12 Graphic Novels Tween Girls Will Devour
12 Graphic Novels Tween Girls Will Devour

Intro

Graphic novels (which look a bit like a book-length version of a comic strip) have burst onto the book scene and taken off in popularity over the past several years.  There is some speculation that the rich illustrations mirror our changing tastes in media.  Whatever the reason, these books tell powerful stories and speak to readers of all types – from the child who would never leave the house without a book to the reader who would prefer to  never pick up a book.  

Most of these recommendations come straight from my 13-year-old daughter.  She’s an avid graphic novel reader and very particular about what she’d call good.  My daughter hasn’t yet read Ghosts or Mighty Jack, but is anxious to get to both, since they were created by favorite authors.

It might seem that there are an abundance of Raina Telgemeier’s books in this list.  Well… she’s just that good.  smiley  Actually, I had to restrain myself to avoid adding Drama and the Baby-Sitter’s Club series (Amazon links) to this list.  Raina Telgemeier is awesome.

There are many books on this list that would work equally as well for boys as girls – A Wrinkle in Time, Compass South, and Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke are a few.  Actually, Mighty Jack has a male main character, and it’s full of action.  Because I’d normally characterize these traits as pluses for a boy audience, I almost didn’t place Mighty Jack on this list.  After consideration, I added it because every book written by Ben Hatke, features strong female characters.  Reviews of Mighty Jack indicate that strong females are prominent in this book as well. 

I hope you enjoy these books.  Please let me know about your favorite graphic novels!

 

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

Smile Book Cover
Smile
by Raina Telgemeier
Audience: Tweens
Published: February 1, 2010

Raina Telgemeier's #1 New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir based on her childhood!

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces,...READ MORE

A Wrinkle in Time Book Cover
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
by Madeleine L'Engle
illustrated by Hope Larson
Audience: Tweens
Published: October 2, 2012
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist

The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O'Keefe, and the three Mrs--Who, Whatsit, and Which--the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never...READ MORE

Jane, the Fox, and Me Book Cover
Jane, the Fox, and Me
by Fanny Britt
illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Audience: Tweens
Published: September 1, 2013
Starred Reviews: Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Star ImageHorn Book

Hélène has been inexplicably ostracized by the girls who were once her friends. Her school life is full of whispers and lies — Hélène weighs 216; she smells like BO. Her loving mother is too tired to be any help. Fortunately, Hélène has one consolation, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Hélène identifies strongly...READ MORE

Sisters Book Cover
Sisters
by Raina Telgemeier
Audience: Tweens
Published: August 26, 2014
Starred Reviews: Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly Star Image Horn Book

Raina Telgemeier’s #1 New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-winning companion to Smile!

Raina can't wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren't quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she's also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship...READ MORE

Roller Girl Book Cover
Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson
Audience: Tweens
Published: March 10, 2015
Starred Reviews: Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

A perfect holiday gift for 10-year-old girls and fans of Raina Telgemeier's SmileRoller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby.

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love...READ MORE

The Courageous Princess Book Cover
The Courageous Princess (Courageous Princess Volume 1)
by Rod Espinosa
Audience: Grades 4 to 6,
Audience: Tweens
Published: March 24, 2015

Once upon a time, a greedy dragon kidnapped a beloved princess . . . But if you think she just waited around for some charming prince to rescue her, then you're in for a surprise! 

Princess Mabelrose may not be the fairest of the land, but she has enough brains...READ MORE

Awkward Book Cover
Awkward
by Svetlana Chmakova
Audience: Tweens
Published: July 21, 2015
Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.
 
Cardinal rule #2...READ MORE
Sunny Side Up Book Cover
Sunny Side Up
by Jennifer L. Holm
illustrated by Matthew Holm
Audience: Grades 4 to 6,
Audience: Tweens
Published: August 25, 2015
Starred Reviews: Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer.  At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is  the home of Disney World, after all.  But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park.  It’s full of . . . old...READ MORE

Compass South Book Cover
Compass South (Four Points Volume 1)
by Hope Larson
illustrated by Rebecca Mock
Audience: Grades 4 to 6,
Audience: Tweens
Published: June 28, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Booklist Star ImageSchool Library Journal  

It's 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra's father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex...READ MORE

Mighty Jack Book Cover
Mighty Jack
by Ben Hatke
Audience: Tweens
Published: September 6, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Jack might be the only kid in the world who's dreading summer. But he's got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It's a lot of responsibility, and it's boring, too, because...READ MORE

Ghosts Book Cover
Ghosts
by Raina Telgemeier
Audience: Grades 4 to 6,
Audience: Tweens
Published: September 13, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly Star Image Kirkus

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea....READ MORE

Frazzled Book Cover
Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom
by Booki Vivat
Audience: Grades 4 to 6,
Audience: Tweens
Published: September 27, 2016
Starred Reviews: Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Meet Abbie Wu. Abbie is in crisis—and not just because she’s starting middle school or because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because everyone seems to have a Thing except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.

From debut author and professional doodler Booki Vivat, Frazzled dives right into...READ MORE

Comments

My 10yr old loved Roller Girl, Smile, sisters, and Ghosts. I will have to show her the others

Excellent!! My daughter (now 13) just finished Ghosts and loved that Raina T. switched from her more usual realistic fiction genre to a more fantastical one -- and of course the book is outstanding because Raina's an amazing author/artist.

I hope your daughter finds some new favorite books from the others on this list!! Best, -Sarah

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Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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