.
Summary (via Goodreads)
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

 ** Seriously Creepy!!!

Summary (via Goodreads)
 It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

**And my current favorite graphic novelist is artist Lucy Knisley.  The works I have read by her are pictured below. I love her travelogue based graphic novels. The angst, the details of life and the food are exactly what I am looking for in a graphic novel.

Summary (via Goodreads)
 A place where young Americans can seek poetic magic in the winding streets of a beautiful city. The museums, the cafs, the parks. An artist like Lucy can really enjoy Paris in January. If only she can stop griping at her mother. This comic journal details a mother and daughters month-long stay in a small apartment in the fifth arrondissement. Lucy is grappling with the onslaught of adulthood. Her mother faces fifty. They are both dealing with their shifting relationship. All the while, they navigate Paris with halting French and dog-eared guidebooks


Summary (via Goodreads)
A vibrant, food-themed memoir from beloved indie cartoonist Lucy Knisley.

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions.

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a book for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

Summary (via Goodreads)
 Midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower; wine tastings paired with blowgun lessons; and romance in cafés, cemeteries, and at the Brandenberg Gate--these are just some of New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's experiences on her 2011 European book tour. An Age of License is both a graphic travelogue and a journal of her trip abroad. Fans of Knisley's food-focused autobiography (French Milk, Relish) savor her mouth-watering drawings and descriptions of culinary delights, seasons with cute cat cameos. But An Age of License is not all kittens and raclette crepes: Knisley's account of her adventures is colored by anxieties about her life and career, depicted with fearlessness, relatability, and honesty, making An Age of License an Eat, Pray, Love for the Girls generation.

**I look forward to reading the sequel. That just came out this month.

Any Graphic Novel Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


  1. I've never read any graphic novels before but some of these actually look really interesting! I'll have to see if any are at the library yet. Thanks for the list.

    1. I hope your library has them and that you get to enjoy them. Graphic novels really are a fun and different way to enjoy a story. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  2. I love like, 2 different Graphic Novels Otomen and The Earl and The Fairy, but my brother in law has been trying to get me to read one called 'Death Note' for ages, but I am working up to it!

    Excited to see more, new follower via bloglovin', please follow back if you can!
    Rachel x

    1. I will have to check those out. I will look them up in the library tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion! I hear good things about Death Note, but I personally can not commit to a series right now. Total series fatigue! But maybe one day in the future.

      I followed you back on bloglovin! Thanks for visiting. ~megan

  3. I've never been much into graphic novels either, but the travelogue style one sounds really cool! Thanks for this list, Megan!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

    1. Kathryn,
      I really enjoyed them. I suggest you flip through them one day at your local bookstore or library. Such quick reads could decide in few minutes if something you would be into. Lucy Knisley's totally romanticize Paris and her travels through Europe so it totally worked for me. ~megan

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