Elementary Graphic Novel Recommendations

Graphic Novel and Comic Book Recommendations

The following are my favorite general graphic novels or comic books for elementary classrooms; check out my list of Secondary Graphic Novel Recommendations for more great books! 


Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi Emily and her brother Navin leave our world for a more magical one after their father dies, encountering elves, monsters, sentient foxes, cats, and, of course, an amulet of incredible power. 

Bone (series) by Jeff Smith The ultimate hero's quest -- in the form of a cute, shapeless, little guy with stanch allies, funny sidekicks, and despicable enemies. 

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel A single dad gives his son some magical cardboard; everything they build with it comes to life. 

Cleopatra in Space (series) by Mike Maihack Cleopatra of ancient Egypt gets transported into the distant future, where she learns to be a real leader. She has to save the galaxy -- and get good grades at the same time. 

Fable Comics Fairy Tale ComicsNursery Rhyme Comics edited by Chris Duffy Anthologies of classic tales retold by dozens of different comic book writers and artists. They're strong choices for even the youngest readers. 

Mouse Guard (series) by David Petersen A medieval civilization of mice deals with the challenges of building and defending their kingdoms and castles. Beautifully illustrated, and more complex than you'd expect. From mice. 

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales (series) by Nathan Hale - My favorite series about American history, narrated by the hanged spy Nathan Hale. Informative, detailed, and funny. Kids love it these books. And so do their history teachers. 

Owly by Andy Runton Wordless books about an adorable (seriously, I don't use "adorable" lightly) owl who makes unlikely friends. 

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani The biographies, adventures, and scientific discoveries of three scientists to changed our understanding of chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. 

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale and Nathan Hale The classic fairy tale retold in a Wild West setting, creating one of the strongest non-superhero heroines in comics. 

Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith The story of a boy who cries "Shazam!" and becomes Captain Marvel, with superpowers as great as Superman -- but still with the heart and soul of a child. 

Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Superman's origin story from Smallville to Metropolis, told from the perspective of his allies and enemies, with the wholesomeness of a Norman Rockwell painting. 

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (series) by Ryan North and Erica Henderson The tongue-in-cheek adventures of a college-going heroine who has the superpowers of...a squirrel. She's a real hero, who rubs shoulders with Avengers (sometimes) and takes on villains from Kraven the Hunter to Galactus. A very funny and very sweet series. 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (series) by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young Excellent retellings of the classic L. Frank Baum stories by an Oz expert, with fresh artwork creating an incredible new world we want to explore, with some of the quirky language and spirit of the originals.


  1. How about graphic novels for first and second? I have several series but would love new ideas... Primary librarian- also... is there a Twitter chat on your book Play like a pirate other than Tuesday nights?

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