Ok so being an educator and assuming no one would probably hit on this topic, I thought I would discuss awesome graphic novels for teens. Obviously not all of these titles are specifically regulated for teens so all should enjoy. My hope is that with all the huge blockbuster comic book movies out teens will start to wander back into comic shops to enjoy some fun reads. Well graphic novels offers the same sense as reading a book...and a comic! It is longer and consist of one story but not all the words that bore us down sometimes. It is a comic in that it has fun pictures and doesn't need to be purchased monthly in order to keep up. The best of both worlds.
So teens with all of our angst where do we start? There are so many graphic novels, and maybe this is stupid advice, but first you just have to pick one probably based off it’s cover. But don’t think this is a bad thing. In graphic novel world picking a book by its cover is the appropriate move. After all you can judge a graphic novel by its cover and usually be right about its plot. Plus art is one of the big things that you have to dig in order to enjoy the story. So let’s go...I always start in the same place.
American Born Chinese
I know I know...I talk about this book almost every second. But believe me it is that amazing. The story surrounds three in total. One following an American Chinese boy through his education, one following a normal white boy around who has a crazy cousin from China, and one following the Monkey King, an ancient story from China. The way these three stories intertwine is unbelievable and hands down this is the Best Teen Graphic Novel! There I said it. Oh snap.
Anya’s Ghost is just a brilliant look into what any awkward girl is feeling, which is everyone, and dealing with your strange heritage. I read this book twice; one time after another. I just really got into the supernatural part with Emily. Anya finds Emily stuck at the bottom of a hole in a park. Anya, after Emily helps her in some nonconventional ways, befriends the ghost. Things quickly turn sour when Emily is trying to take over Anya’s life. The book is quite sad and doesn’t really give me a happy ending feeling. But at the same time it gives such an inspirational story too.
This novel is just plain fun! I couldn't get enough of this gang and their crazy antics. We follow three best friends, Brian, Matt, and Brad through their adventures of playing video games and trying desperately to mack on girls. The boys try to take down Richard or Dick which is just perfect, the jock of the school. The gang vandalizes Richard’s car, knocks over a live lobster tank, and of course Brad tries to fight an evil cat. All in a days work for nerdy teenagers. This novel is so clever and I couldn’t help but think this is actually a day in the life of a nerd!
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
I put this in for a little treat. Once you have mastered the art of graphic novels it is always helpful to go back to the classics to see what started it all. This is clearly a front-runner for the number one classic graphic novel that teens must read. Believe it still holds the creepiness today. It is a little more complex to just pick up and read; that is why you need the practice first. The story is all about Batman returning to his life as hero in order to save Gotham. Batman gets a new sidekick, Robin (Carrie Kelley), in order to better fight the dangers. Superman, The Joker, Two Face, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, and so on all join in this novel to bring down the house. And no you can’t just see the Christopher Nolan movies. It is so not the same and the novel will give you a much darker look on Gotham.
Here it is; my list of teen graphic novels to get the ball rolling. There are tons of graphic novels out there. Just start reading them and I promise you will want to keep on keepin on with it.