Ten Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers

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By Ashley Riggleson

It can be difficult to learn how to read, and many kids are reluctant to try. But reading is, of course, paramount to developing a wide range of skills. And even books with lots of pictures can help strengthen your child’s abilities. If you are struggling to find good graphic novels for your child, please take a look at the list below.

“Dog Man” by Dav Pilkey—From the well-known children’s author of “Captain Underpants,” this graphic novel series features a superhero who is part dog, part human. “Dog Man” is the perfect blend of touching, interactive, and funny,

“El Deafo” by Cece Bell and illustrated by David Lasky —This autobiographical graphic novel, of course, follows Cece, a young girl who is hearing impaired, as she navigates a new school for the first time. She wears a very noticeable hearing aid and finds it difficult to make friends with her hearing classmates. She soon realizes, however, that her device, which makes it easier to hear her teacher in class, also helps her hear her teacher anywhere in the school. She believes this ability is her superpower. This heartfelt graphic novel is sure to entertain kids of all abilities.

“Wings of Fire” by Tui T. Sutherland and Mike Holmes—This popular series tells the story of a fantasy world in which different tribes of dragons are all fighting amongst themselves, and five dragonets are being trained to bring peace and fulfill a prophecy. But what happens when they refuse to buy into the cause? This exciting series is sure to capture children’s imaginations and spark a love of reading.

“The Tea Dragon Society” by K. O’Neill—Another graphic novel about dragons, “The Tea Dragon Society” is a cozy read about a young blacksmith’s apprentice who learns the art of taking care of tea dragons. This series, with its beautiful illustrations and gentle plot, will not disappoint.

Meanwhile” by Jason Shiga—This “Choose Your Own Adventure” graphic novel is sure to please readers of all ages. The story follows a young boy who, after meeting a mad scientist, is asked to choose between three incredible scientific devices. This fun and interactive read allows your child to make all the decisions. And, since there are so many potential outcomes, “Meanwhile” promises to be an endlessly entertaining read.

“Bera the One-Headed Troll” by Eric Orchard—Bera is a troll who enjoys her solitude and minds her own business. But when a human baby is discovered in the trolls’ realm, she feels she has no choice but to intervene and bring the baby back to the human world. The masterful illustrations and heartfelt story will engage your child’s imagination.

“The Dam Keeper” by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi—Pig lives in a peaceful village, but there is one problem, no one can ever leave. A mysterious black fog lurks just outside the village walls and Pig, whose father walked into the fog never to be seen again, is tasked with maintaining the machine that keeps everyone safe. But when a “tidal wave” of fog approaches the village, Pig and his friends must face the world outside. This colorful, action-packed story about adversity is a great read for the whole family.

“Garlic and the Vampire” by Bree Paulsen—This cozy graphic novel follows a sentient character called Garlic who enjoys the safety of working in her garden and spending time with her friend Carrot. But when a vampire moves into a nearby castle, Garlic is chosen to keep everyone safe. This sweet graphic novel about growing confidence is a popular read even among adults.

“Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova—This relatable graphic novel series follows a young girl called Penelope who is the new girl in school. She has tried and true rules for surviving in the new environment. But when some mean kids mock her for an encounter with a quiet boy named Jaime, she struggles with how to respond. “Awkward” is a fun book with a sweet message.

“All Summer Long” by Hope Larson—Another graphic novel that looks at friendship and growing pains, “All Summer Long” follows Bina, a young girl who looks forward to a boring summer because her best friend, Austin, will be away at soccer camp. She soon makes friends with Austin’s older sister, but Austin’s increasingly strange behavior continues to bother Bina. “All Summer Long” explores topics relevant to kids of all ages.

This list has something for every taste. And, as always, all these books can be found at your local library (along with many other titles). Click here to locate the library closest to you.

Ashley Riggleson is a contributing writer for Prince William Living.

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