Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Great Graphic Novels for Teens

I'm once again highlighting some of the lists that YALSA put out this year! Today's list is Great Graphic Novels for Teens. There's a long list here, but here are the ones the committee picked for the Top 10!


My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf. In this graphic memoir, Backderf tells us the story of Jeffrey Dahmer as he new him in high school, shedding new light and perspective on one of America's most horrifying serial killers. This was on yesterday's Top 10 Quick Picks list and was also an Alex winner this year.

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. Starting in Europe in the 1800s, traveling to Los Alamos, Hiroshima, and beyond, Fetter-Vorm traces the history, science, and consequences of the atomic bomb. The graphic novel format is especially useful when he explains the science involved, making it accesible to most readers.

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert. Incorporating Annie Sullivan's letters, Lambert shines fresh light on Sullivan and Keller's relationship and story. The art changes styles to reflect the different perspectives.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Picelli. Collecting the first 5 issues of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, readers get to know Miles Morales, the new Spider-Man who has to live up to Peter Parker's legacy. Morales thinks things are looking up when he wins the lottery to go to a prestigious charter school. But then he gets bitten by a spider, a new super-hero is born.


Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. After being home-schooled her entire life, Maggie now must face public high school, accompanied by the ghost that's been trying to tell her something for years.

A Flight of Angels conceived and illustrated by Rebecca Guay. When an angel falls to earth, unconcious and bleeding in a forest, the fairies gather round in a tribunal. Each may tell a story as evidence as they decide the angel's fate. Each story is written by different author, ranging from Holly Black to Bill Willingham. Guay illustrates each story, but changes her style accordingly.

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell. In the aftermath of a protest gone wrong in Houston in the late 60s, a white reporter and his family befriend a black activist family. Breaking the unwritten code of conduct in both communities, they have to decide to do what is easy, or what is right. This is a fictionalized account of Long's adolescence.


Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Atsuko Saisho and Spencer Fancutt. When a man's life starts falling apart, he embarks on a road trip to get away, just him and his dog Happie. This manga is told from the Happie's point of view and a sob-inducing look at the relationship between a struggling man and his best friend.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier. Callie loves working backstage, even when it means trying to create a world-class set on a budget of nothing. Her theater friends sometimes offer an escape from the confusing world of boys, but sometimes just make it that much more confusing. This was also a Stonewall Honor book.

Daredevil, Vol. 1= by Mark Waid, Paolo Manuel Rivera, and Marcos Martin. Collecting issues 1-6 of Daredevil, this new team of writers and artists gives the superhero a fresh, less gritty start. Matt Murdock has come to realize that his super-hero alter-ego is having repercussions in his day job and needs to find a way around his past misdeeds.

What are your picks for the best graphic novels this year?

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