The 12 Best Graphic Novels for Kids of All Ages

The 12 Best Graphic Novels for Kids of All Ages

The 12 Best Graphic Novels for Kids of All Ages

There’s no shortage of benefits that come with reading, but getting kids to read can be a challenge sometimes. Graphic novels are a great option to introduce your kids to if you’re trying to get them to read more.

The illustrations can help kids keep up with fast-paced and interesting plots and keep them engaged more than text-only novels may. 

Here are the best graphic novels for kids of all ages!

Psst… Here’s your guide to navigating art museums in NYC!

Elementary School

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Ben Clanton
Ages: 5-8

This creative story follows a happy-go-lucky Narwhal and her no-nonsense friend Jelly the jellyfish. Although they don’t have much in common, they explore the ocean together enjoying their love for waffles, parties and adventures.

This book is a favorite among kids and the first of the Narwhal and Jelly book series. Check out the latest Narwhal and Jelly installment, which was released earlier this year!

Mr. Wolf’s Class 

Aron Nels Steinke
Ages: 6-9

Mr. Wolf is a new fourth grade teacher, and this story looks into his classroom during the first day of school. While at school, Mr. Wolf and the students learn more about each other with their different personalities, go through ups and downs and even search for a lost classmate.

This colorful and entertaining book introduces many great characters that children may identify themselves with as they read through the Mr. Wolf’s Class series.

Donut Feed the Squirrels 

Mika Song
Ages: 4-8

Norma and Belly are two squirrel best friends who will do anything for a donut. After burning their breakfast, they come across a delicious smell which they find out is coming from a food truck selling donuts.

They start scheming to get the delicious food any way they can, even though it won’t be easy! It’s perfect for young new readers, and a great choice if your reader enjoyed the Narwhal and Jelly series. 

Measuring Up

Lily LaMotte
Ages: 8-12

Cici is a twelve-year-old girl who recently moved from Taiwan to Seattle. Her grandmother, A-má, has her seventieth birthday coming soon and Cici wants to spend it with her. Since A-má is still in Taiwan, Cici signs up for a cooking contest so she can win the prize and buy her grandma’s plane ticket.

But Cici can only cook Taiwanese meals, so she gets to work trying to craft a winning recipe. Follow along as Cici tries to fit in with her new friends, find herself and adjust to life in Seattle. 

Middle School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 

Jeff Kinney
Ages: 11-13

This classic graphic novel follows the story of Greg as he starts middle school. The novel is written in the form of a diary, in which Greg writes about school life, where he is one of the undersized weaklings in the hallways full of taller and meaner kids.

Greg’s friend Rowley is also part of the not-so-cool crowd, that is until he starts becoming more popular and Greg tries to use this to his own advantage. The first of seventeen books (with an eighteenth coming out this October!) from the hit series by the same name, this novel is a must read for tweens!

Big Apple 

Alyssa Bermudez
Ages: 11-13

This story is based on New York City in the year 2000 and follows 12-year-old Alyssa who splits her time living with her dad in Manhattan and her mom in Queens.

During the story, Alyssa talks about life as a middle schooler, boys, fashion and living in NYC. The tale then leads to the changes faced after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and realizing what really matters after such a tragic event. 

Fly on the Wall 

Remy Lai
Ages: 11-13

12-year-old Henry Khoo is treated like a baby by his family. He can’t go anywhere without being accompanied by his older sister.

But Henry is going to prove his independence to his parents: after a canceled family trip to visit his father in Singapore is canceled, Henry goes on a solo-trip halfway around the world by himself.

This exciting story teaches kids about family and friend relationships with lots of funny and entertaining moments in between. 


Raina Telgemeier
Ages: 9-13

In addition to the normal struggles of tweens in their middle school years, sixth grader Raina faces many dental difficulties.

After falling and injuring her two front teeth, Raina must face a long journey of braces, surgeries, embarrassing headgear and a retainer with fake teeth attached, which jeopardize her school social life.

On top of all of this, she also deals with boy trouble, fake friends and more tween struggles. It’s an autobiographical must-read full of funny and touching moments.

Go With the Flow 

Lily Williams
Ages: 9-12

High school friends Abby, Brit, Christine and Sasha notice their school, Hazelton High, doesn’t put enough effort into female health. The friends decide to start a revolution and make a change.

This won’t be easy as they also deal with crushes, classes and school life. The book talks about menstruation, a typically-taboo subject, but also teaches readers about activism and friendship.

High School

Himawari House 

Harmony Becker
Ages: 14-18

Nao has returned to Tokyo to reconnect with her Japanese heritage and has decided to live in Himawari House. Here, she meets Hyejung and Tina, two girls who, like her, are looking to form their lives in Japan.

The story follows the struggles of moving to a new country, as the characters miss their homes and struggle with their identity. This beautiful story teaches its readers the importance of friendship when times are hard and you feel out of place.

Hey, Kiddo 

Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Ages: 13-17

Jarret Krosoczka lives with his loud and loving grandparents. His mom is an addict who has been in and out of rehab most of his life, and his father isn’t in the picture either. Jarret’s childhood is far from normal, but his grandparents try to make it as normal as possible.

In his teenage years, he starts putting the pieces together, understanding his mother’s situation and tracking down his father. Based on Krosoczka’s own life, it’s a profound story about children growing up with parents struggling with addiction who aren’t present.

Long Way Down  

Jason Reynolds
Ages: 14-18

After the murder of his brother Shawn, fifteen-year-old Will is looking for one thing only: revenge. He takes his late brother’s gun and heads to the elevator to find the person he thinks is responsible for Shawn’s death.

During the elevator ride and with each stop, he encounters more people who might be involved and starts adding more pieces to the story. This thrilling tale is a page-turner that will keep you needing to know more!

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Play On! Studios

<p>Play On! Studios offers theater day camps and after-school classes on the UWS that are guaranteed to give kids a summer full of acting, music, and fun they won't soon forget! Young actors will rehearse and perform in a full production, work with professional NYC actors/teaching artists, build up their skills in a nurturing, non-competitive environment and play lots of drama games!</p> <p>Creative Drama Camps are perfect for kids entering grades K-4. Campers will work each week to put on a brand-new show! Each session, they will receive a script, rehearse a production, make a set and costumes, and perform their play. Kids will also play drama games, play outside (weather permitting), and have tons of fun!</p> <p>Musical Theater Camps are aimed at kids entering grades 4-9. In Musical Theater Performance Camp, campers put on a complete musical production in a professional NYC theater! Campers will stretch their skills with drama exercises and games, vocal coaching, field trips, and building a professional set. Our incredible teaching artists and campers come together to put on a truly remarkable show!</p> <p>During the school year, classes are great for beginners or more experienced actors - sing, dance, and put on a play! Whether your child is just starting out, or ready for Broadway, we’ve got the class for them. Classes are available for grades PreK-8, after school or on Saturdays! Come play with us.</p> <p> </p>

New York Society of Play Summer Camp and Classes

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Summer Game Camp</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">There are many who do not feel safe sending their children back out into the world with summer camp, this year. To serve those parents and keep the children connected and stimulated during this challenging time, we are offering NYSP Digital Summer Camp. The name of the game with NYSP Summer Camp is community. We have made a large effort to make our camp feel like a living space, with features including –</p> <p dir="ltr">- Role-Playing games familiar and new, led by our master storytellers!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Enriching electives such as Chess, World Building, Character Acting, Crafts, Drawing, and more!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Discussion and media screening rooms during lunch!</p> <p dir="ltr">- A digital campus!</p> <p dir="ltr">- Moderated chat hours!</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Join us for a summer of games, friends, and more!</p> <p dir="ltr">Mon - Fri 10am - 2:30pm</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Roleplay Expeditions: Dungeons & Dragons</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No experience is required to join one of our Dungeons & Dragons games. Our game masters have pre-made character sheets, so you'll be able to start playing the game right away! We adapt the rules of traditional Dungeons & Dragons to make them more approachable to children of various ages. Battle in dungeons, search for relics, and make new friends in our one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons workshop! </p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr">Public games meet once per week, with different groups every time. Private games meet 1 to 2 times per week with the same group of kids. Since the players and the storyteller in the group are consistent, this enables us to tell epic tales of adventure together!</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Dungeons & Dragons Junior</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No experience is required to join one of our drop-in Dungeons & Dragons games. Our Dungeons & Dragons Jr. game provides a D&D storytelling experience without character sheets. Battle in dungeons, search for relics, and make new friends in our one-of-a-kind Dungeons & Dragons workshop! A great way to introduce young children to D&D so they can eventually move onto the main game.</p>

Atlantic Acting School

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">Looking for a fun and exciting theater program for kids and teens? Join us at the Atlantic. Our programs are intense, exciting and fun!</span></p>