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Motivating Young Readers with Graphic Novels

Sometimes all it takes to spark a reluctant reader’s interest in books is finding the perfect genre. Loaded with illustrations and short text blurbs, graphic novels might be just what you need to open up a whole new world of reading for your child.

If you and your child haven’t discovered this motivating (and growing) genre in children’s literature, take a peek at the picks on our list and then grab this free printable list of graphic novels to take with you on your next visit to the library.

Note: The age ranges shown below are intended to suggest interest level rather than reading level. These book series do not correlate with the All About Reading program, so with younger kids, you may want to read along to help with words they haven’t learned yet.
Benny and Penny Graphic Novel Cover

Benny and Penny Series
by Geoffrey Hayes
(4-7 years)

The books in the Benny and Penny series provide the perfect way to immerse your early reader in the wonder of reading. Every page features delightfully hand drawn illustrations, simple text, and a cute story that will introduce beginning readers to the world of chapter books in an easy, non-threatening way.

Owly Graphic Novel Cover

Owly Series
by Andy Runton
(4-9 years)

In this multi-book series, Owly and his friend Wormy share heart-warming adventures that encourage kindness and imagination in young readers. Because Andy Runton’s graphic novels feature engaging self-explanatory illustrations along with minimal, easy-to-read text, even pre-readers will enjoy this series!

Owl Diaries Graphic Novel Cover

Owl Diaries Series
by Rebecca Elliott
(5-8 years)

These owl-tastic readers are chapter books with a twist! Follow Eva as she navigates the world around her learning valuable life lessons along the way. Each page of Eva’s diary features brightly colored illustrations and easy-to-read text. Speech bubbles and doodles add a whimsical feel to this charming 14-book series!

Bink and Gollie Graphic Novel Cover

Bink and Gollie Series
by Kate DiCamillo
(6-9 years)

Despite their differences, Bink and Gollie are the best of friends. These unlikely chums share nearly every moment together, enjoying unique adventures filled with witty humor and wild imagination. Each book in the series—three books in all—features short stories from award-winning author Kate DiCamillo.

Fox and Rabbit Book Cover

Fox and Rabbit Series
by Beth Ferry
(6-9 years)

A friendship between a fox and a rabbit may seem a bit unusual, but in this adorable new series for emerging readers, Fox and Rabbit make the perfect pair, proving once and for all that opposites really do attract! Featuring short, comic strip-style stories, these fun books from Beth Ferry are sure to please your young reader!

Dewdrop Book Cover

Dewdrop
by Katie O’Neill
(6-9 years)

It’s the yearly Sports Fair and Dewdrop—an adorable axolotl—is quite sure that his cheerleading routine is ready for the contest. However, the other undersea creatures don’t seem nearly as confident in their skills. Can Dewdrop encourage his doubting friends and help them remember what’s most important?

Narwhal and Jelly Book Cover

Narwhal and Jelly Book Series
by Ben Clanton
(6-9 years)

Nothing goes better with jelly than… narwhals! You’ll discover why in this delightful series. These adorable books star an easy-going narwhal and his favorite jellyfish. And while Narwhal and Jelly’s adventures might seem sort of silly at times, they also instill positivity, kindness, and friendship—and what’s better than that?

Binky the Space Cat Book Cover

A Binky Adventure Series
by Ashley Spires
(7-10 years)

Binky is no ordinary house cat—he’s actually a space cat! At least in his own mind, he is! In this hilarious five-part series, readers will view this “ordinary” house cat’s life through Binky’s eyes—a litter box becomes a secret base, bugs are actually alien invaders, and the backyard is a galactic world just waiting to be explored!

Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye Book Cover

Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye Series
by Colleen AF Venable
(8-11 years)

There is mystery afoot in Mr. Venezi’s pet shop and Hamisher the hamster has hired Sasspants the guinea pig to crack the case! Who has been stealing Mr. Venezi’s sandwiches? Was it the hamsters? Did the fish see the culprit? This hilarious six-part mystery series will have kids giggling and guessing until the end!

Mighty Jack Book Cover

Mighty Jack Series
by Ben Hatke
(8-12 years)

In this modern take on a fairytale classic, Jack plants a garden filled with odd plants, creatures, and fruits with potent magical properties. When the mysterious garden grows out of control, Jack is left with a difficult decision. But Jack’s garden is just the beginning! Join Jack on all his adventures in this fun book series!

Allie's Basketball Dream Book Cover

Science Comics Series
by various authors
(8-12 years)

Combine a reluctant reader and a “science book” and you have a recipe for disaster! Not with Science Comics! Each book in this science-themed series features colorful comic book styling, awesome facts, and witty humor. With 20 different topics, there’s bound to be a book in this series that will pique your child’s interest!

Diana: Princess of the Amazons Book Cover

Diana: Princess of the Amazons
by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
(8-12 years)

As the only child living on the island of Themyscira, young Diana is unsure about her place among the Amazonians. Diana needs a friend, but when she takes matters into her own hands, things don’t go quite as she planned. Even your most reluctant reader will get drawn in by this action-packed cartoon-style book!

Zita the Spacegirl Book Cover

Zita the Spacegirl Series
by Ben Hatke
(8-12 years)

When Zita discovers a strange device in a field, her life takes a most extraordinary—and cosmic—turn. In this action-packed science fiction series, Zita is transported to a planet inhabited by strange other-worldly creatures. Can Zita rescue her friend and help them both find their way home?

FREE Graphic Novels Library List

download graphic novels library list

Would you like to add graphic novels to your child’s reading repertoire?

Download our Graphic Novels Library List.

Does your family have a favorite graphic novel series? Please share your favorite in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks box!

Graphic Novels Recommended by Our Readers


FREE Picture Book LIbrary Lists

All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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Caren

says:

My 4, almost 5, year old adores graphic novels!!! We started reading The Captain Underpants Series and he cannot get enough of them!!! We are on book 9 of 12 and I HIGHLY recommend them. They are so fun to read aloud with much bravado and that’s just what we do every night. Just today he started “writing” and drawing his very own comic book because of these books!!!! His writing were just random letters but I have no doubt that he will figure it out soon enough. We landed on your site because of the b and d reversal confusion; he has begun learning to read. Since he is so young, I am not surprised with his reversal confusion (happening on B, D and P, and b, d, p, and g) so I downloaded you free packet and was very impressed with the tips that I kept on searching your site. You have a wonderful site! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad you have found the site so helpful, Caren. It sounds like your child is doing so well! I love that he is writing his own comic book!

Charlotte T

says:

Thank you for the book suggestions. My son loves graphic novels and I have been looking for some for older kids.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Charlotte! I’m glad this will be helpful for you and your son. I hope you find at least a couple to enjoy!

Heidi

says:

Graphic novels have helped my daughter to finally be interested in reading!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Heidi! Graphic novels seem to be just the thing to motivate some readers.

Emma

says:

My son likes graphic novels, good way to motivate them to read.

Sarah Pease

says:

My 10 year old is very interested in graphic novels so I’m always looking for good ones for her to build her reading confidence.

Andrea

says:

I have never been a fan of graphic novels until my youngest daughter began struggling in reading. She is in 3rd grade and is actually reading in her free time because she enjoys them so much!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing this, Andrea! Graphic novels just seem so different than the more classic type of literature we are used to, but as you found they can really help students to find a love of reading. Plus, some are so beautifully illustrated and tell such compelling stories!

Elissa

says:

This is a great list! I was looking for good ideas for my K and 1st boys. Thank you!!

Heather Gonzalez

says:

My boys love graphic novels.

Kenna

says:

Graphic novels were the way that I got my son to begin reading!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Kenna!

Penny

says:

I will admit, I was not keen on graphic novels, but they are what really got my middle child interested in taking the next step with reading. Thanks for some more ideas for great ones!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Penny. I hope you find lots here for your child to enjoy.

Naomi

says:

My 11 yr old is keen to try some new graphic novels, now we have some new ideas :) Thank you!

Christine

says:

My son is struggling with reading but has said he would love to be able to read a chapter book. Thank you for your suggestions!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Christine! I hope you find a few titles here that he will enjoy.

Tjae

says:

My son enjoys reading graphic novels (especially Dog Man!) My daughter is just getting started with reading, and likes the more vivid pictures and in depth story of a graphic novel. Thank you for posting this list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Tjae!

Jessica Martin

says:

This list is amazing! I always struggle to try and find books for themes or even something to captivate my (5) children’s attention. This list has truly exceeded my expectation. I love how they have linked all the books as well for a quick buy.

Mamoni Luv

says:

The list provided is a great resource . I’ve a 2nd grader who is ready for series and chapter books. Now I’ve got a starting point.

Carrie J

says:

I hadn’t considered this genre and I’ll look for some that my my kids will enjoy.

Christy

says:

Thank you for this post! I have a reluctant 7 year old reader who would benefit from these.

Jamie

says:

Thank you for these recommendations!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jamie!

Mallory Turner

says:

My daughter loves graphic novels. She likes having the visuals to go asking with the story. And the more colors, the better lol

Phoebe Dy

says:

love the graphic novels suggested! Will definitely look these up for my 2nd grader

Elaine Brown

says:

We used graphic novels to get my daughter to start reading more. It actually worked!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Elaine! I’m so pleased that reading graphic novels encouraged your daughter to start reading more!

Kate Richards

says:

My daughter was always interested in story time, but her independent reading skyrocketed when she discovered graphic novels. She read a book a day for almost 3 months!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wow, that’s great, Kate!

Leah

says:

I can’t wait to get started using this program with my twin 5 year old girls. I just started homeschooling this year and we are loving it! These books are very eye catching and I just know my girls will love them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Leah! Let me know if you have questions about placement or anything else.

Galina

says:

The book covers look absolutely lovely! That’s exactly what the children need to get involved in reading!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Galina. I know we should not judge a book by its cover, but sometimes some books just look soooo boring that it’s hard to even open them. I’m glad to hear these look appealing!

Sherry

says:

This sounds like it would be great to get my niece into reading.

Jonie

says:

We read some graphic novels here. We have a couple Narwal and Jelly books. And are reading through the Pheobe and the Unicorn books now. They definitely grab my level 2 readers attention and she loves them! I’ll have to check out the others on the list.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you can find more graphic novels to enjoy from this list, Jonie!

Jessica Morris

says:

I am really looking to use this program with my reluctant reader. I have heard amazing results from other moms.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great, Jessica! Let me know if you have questions, need help with placement, or anything else.

Dawn

says:

Thank-You for this list I have a reluctant reader and have bought so many books. Many of these I have not seen before so I’m excited to pick up a few and see how it goes with my 6yr old.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad to help, Dawn!

Paula V.

says:

I love your recommendations – they are so helpful!

Amanda

says:

Thank you for the suggestions! My kids have always been drawn to graphic novels, but it’s not always easy to find things for younger ages.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Amanda!

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