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[Photo by Abby Chung from Pexels]

We couldn’t be more excited for International Literacy Day. Books are such a big part of our lives – and we celebrate that every day. But we’re also the first to admit that reading isn’t accessible to everyone, and that literacy isn’t something to be taken for granted. We love recommending graphic novels to the emerging readers in our lives – graphic novels are novels too! – and we’re excited to be sharing five of our favorites with y’all today.

 

For the incoming college freshman

Back to the school looks so different this year. (Zoom and Google Classroom and asynchronous learning, oh my!) But there’s still that new beginnings feeling, that opportunity to learn something new – especially if that something new is about yourself!  We’re recommending Fun Home by Alison Bechdel for its incredible storytelling, its introspective style, and its expert weaving of multiple timelines. And as a bonus, you’ll have a touchstone for The Bechdel Test.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For the teen obsessed with horror

With all this time we’re spending in nature (thank you, COVID-19 friendly activities!) we’re thinking an awful lot about what lurks in the woods when the sun goes down. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is the perfect graphic novel for emerging readers who are also fans of psychological horror and teen protagonists. But don’t read it right before bed – unless you’re ready for some really vivid dreams.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For the lover of adventure movies

We’ve almost run out of adventure movies to watch (and rewatch!) on Netflix, so we’re turning to the visuals and pacing of graphic novels to give us that Indiana Jones meets The Odyssey fix. The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg sits perfectly in that pocket. It’s framed by a forbidden love story, and the conceit that one half of the couple – the titular Hero – is so skilled at storytelling that she can distract any threat to her relationship with tales of adventure and battles of wits. And the visuals are stunning – perfect for the emerging reader in your life.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For middle school gamers who love fairy tales

While it’s tempting to spend all day playing Animal Crossing (and believe us, we have) there’s something wonderful about a game so personal it lives inside the pages of a book. Hocus & Pocus: The Legend of Grimm’s Woods by Manuro and Gorobei is perfect for emerging middle school readers – especially readers who love first-person video games and stories with a happily ever after. Readers play as either Hocus or Pocus as they explore brain-teasing riddles, magical objects, and unusual characters. How fun is that?

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For fans of The History Channel and biopics

We know there are emerging readers out there obsessed with History Channel documentaries and biopics, which is why we’re recommending The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew. It’s a mock biography told in the graphic novel form – or a graphic biography about the greatest Singaporean artist who never lived. However you look at it, Sonny Liew will have you googling “Did Charlie Chan Hock Chye actually exist?” every few pages. It’s that good.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Bookshop


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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.