It’s no secret that book make great gifts! What if you’re shopping for a reluctant reader, an art fiend, or a bookworm who seems to have already read everything? Graphic novels are the way to go! Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a graphic novel for any age and every taste. Here are some of this year’s stand-out titles:
For Young Readers
PEA, BEE, & JAY: STUCK TOGETHER
Written and illustrated by Brian Smith
Pea takes a dare to roll off his farm, but finds himself in a bigger jam than expected when a thunderstorm carries him away! With the help of a precocious bee named Bee, and a bird who still can’t fly named Jay, can Pea find his way back to the farm?
PIZZA AND TACO: WHO’S THE BEST?
Written and illustrated by Stephen Shaskan
Pizza and Taco are best friends, but wonder which one of them is the best. It’s hard to tell by themselves, so they turn to their friends and organize a big vote to declare which of them is best. But can their friendship last through the competition?
For Middle Grade Readers
Written by Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta
Illustrated by Maca Gil
Classmates Piper and Sloane think they’ve got nothing in common, but they both have surprising secrets. Piper, with her super-human strength, is dying to prove herself as a superhero, while Sloane uses her extraordinary smarts to help her villainous grandfather. After going head to head over a mysterious device, the two girls swap bodies. Their secret identities revealed, Piper and Sloane must work together to change back.
MACHINES THAT THINK!
Written and illustrated by Don Brown
From humankind’s earliest days to now, we’ve created machines to help us do all kinds of things. Learn what we’ve built through the ages, from the abacus to our smart phones, and the people whose inventions have changed the world.
WHEN STARS ARE SCATTERED
Written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy
Living in a refugee camp, life has been hard for Omar and his little brother Hassan. When Omar gets an opportunity to be able to go to school again, he knows it’s his best chance to make life better for him and his brother. But Hassan is nonverbal and needs a lot of care, and Omar is the only family he has left. Will he have to choose between taking care of Hassan now and working on a better future for them both?
YORICK AND BONES
Written by Jeremy Tankard and Hermione Tankard
Illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
“Alas poor Yorick!” Hamlet’s old friend, alone so long and buried underground. Now a skeleton, Yorick wakes and is dug up by a hungry dog. If the dog will ever stop trying to nibble his bones, perhaps he can help Yorick find the one thing he longs for – a friend.
For Teen Readers
Written and illustrated by Hannah Templer
It’s been years since Pan last saw her best friend Tara. A princess, Tara was a prize to the winner of the Cosmoknight tournament, but Pan helped her escape. But then a pair of fighters show up on Tara’s doorstep, fighters who devoted to saving princesses. Ready for adventure, Pan joins them and their fight, and finds more than she bargained for.
THE DARK MATTER OF MONA STARR
Written and Illustrated by Laura Lee Gulledge
Lately, Mona sometimes feels a little strange. The world suddenly seems scary, and making friends is hard. She calls it the Matter, a dark feeling that makes her feel like she’s unwanted. After a really bad bout of the Matter, Mona finds the courage to ask her parents for help. With their support, therapy, good friends, and art, Mona learns what the Matter is and how to tame it.
Written and Illustrated by Gene Luen Yang
Even though Gene isn’t into sports, he can see that the boys basketball team at the high school where he teaches is on to something great. Their journey to the California State Championships is a story much like the comic books Gene loves, with lots of action, drama, and heroes too, and he can’t help but be sucked in to the excitement buzzing around him.
LONG WAY DOWN
Written and illlustrated by Jason Reynolds
Stunning artwork compliments the powerful story of Will, a boy heading out to avenge his brother’s death. The loaded gun heavy in his waistband, Will’s resolve is set. But as the elevator carries him down, stopping at each floor, he is joined by different ghosts of people he knew who reveal truths of a much larger story than Will’s loss, a story that might change Will’s mind.
MY NEXT LIFE AS A VILLAINESS: ALL ROUTES LEAD TO DOOM!
Written by Satoru Yamaguchi
Illustrated by Nami Hidaka
Translated by Shirley Yeung
Katarina has a startling realization: she was once a 17-year-old girl, now reincarnated into the world of her favorite dating video game. Even more alarming, she’s the game’s villain! All possible endings of the game end with Katarina’s exile or death, but she’s got some ideas to try to change things before her fate is sealed – if that’s even possible.
For Adult Readers
BLACK COTTON STAR
By Steve Cuzor and Yves Sente
Translated by Allison Charette
World War II, European Theater: Three African-American soldiers embark on a mission across a war-torn continent in search of a legendary piece of American history: the black cotton star secretly sewn onto the first American flag by Angela Brown, a housemaid to Betsy Ross.
Written and Illustrated by Sarah Andersen
In three hundred years, Vamp has yet to meet her match, until the night she meets him: a werewolf. Despite their differences and the challenges of a vampire-werewolf romance, this unlikely couple find that they are eerily and delightfully well-suited for each other.
GLASS TOWN: THE IMAGINARY WORLD OF THE BRONTES
Written and illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
Before their iconic novels, the Bronte sisters invented a world all their own. After their oldest sisters’ deaths, Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell find solace in creating a new world they call Glass Town. There, they escape harsh reality and find friendship, adventure, and freedom. Though as the siblings grow up, what will happen to their dear Glass Town?
KENT STATE: FOUR DEAD IN OHIO
Written and illustrated by Derf Backderf
As a 10-year-old boy, author Derf remembers the Ohio National Guard arriving in his hometown to stamp out a trucker’s strike. Just days later, those same Guardsmen were sent to Kent State University, ultimately opening fire on unarmed students who were protesting the Vietnam War. This book dives deep into the events of those tragic four days and the four young lives that were lost in a shocking turn of events.
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE: IMPEACH PEDRO
Written by Carlos Guzman-Verdugo, Alejandro Verdugo, and Megan Brown
Illustrated by Jorge MOnlongo and Christine Larsen
Heck yes! Things are great for Napoleon and his friends; he and Deb are dating, his best friend Pedro is the new student body president. But when someone accuses Pedro of cheating in the election, Napoleon and Deb know they have to use every special skill they have to clear his name. Gosh! How the heck are they gonna do that?
THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND
Written and illustrated by Kousuke Oono
He was once the infamous “Immortal Dragon,” a legendary and feared yakuza boss. These days though, Tatsu lives a quieter life after leaving behind his life of crime to become an ordinary househusband. Running a household proves tougher than it appears, but if Tatsu could rule the underworld, he can conquer househusbanding too!