Great Graphic Novels for Teens is a list of recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those ages 12-18, prepared yearly by the Young Adult Library Services Association (USA).
2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Nominations
Dembicki, Matt (Editor) and various artists. Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. Fulcrum Books. 2010. 9781555917241. $22.95.
Trickster tales told by Native American storytellers.
Mucci, Tim and Ben Caldwell. The Odyssey. Sterling. 2010. 9781402731556. $7.95.
Odysseus is here to chew bubble gum and kick butt…and he’s all out of bubble gum.
O’ Connor, George. Zeus: King of the Gods. First Second. 2010. 9781596434318. $9.99.
What does it take to become the ruler of the Gods?
Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. Graphix. 2010. 9780545132060. $10.99.
Brace yourself: Middle School plus orthodontia equals dental drama.
Arikawa, Hiro and Kiiro Yumi. Library Wars, vol. 1: Love & War. VIZ Media. 2010. 9781421534886. $9.99.
The government of the future has created a committee to determine which books are unsuitable for the general public. Iku Kasahara’s dream of joining the Library Defense Force, a military group formed by the library to defend the right to read, is finally happening, but being a new recruit is not exactly what she thought it would be.
Arnold, J.D. and Richard Koslowski. B.B. Wolf and the Three LPs. Top Shelf Productions. 2010. 9781603090292. $12.95.
B.B. Wolf wasn’t looking for trouble but the three Little Pigs sure brought it to his door.
Austen, Jane, Seth Grahame-Smith, Tony Lee and Cliff Richards. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel. Del Rey. 2010. 9780345520685. $14.99.
The dead are rising in the mannered English countryside and perhaps, amidst the mortal combat, love may blossom like an English rose.
Campbell, Ross. ShadowEyes, vol. 1. SLG Publishing. 2010. 9781593621896. $14.95.
Your average tale of an African-American teen girl in a dystopian future who morphs into a manga-style creature, becomes a super-hero and rescues a little girl from a zombie..
Carey, Mike and Peter Gross. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity. DC/Vertigo. 2010. 9781401225650. $9.99.
What if your father wrote a best-selling fantasy series named after you… and maybe all of it was true?
Colbert, C.C. and Tanitoc. Booth. First Second. 2010. 9781596431256. $19.99.
A fascinating biography on the actor who would one day kill Abraham Lincoln.
Dayton, Brandon. Green Monk. Self-published. 2009. 9780615382838. $4.99.
A young monk with the most powerful blade of grass EVER wanders into battle with a fierce giant.
Dick, Philip K. and Tony Parker.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, vol. 1. BOOM! Studios. 2009. 9781608865000. $24.99.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, vol. 2. BOOM! Studios. 2010. 9781608865093. $24.99.
How do you tell a human from an android?.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Ian Edginton, and I.N.J. Culbard. A Study in Scarlet: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel. Sterling. 2010. 9781402770821. $14.95.
A gripping adaptation of the very first Sherlock Holmes story this is a tale of desperate revenge and keen deduction.
Dunning, John Harris and Nikhil Singh. Salem Brownstone. Candlewick Press. 2010. 9780763647353. $18.99.
Salem receives an inheritance that goes beyond a gothic mansion: he must fight his father’s battle against dark forces.
Fairfield, Lesley. Tyranny. Tundra Books. 2009. 9780887769030. $10.95.
Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?
Fawkes, Ray. Possessions, Book One: Unclean Getaway. Oni Press. 2010. 9781934964361. $5.99.
Gurgazon the Unclean is just about the cutest little pit demon you are likely to meet, try as you might though, this little possessed five-year-old girl does NOT want to stay inside!
Hale, Shannon, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale. Calamity Jack. Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books. 2010. 9781599903736. $14.99.
Rapunzel’s best guy Jack is back to save his mom from the giant at the top of the beanstalk and show what despite all his nefarious plans, he is on the side of the good guys.
Hester, Phil and Brian Churilla. The Anchor, vol. 1: Five Furies. BOOM! Studios. 2010. 9781608860203. $9.99.
God’s own legbreaker wreaks havoc on the evil both in this world and by holding back the hordes at the gate of Hell.
Higson, Charlie and Kev Walker. SilverFin: The Graphic Novel. Hyperion Books for Children. 2010. 9781423130222. $19.99.
James Bond’s days at school were as exciting as you might expect with mutants, master criminals, and saving the world as we know it.
Huang, Jin Zhou and Hiromu Arakawa. Hero Tales, vol. 1. Yen Press. 2009. 9780759531161. $12.99.
Taitou must journey to seek his destiny.
Iwaoka, Hisae. Saturn Apartments, vol. 1. VIZ Media. 2010. 9781421533643. $12.99.
After his father plunges back to Earth, Mitsu takes on his father’s job as a window washer on the space ship Saturn Apartments.
Jablonski, Carla and Leland Purvis. Resistance: Book 1. First Second. 2010. 9781596432918. $16.99.
As the Nazis occupy France, the Resistance grows.
Jacobson, Sid and Ernie Colon. Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula. Hudson Street Press. 2009. 9781594630583. $25.95.
Dracula pales next to his namesake.
Kalonji, J.P. 365 Samurai And A Few Bowls Of Rice. Dark Horse. 2009. 9781595824127. $16.99.
For a young samurai, the road to enlightenment is paved with the blood of many enemies.
Kim, Susan, Laurence Klavan and Faith Erin Hicks. Brain Camp. First Second. 2010. 9781596433663. $16.99.
Two teens discover there something far more sinister than nature hikes going on at their summer camp.
Kitoh, Mohiro. Bokurano: Ours, vol. 1. VIZ Media. 2010. 9781421533612. $12.99.
Giant robots have come to Earth, most to attack but one mysterious mech to protect. A middle school class are the only ones who can control it.
Lagos, Alexander, Joseph Lagos and Steve Walker. Sons of Liberty. Random House Books for Young Readers. 2010. 9780375856709. $18.99.
Two slaves with electrically-charged super-powers bring some hurtin’ back to their tormentors.
Larson, Hope. Mercury. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2010. 9781416935858. $27.00.
Two girls: separated by 150 years but connected by one locket with amazing powers.
Layman, John and Rob Guillory. Chew, vol. 1: Taster’s Choice. Image Comics. 2009. 9781607061595. $9.99.
Tony Chu is a cibopath. When he eats something, he knows everything about what happened to it before it hit his lips. When he has to investigate murder, just about anything can end up down the hatch.
Lemire, Jeff. Sweet Tooth, vol. 1: Out of the Woods. Vertigo. 2010. 9781401226961. $9.99.
A cross between Bambi and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Sweet Tooth tells the story of Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children, who has been raised in isolation following an inexplicable pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father he’s left to fend for himself…
Midorikawa, Yuki. Natsume’s Book of Friends, vol. 1. VIZ Media. 2010. 9781421532431. $9.99.
The ability to see yokai leaves Natsume rather lonely and ostracized for most of his life, but a strange legacy left behind by his mysterious grandmother opens him up to friendships with both human and spirits alike.
Neri, G. and Randy Duburke. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty. Lee & Low Books. 2010. 9781584302674. $16.95.
The life, death and aftermath of an eleven-year-old gangbanger, based on a true tragedy.
Nihei, Tsutomu. Biomega, vol. 1. VIZ Media. 2010. 9781421531847. $12.99.
A zombie virus has hit the atmosphere and is spreading rapidly. Now a villainous public health service, a mysterious man on a motorcycle, and a gun-toting bear are all after a girl who seems to be immune.
Ono, Natsume. Not Simple. VIZ Media. 2010. 9781421532202. $14.99.
Ian is on a journey across the USA to try to find his sister.
Renier, Aaron. The Unsinkable Walker Bean. First Second. 2010. 9781596434530. $13.99.
Evil sea witches, skulls made of pearl, pirates, burning ships: now that’s what I call adventure!
Robbins, Trina and Tyler Page. ChicagoLand Detective Agency 1: The Drained Brains Caper. Graphic Universe. 2010. 9780761356356. $6.95.
Something is rotten at Stepford Prepatory Academy and it could be more than the food.
Rucka, Greg and J.H. Williams. Batwoman: Elegy. DC Comics. 2010. 9781401226923. $24.99.
Kate Kane squares off against Gotham City’s newest loony, the Lewis Carroll-quoting Alice. Flashbacks reveal how she got her superhero bona fides after being kicked out of the military for refusing to lie about her sexuality.
Shiga, Jason. Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities. Amulet Books. 2010. 9780810984233. $15.95.
It’s choose your own adventure. It’s a maze. It’s a comic. It’s fun!
Sonishi, Kenji. Neko Ramen, vol. 1: Hey! Order Up! TokyoPop. 2010. 9781427817792. $10.99.
Taishou was a former kitten model, who ran away from home and had a hard life on the streets…until the day he was saved by a kind ramen shop owner who later served as his mentor. Now Taishou takes pride in his noodles…and is easily angered when customers are dissatisfied! So step aside, Soup Nazi – there’s a new cat in town!
Strange Tales. Marvel. 2010. 9780785128021. $19.99.
A host of indie-comics talent bring their skewed visions to Marvel’s classic heroes, in aptly strange versions such as Peter Bagge’s Incorrigible Hulk, Matt Kindt’s Black Widow and Michael Kupperman’s wantonly reckless Avengers.
Tada, Kaoru. Itazura Na Kiss, vol 1. Digital Manga. 2009. 9781569701317. $14.95.
Will Kotoko survive the meddling of her family and friends long enough to win the heart of the boy of her dreams?
Talbot, Bryan. Grandville. Dark Horse. 2009. 9781595823977. $17.95.
There is something rotting in the highest levels of society in this anthropomorphic and steampunk fueled Victorian Paris and Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard will badger anyone who stands in the way of the truth.
Taylor, Sarah Stewart and Ben Towle. Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean. Hyperion. 2010. 9781423113379. $17.99.
The beginning of Amelia’s journey inspires one young lady in Canada.
TenNapel, Doug. Ghostopolis. GRAPHIX. 2010. 9780545210287. $14.99.
Teen Garth Hale’s gone ot the other side, but he’s not dead at all. Can he get back to the realm of the living with the aid of his grandfather’s ghost?
Toboso, Yana. Black Butler, vol. 1. Yen Press. 2010. 9780316080842. $10.99.
Earl Phantomhive’s butler is devilishly good.
Torres, J. and Elbert Orr. Lola: A Ghost Story. Oni Press. 2009. 9781934964330. $14.95.
Jesse can see things no one else can see, just like his creepy grandmother.
Townsend, Michael. Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders. Dial Books for Young Readers. 2010. 9780803733084. $14.99.
Nine retellings of the most famous of the Greek myths but with lost of chicken, stupid sheep, bunnies, and toasters thrown in.
Waid, Mark and Minck Oosterveer. Unknown, vol. 1. BOOM! Studios. 2009. 9781934506974. $24.99.
Can the world’s smartest detective prove there’s an afterlife before her brain tumor kills her?
Weing, Drew. Set to Sea. Fantagraphics. 2010. 9781606993682. $16.99.
A massive lug, who also happens to be an aspiring poet, is kidnapped and set to sea and discovers hardship and wisdom he never imagined.
White, Tracy. How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story. Roaring Brook Press. 2010. 9781596434547. $16.99.
Seventeen year old “Stacy” has checked into a mental institution to deal with her depression (and other issues).
Yaginuma, Kou. Twin Spica, vol. 1. Vertical. 2010. 9781934287842. $10.95.
13-year-old Asumi has the chance to be a part of Japan’s first manned space mission, but first she has to pass the entrance exam for space school.
Yahgulanaas, Michael Nicoll. Red: A Haida Manga. Douglas & McIntyre. 2010. 9781553653530. $28.95.
Red’s sister was kidnapped years ago and he is determined to exact revenge on her abductors at any cost.
Yang, Gene Luen. Prime Baby. First Second. 2010. 9781596436503. $19.99.
Is Thaddeus’ baby sister a prime number loving alien?
Yolen, Jane and Mike Cavallaro. Foiled. First Second. 2010. 9781596432796. $15.99.
En garde! A girl should never leave home without her trusty rapier.
Time and Again, vol. 1. Yen Press. 2009. 9780759530584. $10.99.
Time and Again, vol. 2. Yen Press. 2010. 9780759530591. $10.99.
An exorcist and his sensible bodyguard travel through Tang Dynasty China, completing jobs for hire. But even their best efforts can’t always save their clients from the ghosts and grudges that plague them.