Graphic Novels


If you’ve never read a graphic novel, now is the time!  A graphic novel could be the style of book that gets your student excited about reading.  We have a lot of great options in our Lending Library and a wonderful Library Coordinator who can help you choose one to suit your student.

Ali Baba: Fooling the Forty Thieves
By Marie P. Croall
Illustrated by Clint Hilinski
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas and Pinnell Level: L; Interest Level: 5th-8th Grade

After stumbling upon a cave of wonders, Ali Baba’s life is changed forever. The only thing keeping him from gaining enough riches to provide a life of luxury to his family is the band of thieves that laid claim to the magical cave. The captain of the thieves will stop at nothing to kill the man who found the cave, so it’s up to Ali Baba and his clever family to outwit him in order to survive!

With references to Allah and other regional/period words, it’s worthwhile to go through the glossary at the end of this graphic novel with the student. Though this book portrays violent and gruesome deaths, the illustrations are milder than the descriptions. This story is recommended for students with strong fluency skills, as the names can be difficult to decode and each panel is fairly text-heavy (often containing narration, dialogue, or both). However, the characters are intriguing and stresses that wit over violence is the best approach to conflicts.

Amulet. Book One: The Stonekeeper
By Kazu Kibuishi
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas and Pinnell Level: M; Interest Level: 3rd-6th Grade

A magical amulet, tentacle monster, and pink rabbit all await Emily and Navin after moving into a creepy old house. The siblings are thrown into a world of robots and magic that neither fully understand after the death of their father and the kidnapping of their mother. In this alternate planet Earth, Emily will have to get in touch with the power of the amulet in order to save her family.

The pages of the book are filled with dark, brooding environments where thrills, chills, and spills are around every corner! The exotic names throughout the book will challenge the readers to use their knowledge of phonics to figure out the word pronunciations. However, with many pages featuring solely action scenes (and lacking dialogue), the students have a chance to take a mental breather between the more word-heavy pages.

Arthur & Lancelot: The Fight for Camelot
By Jeff Limke
Illustrated by Thomas Yeates
Reading Seed Level: Early; Fountas and Pinnell Level: L; Interest Level: 5th-8th Grade

This graphic novel shows in stunning color the story of King Arthur and his best knight, Sir Lancelot. A wedge is driven between their friendship as rumors begin to circulate that Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere are more than friends. Not only does the friendship begin to crumble, but the shining aura of the entire Kingdom threatens to fall to ruin.

For students who love history, violent sword fights, and an old-fashioned love triangle, this graphic novel is sure to please. And while the dialogue features accessible modern language throughout the book, there are some period references that students may struggle to decode – luckily, the publisher has included a glossary in the back to help understand the word and its meaning. If the student enjoys this comic, refer to the end of the book where additional reading on the subject is included!

The Baby-Sitters Club: A Graphic Novel. Vol. 4: Claudia and Mean Janine
By Raina Telgemeier
Reading Seed Level: Intermediate; Fountas and Pinnell Level: O; Interest Level: 3rd-6th Grade

This volume of The Baby-Sitter’s Club graphic novel follows Claudia and her struggles to balance her responsibilities, hobbies, and family life. As if things weren’t hard enough, another struggle is thrust upon not only her, but her entire family when a loved one is hospitalized. Will the loss of the family’s figurehead bring them together or tear them apart?

This lengthy book is best for a reader with higher comprehension levels as it contains multiple subplots throughout its 161 pages. The illustrations within the book are in black and white, but the characters are expressive and allow the reader to empathize with them. The primary storyline of the book contains the mature theme of dealing with the hospitalization and rehabilitation of a family member who has suffered a stroke, so when considering this book, the maturity of the student ought to be kept in mind.

Cave Dave
By Carol McAdams Moore
Illustrated by Mike Dammer
Reading Seed Level: Emerging; Fountas and Pinnell Level: D; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

This volume of comics features three short stories about a young caveman named Dave. The reader follows Dave as he finds a pet dinosaur, gets into trouble digging holes, and explores the Fog Bog. Each page is filled with colorful illustrations. The third story, “The Fog Bog”, features rhyming words that end with “og”. The inside of the back cover features words within the book that provides both commonly used words throughout the book and more challenging words that the coach may want to review before reading the book with their student.

Little Mouse Gets Ready: A Toon Book
By Jeff Smith
Reading Seed Level: Beginning; Fountas and Pinnell Level: F; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

Little Mouse is told that he has to get ready to go to the barn, so that means he has to do one thing – get dressed! The reader is told step-by-step how Little Mouse gets dressed with some commentary on the side, such as his hopes for what he may do at the barn.

This comic features pages with one or two panels each and each panel ranges from one to three sentences. The pictures provide clues as Little Mouse describes what he needs to do next. The book features large text with words occasionally emphasized in bold.

Stinky: A Toon Book
By Eleanor Davis
Reading Seed Level: Beginning; Fountas and Pinnell Level: G; Interest Level: K-3rd grade

Stinky is a three-chapter book that shows that even the most unlikely pair can become friends. A monster tries to scare a boy out of his swamp only to find that they have more in common than he thought. Alliteration and pictures provide clues throughout the book. However, there are some longer, three syllable words that might be challenging (such as “Wartbelly,” the frog’s name, “muckiest,” and “smelliest”). Stinky’s antics are amusing and sure to make a child laugh!