Not Just for Teens: Young Adult Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are not just about super heroes, nor are they just for kids. The market and format has grown and evolved quite a bit in the last ten years, gaining a main stream legitimacy that it has often been denied in the past. These days graphic novels are created for everyone from toddlers to grandpas, but the teen and market in particular seems to have grown in wonderful ways. The current collection in our young adult department is growing steadily, and offers a wide range of stories of interest to adult and young adult readers. Check out these titles aimed at teens but full of the humor, complexity, and characters that reel in adults as well. Do not be afraid to explore the great titles that you might otherwise never see!

Kin, The Good Neighbors Book 1 by Holly Black & Ted Naifeh
Sixteen-year-old Rue Silver, whose mother disappeared weeks ago, believes she is going crazy until she learns that the strange things she has been seeing are real, and that she is one of the faerie creatures, or Good Neighbors, that mortals cannot see.

Amulet Book 1, The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi.
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals. Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

Bone Vol. 1, Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith with color by Steve Hamaker.
Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but better fortune begins when the three cousins reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn. In Out From Boneville, volume 1 of this 9-book epic, 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. Eventually, the cousins are reunited at a farmstead run by tough Gran’ma Ben and her spirited granddaughter Thorn. But little do the Bones know, there are dark forces conspiring against them, and their adventures are only just beginning!

One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry.
Buddhism teaches that each person must overcome 100 demons in a lifetime. In this collection of 20 comic strips, Lynda Barry wrestles with some of hers in her signature quirky, irrepressible voice. Color illustrations throughout.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan.
In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family.

Mu shi shi Volume 1 by Yuki Urushibara, translated and adapted by William Flanagan.
Mushi have been around since shortly after life came out of the primordial ooze. They’re everywhere; some live behind your eyelids, some eat silence, some kill, and some drive men mad. Ginko is a mushishi, or mushi master, and has the ability to help those who are plagued by mushi.

Still want more? Well, while I fully encourage just walking into the young adult section and browsing, here are some more titles that are particularly interesting for teen and adult readers; Laika written by Nick Abadzis with color by Hilary Sycamore,  Epileptic 1 by David B. Translated from the French by Kim Thompson, Death Note. Vol. 1, Boredom story by Tsugumi Ohba with art by Takeshi Obata and translation and adaptation by Pookie Rolf, Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, and Tales of the Slayers, story by Joss Whedon.

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