What’s better than reading a book? Reading one where the most amazing drawings tell the story. That’s where comics and graphic novels come in - they mix illustration and text to create long stories that can take you on adventures with your favourite superheros, go back through history, rediscover a great classic novel, or learn how to deal with everyday life.
Here are 10 great comics and graphic novels to get you started in this awesome story format:
Ages: 5-11 | Nobrow
A series of 4 comics featuring an intrepid girl and the fantastic world in which she has adventures - Hilda and the Troll, Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Hilda and the Bird Parade, and Hilda and the Black Hound. Join Hilda and her companion Twig throughout their adventures into strange worlds ruled by magical forces. On the streets of Trolberg, she meets mountain trolls, salt lions, rat kings, and the mysterious Midnight Giant.
Ages: All ages | Kids Can Press
Follow 14-year-old Dessa Reid, an acrobat in a traveling circus, as she travels from one end of the world to the other in search of her long lost brother. Along with Topher, the circus juggler, and Fisk, the circus strongman, the three thieves flee from the Queen’s Dragons, rescue a prince, meet up with Smuggler Quinn and get captured by the King of Pirates - in a series of 5 graphic novels.
Ages: 9-12 | Kids Can Press
After discovering a magic totem hidden in the woods near Grammy's house, ten-year-old Rufus suddenly finds himself with the power to transform into Bigfoot Boy. And with that power comes some awesome adventures for Rufus, his pal Penny and their squirrel sidekick, Sidney.
Ages: 9-13 | Scholastic
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off again braces, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached!
Ages: 8-12 | Scholastic
A companion to Sisters. Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby and mostly prefers to play by herself. But when a baby brother enters the picture years later, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Ages: 7+ | Random House
Saving the world, one cell at a time… Squish! In this three graphic novel series, a comic book-loving, twinkie-eating grade school amoeba tries to find his place in the world - or at least tries to make it through a school day. Inspired by his favourite comic book hero, Super Amoeba!, Squish has to navigate school, family and friends.
Ages: 9+ | Cartoon Books
After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert. One by one they find their way into a deep forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures. It will be the longest - but funniest - year of their lives.
Ages: 6+ | Candlewick
Meet Bink and Gollie, two mature little girls who are the very best of friends - one tiny, one tall, and both impossible to control. Setting out from their super-deluxe treehouse and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving really bright socks, a trek to the Andes mountains, and a most unlikely marvellous companion.
Ages: 8+ | Chronicle Books
When nine-year-old Bud accidentally catches the wrong bus and finds himself launched into a faraway galaxy, making friends is the least of his problems! At Cosmos Academy, Bud soon learns that Earthlings are the most feared creatures in the galaxy. With the help of his new friend Gort, Bud hides his true identity and even learns to play anti-gravity Zero-Ball. But will Bud be lost in space forever?
Ages: 9+ | Abrams - Amulet Books
This popular series of 10 graphic novels follows Greg Heffley as he finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving! Share the hazards of growing up before you’re ready through the words and drawings in Greg’s diary.
All comics listed were reviewed for kids by CBC Parents and Common Sense Media.