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Friday, January 9, 2015

Top Ten Graphic Novels that I read in 2014 (and are suitable for the classroom)

Here are the best of the best -- a far-ranging list including fiction and non-fiction, history and heroes, wombats, sumu wrestlers, and a spacegirl.  I'll give some target ages, but as always with all books, if you have any question about the appropriateness of the book for a particular grade level, class, or student, you probably ought to give it a read yourself. As with the top ten young adult books,, I'll include a ten word summary -- but the full review is in my blog somewhere in the last year.  (Someone needs to teach me how to do internal links.  Sigh.  I am so embarrassed)  They are ranked here in order from best ever to merely amazing in every way. 

1,  Yang, Gene; Liew, Sonny (2014) The Shadow Hero  New York:  First Second.

10 word summary:  Hank, reluctant teen-aged Asian superhero, dodges bullets, avenges father's killer.
Grade range:  5th to grad school and beyond.
Good for:  English class

2.  Getz, Trevor R.; Clarke, Liz (2012)  Abina and the Important Men  New York: Oxford

10 word summary:  Sold into slavery in Africa, 1876, Abina sues for freedom.
Grade Range:  High school
Good for: History class

3.  Bertozzi, Nick (2014) Shackleton:  Antarctic Odyssey.  New York:  First Second.

10 word summary:  Antarctic ice crushes ship.  Three rowboats cross ice and sea.
Grade Range:  Smart middle school through high school
Good for: History class

4. Hatke, Ben (2014) The Return of Zita the Spacegirl.  New York:  FirstSecond.


10 word summary:  Imprisoned Zita escapes with friends' help, saves planet.  Goes home.
Grade Range:  Smart third grade to middle school (and older)
Good for:  Language arts.

5.  Vernon, Ursula (2013)  Digger:  The Complete Omnibus Edition.  St. Paul, MN: Sofawolf Press

10 word summary:  Female wombat engineer saves world (but not her world).  Quirky.
Grade Range:  High School readers who like odd quirky humor (and wombats)
Good for:  English, Science (geology), Engineering,

6.  Pope, Paul (2013)  Battling Boy  New York:  First Second.

10 word summary:  12-year-old extra-dimensional boy sent to earth to fight monsters, learns.
Grade Level:  6th and up.
Good for:  English.  (Note, there is a female protagonist too.)

7.  Axe, David; Hamilton, Tim (2013) Army of God:  Joseph Koney's War in Central America.  New York:  Public Affairs.

10 word summary:  Kony kidnaps, terrorizes children, uses them as army, eludes capture.
Grade Level:  High School
Good for:  History class.

8.  Pham, Thien (2012) Sumu.  New York: First Second.

10 Word Summary:  Scott breaks with Gwen, goes to Japan, studies Sumu.wrestling.
Grade Level:  High school.
Good for:  English class

9.  Mizuki, Shigeru (2013) Showa 1926-1939:  A History of Japan.  Canada:  Drawn and Quarterly.

10 Word Summary:  Author's childhood highlights Japan's political and economic struggles before WWII.
Grade level:  High School
Good for:  History, English.

10.  Vansant, Wayne (2013) Bombing Nazi Germany:  The Graphic History of the Allied Air Campaign that Defeated Hitler in World War Two. Minneapolis:  Zenith.

10 Word Summary:  Five miles high, they fought, froze, died, and beat Hitler.
Grade Range:  Fifth and up.
Good For;  History class, my young friend Kyle, and other kids who love history.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the list! Now I have a few more books to add to my own reading list (plus a wombat) ;)
    I hope the start of the year is treating you well!