Great graphic novels for middle schoolers

Graphic novels are such a fantastic way for young people to explore complex emotional themes while developing their visual literacy. They’re a wonderful option for voracious and reluctant readers alike who are not quite ready for young adult fiction, but are already pushing away from more junior stories. These graphic novels offer more relatable plots and themes for those 10+ who are beginning to search for greater complexity in their stories.


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The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner

In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results-perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag!

Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself-one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?


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Friends Forever by Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham

Shannon is in eighth grade, and life is more complicated than ever. Everyone keeps changing, her classmates are starting to date each other (but nobody wants to date her!), and no matter how hard she tries, Shannon can never seem to just be happy. As she works through her insecurities and undiagnosed depression, she worries about disappointing all the people who care about her.

Is something wrong with her? Can she be the person everyone expects her to be? And who does she actually want to be?


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Twins by Varian Johnson

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran – a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!

Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?


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Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd

A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet!

At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with the new baby they’re expecting, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie thinks a new puppy is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur! Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet?


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Long Distance by Whitney Gardner

When her parents decide it’s time to pack up and leave her hometown of Portland, Oregon, behind for boring Seattle, Washington, Vega is more than upset-she’s downright miserable. Forced to leave her one and only best friend, Halley, behind, Vega is convinced she’ll never make another friend again. To help her settle into her new life in Seattle, her parents send Vega off to summer camp to make new friends. Except Vega is determined to get her old life back. But when things at camp start getting stranger and stranger, Vega has no choice but to team up with her bunkmates to figure out what’s going on!

We also recommend Whitney Gardner’s previous graphic novel, Fake Blood!


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Class Act by Jerry Craft

Class Act is a companion to the award-winning, New Kid. Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying, ‘you have to work twice as hard to be just as good’. His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn’t afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted? To make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids.

He wants to pretend like everything is fine, but it’s hard not to withdraw, and even their mutual friend Jordan doesn’t know how to keep the group together. As the pressures mount, will Drew find a way to bridge the divide so he and his friends can truly accept each other? And most important, will he finally be able to accept himself?

The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow

The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow

Emma Steinkellner

$19.99Buy now

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