Read Alert - Youth Literature

Celebrating Graphic Novels

September 05, 2016

It’s been a little while since free comic book day but that’s certainly no reason to stop celebrating comics and graphic novels!

So the Centre for Youth Literature team has put together a series of posts exploring the rise of comics and graphic novels, and outlining some strategies for incorporating these narratives into your classroom or library program. These posts will run twice a week, and you’ll be able to download the collection (along with additional reading, resources and activities) at the end. Also, if you’re one of the first to contact us in response to this post, we’ll send you a copy of ‘Raising a Reader: how comics and graphic novels can help your kids love to read’, a printed resource by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

To get us started, we asked the fantastic staff from Melbourne’s All Star Comics to put together a list of their top 10 comics for teens – Cazz was more than happy to oblige.


This One Summer - written by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.

Adventures of Superhero Girl  - written by Faith Erin Hicks, illustrated by Cris Peter

What if you can leap tall buildings and defeat alien monsters with your bare hands, but you buy your capes at secondhand stores and have a weakness for kittens? Cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks brings charming humor to the trials and tribulations of a young, female superhero, battling monsters both supernatural and mundane in an all-too-ordinary world.

Drama - written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

Callie loves theatre. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

Roller Girl - written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal (Ms. Marvel 2014-2015 #1) - written by G. Willow Wilson, Illustrated by Adrian Alphona

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea either. But she’s comin’ for you Jersey!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl - written by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson

Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos: There’s one hero that’s beaten them all – and now she’s got her own ongoing series! (Not that she’s bragging.) That’s right, you asked for it, you got it, it’s SQUIRREL GIRL! (She’s also starting college this semester.) It’s the start of a brand-new set of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat super hero in the world!

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen (Illustrator)

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

Delilah Dirk written and illustrated by Tony Cliff

Lovable ne’er-do-well Delilah Dirk has travelled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she’s picked up on the way, Delilah’s adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her newfound friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan’s guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny instalment in her exciting life.

A little bit Tintin, a little bit Indiana Jones, Delilah Dirk is a great pick for any reader looking for a smart and foolhardy heroine…and globetrotting adventures.

Batman Adventures (various)

The creative team of Ty Templeton, Dan Slott, Rick Burchett, Tyler Beatty and more proudly present ‘Batman Adventures Vol. 1’ – a collection of all-original stories that are thrilling, moving, and just plain fun for readers of all ages. Perfectly capturing the tone and style pioneered in ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ – the iconic cartoon that defined the Dark Knight for a generation of fans – it’s Gotham City’s guardian at his finest!

Bandette, Volume 1: Presto! written by Paul Tobin, illustrated by Colleen Coover

She is alluring.

She is mysterious.

She is Bandette!

The world’s greatest thief is a costumed teen burglar by the nome d’arte of Bandette! Gleefully plying her skills on either side of the law alongside her network of street urchins, Bandette is a thorn in the side of both Police Inspector Belgique and the criminal underworld. But it’s not all breaking hearts and purloining masterpieces when a rival thief makes a startling discovery. Can even Bandette laugh off a plot against her life?

Next: The rise of comics and graphic novels