100 books like The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito

By Shing Yin Khor,

Here are 100 books that The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito fans have personally recommended if you like The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Be Prepared

Misty Wilson Author Of Play Like a Girl

From my list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.

Misty's book list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere

Misty Wilson Why did Misty love this book?

This humorous and heartfelt graphic memoir is about Vera going to a Russian summer camp—an opportunity to fit in with other kids, especially since the American girls from school go to summer camp. I love this story because wanting to fit in such a universal experience, yet Vera’s experience is unique in many ways. Plus, I love a good summer camp story. After begging her mom to let her go, Vera ends up hating camp, but she sticks it out, makes real friends, and learns so much about herself. 

By Vera Brosgol,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Be Prepared as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

All Vera wants to do is fit in - but that's not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera's single mother can't afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range - Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the 'cool girl' drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out…


Book cover of Stepping Stones

Misty Wilson Author Of Play Like a Girl

From my list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.

Misty's book list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere

Misty Wilson Why did Misty love this book?

This graphic novel is based on Lucy’s real life. It’s about a girl who begrudgingly moves from her home in the city to the country to live with her mom’s new boyfriend and share a bedroom with his daughters. I love this one because when you’re a kid, so many things are out of your control, and grown-ups are the ones making decisions for you. Sometimes, kids are forced to learn a whole new way of life. Stepping Stones is a great depiction of that experience—an experience I can relate to as someone whose mom remarried and then had to move towns and schools. I love how the main character, Jen, is terrible at math but has to handle money at the farmer’s market. She spends the summer persevering through her math troubles, her embarrassment related to it, and her new family and farm work expectations. 

By Lucy Knisley,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Stepping Stones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This contemporary middle-grade graphic novel about family and belonging from New York Times bestselling author Lucy Knisley is a perfect read for fans of Awkward and Be Prepared.

Jen is used to not getting what she wants. So suddenly moving the country and getting new stepsisters shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Jen did not want to leave the city. She did not want to move to a farm with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend, Walter. She did not want to leave her friends and her dad.

Most of all, Jen did not want to get new…


Book cover of Dodo

José Pimienta Author Of Twin Cities

From my list on being in a new place (physical or emotional).

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming-of-age stories have always appealed to me because of their focus on an internal struggle. They’re usually juxtaposed with a changing landscape or moving to a new place. In broad strokes, coming-of-age stories focus on personal identity and our place in our day-to-day world. As someone who’s born in the US but grew up on the Mexican side but currently lives in California, the questions of what aspects of me are American and which are Mexican have been ongoing. With that in mind, these five books speak to me in a profound way, and I'm happy they exist as comics. 

José's book list on being in a new place (physical or emotional)

José Pimienta Why did José love this book?

This is a story about someone going through something difficult and not having the words to verbalize why it is having a drastic impact. The premise is simple: Laila’s parents are going through a separation and she has to stay home. One day, she sees a giant bird across the street and allows him to enter her house. Laila tries to keep him a secret, but this bird has other plans. To me, this book is about visualizing a difficult or unnamed emotion. It shows how messy such a process can be. Also, the illustrations are delightful.  

By Felipe Nunes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dodo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DODO is a graphic novel for all ages that explores emotional alienation within families.

Laila is six years old and she's been taken out of school following her parents' divorce. She doesn't understand why she can't go to school with the rest of her friends or why her dad never comes by anymore. Laila comes across a mysterious bird, a dodo named Ralph, and befriends the creature that has been living in the part near her house. Through her friendship with Ralph, Laila starts to notice things, things she never wanted to understand.


Book cover of Displacement

José Pimienta Author Of Twin Cities

From my list on being in a new place (physical or emotional).

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming-of-age stories have always appealed to me because of their focus on an internal struggle. They’re usually juxtaposed with a changing landscape or moving to a new place. In broad strokes, coming-of-age stories focus on personal identity and our place in our day-to-day world. As someone who’s born in the US but grew up on the Mexican side but currently lives in California, the questions of what aspects of me are American and which are Mexican have been ongoing. With that in mind, these five books speak to me in a profound way, and I'm happy they exist as comics. 

José's book list on being in a new place (physical or emotional)

José Pimienta Why did José love this book?

This book depicts the complexities of generational trauma. Kiku, our protagonist, discovers that she can go back in time and experience what her ancestors went through during the second world war. Kiku Hughes dives into the daily lives of citizens living in Japanese internment camps. It’s a brave look at the complicated relationship a person can have with the place they live in, given the difficulties their ancestries have gone through. Also, Kiku Hughes is an amazing illustrator. The bulk of the storytelling is through her depictions of the United States throughout different decades. 

By Kiku Hughes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Displacement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II.

These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself 'stuck' back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class. She witnesses the lives of Japanese-Americans who were denied their civil liberties and suffered greatly, but managed to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive.


Book cover of Everything Is an Emergency: An Ocd Story in Words & Pictures

Ginny Hogan Author Of I'm More Dateable Than a Plate of Refried Beans: And Other Romantic Observations

From my list on humor to make you laugh out loud.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a humor writer and stand-up comedian. I spend much of my time trying to get my comedy into the shortest form possible so it can “go viral,” but I’d rather work on projects that have space to breathe, like books. I don’t think enough people appreciate how funny books can be. Often, humor seems like the purview of more visual mediums. However, while books are quieter than TV shows and live performances, they have just as much capacity for humor. When a book truly makes me laugh out loud, I want to tell everyone. And the following five books do.

Ginny's book list on humor to make you laugh out loud

Ginny Hogan Why did Ginny love this book?

Katzenstein cleverly uses cartoons to take us into the brain of someone with OCD. This book is laugh-out-loud funny, but also highly educational. I love this book because it uses cartoons to present another way of understanding each other – in its drawings, it’s deeply empathetic. While I don’t have OCD, I do struggle with the feeling that words alone are not enough to convey to others what’s going on inside my brain, and this book made me feel less alone.

By Jason Adam Katzenstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything Is an Emergency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

“A brilliant, honest, necessary book that exposes the intricacies of the human brain while showing us the way creativity and friendship can anchor us. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered if they see the world a little differently.” –Ada Limón

A New Yorker cartoonist illustrates his lifelong struggle with OCD in cartoon vignettes frank and funny

Jason Adam Katzenstein is just trying to live his life, but he keeps getting sidetracked by his over-active, anxious brain. Mundane events like shaking hands or sharing a drink snowball into absolute catastrophes.…


Book cover of Batman: The Complete History

Michael Burgan Author Of What Is the Story of Batman?

From my list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite childhood pictures, circa 1967, shows me in the Batman costume I got for Christmas. And one of my sharpest memories from that time was seeing the Batmobile at a local auto show. Yes, I was a Batman fanatic, thanks to both the TV show and the comics. That passion faded somewhat as I grew older—I can’t rattle off the names of all the villains or discourse on the styles of the different artists and writers who have told his story. But having the chance to write What Is the Story of Batman taught me a lot—and helped me feel like a kid again. 

Michael's book list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman

Michael Burgan Why did Michael love this book?

Like the Greenberger book, this official history of Batman from DC Comics is essential for any fan. Unlike Kane’s book, this account gives much more credit to Bill Finger as Batman’s creator and highlights many of the writers and illustrators who followed, shaping the Caped Crusader's image over the years. The color reproductions and photos—including ones of collectibles and movie stills—alone are worth the price of this great book. 

By Les Daniels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Batman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Comprehensive overview of the Dark Kights dark past - now in pb. Now in paperback, Batman: The Complete History offers a comprehensive overview of the Dark Knight's dark past. Best-selling author Les Daniels covers the gamut - from Batman's creation and runaway success, to the 1954 accusations of Batman and Robin's homosexuality, to the campy antics of the Adam West TV show, and the emergence of Frank Miller's very disturbed and very dark Knight. Illustrated with archival comic book art and rare Batman paraphernalia and designed by Batman's biggest fan, Chip Kidd, this history aims to please the core…


Book cover of How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual

Meg-John Barker Author Of Sexuality: A Graphic Guide

From my list on comic books about sexuality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a queer writer who is passionate about getting good awareness of gender, sexuality, relationships and mental health out there into the world. I create comics, zines, blog posts, and self-help style books to try to reach as wide an audience as possible, bringing together the work of activists, scholars, therapists, and creators - and drawing on a diverse range of knowledge and experiences - in the hope of helping us all understand ourselves and our world better.

Meg-John's book list on comic books about sexuality

Meg-John Barker Why did Meg-John love this book?

There are very few books - let alone graphic books - out there covering asexuality. This comic strikes a great balance between informing the reader about asexuality, and challenging many of the myths that still persist around it, as well as telling Rebecca’s own story of coming to understand her ace experience.

How to be ace is a great, accessible, engaging read for anyone on the ace or aro spectrum themselves. It’s also a very helpful book for everyone to get a better sense of the diversity of a/sexual experience.

By Rebecca Burgess,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be Ace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PRISM AWARDS FINALIST 2021
GREAT GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR TEENS - YOUNG ADULT LIBRARY SERVICES ASSOCIATION (YALSA) 2022

"When I was in school, everyone got to a certain age where they became interested in talking about only one thing: boys, girls and sex. Me though? I was only interested in comics."

Growing up, Rebecca assumes sex is just a scary new thing they will 'grow into' as they get older, but when they leave school, start working and do grow up, they start to wonder why they don't want to have sex with other people.

In this brave, hilarious and empowering…


Book cover of Thor: Tales Of Asgard

James Lovegrove Author Of The Age of Odin

From my list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like Neil Gaiman, I came to Norse mythology via the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Marvel comics route. And when I explored the material further I was struck by the darkness and unsanitised oddity of many of the stories. They clearly reflected the Vikings’ view of the world as a cold, hostile, sometimes absurd place that must be met with a strong arm and a hearty laugh if one is to survive not only physically but mentally. There’s something refreshingly honest about such an approach, and when I came to write the third novel in my Pantheon series, The Age of Odin, which recast the myths as a modern military-SF thriller, I leaned heavily into the aspects I found the most appealing as well as the most dramatic, not least the snowy apocalypse that is Ragnarök, while injecting some appropriately ribald humour too.

James' book list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics

James Lovegrove Why did James love this book?

This series of short back-up strips in the 1960s Thor comic from Marvel retold and embellished on the myths in characteristically bombastic Lee/Kirby fashion. While Thor himself, in the main feature, battled costumed supervillains in contemporary New York, the supporting feature dealt with his youth, his allies and enemies in Asgard itself and the rest of the Nine Realms, and a whole host of sorcerers, witches, and grotesque monsters. Kirby in particular seemed enthused by the project and it shows in his artwork.

By Jack Kirby, Stan Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Never has Thor been more sensational than during these early tales, crafted by Marvel's greatest, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Re-live Stan and Jack's stories of the Norse Gods and Thor before he came to Earth as Don Blake. Witness as these masters breathe life into the thunder god. Read these stories as never before with all-new, modern coloring and six interlocking covers by Olivier Coipel.

Collecting:

Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby #1-6


Book cover of 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga

Dorothy Woodman Author Of The Cancer Plot: Terminal Immortality in Marvel's Moral Universe

From my list on graphic literature and why to read them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Associate Lecturer and Adjunct in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. After being a piano teacher, working in communications for an NGO, and heading up the children’s department at a public library, I returned to university. While in graduate school, I underwent treatments for breast cancer, leading me into researching and teaching medical narratives, while focusing on works by breast cancer survivors. Introduced to graphic literature by a colleague, I began exploring a whole new world of literature. I now teach courses on graphic literature: memoirs, histories, speculative fiction, and the occasional comic.

Dorothy's book list on graphic literature and why to read them

Dorothy Woodman Why did Dorothy love this book?

This 4-volume serialized graphic novel tells the story of an Indigenous family across centuries and generations, stretching from Indigenous history before colonialism to ongoing colonial violence in Residential Schools until the present world of a Cree youth in existential crisis as he attempts to take his own life. His mother then guides him on a path of personal healing from his intergenerational trauma through stories about their history and traditions; Edwin’s journey takes him into the heart of ceremony and connection with his culture and history. He discovers his own strength to heal and then offers his father the opportunity to find his own healing path.

In this graphic novel, we are educated about Indigenous history through stories of struggle, resilience, and resurgence across the centuries. As Edwin, guided by his mother, meets with Elders, embraces his Cree identity, and pursues a path of healing through traditional teachings and practices,…

By David A. Robertson, Scott B. Henderson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 7 Generations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

Illustrated in vivid colour, 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga is an epic story that follows one Indigenous family over three centuries and seven generations. This compiled edition was originally published as a series of four graphic novels: Stone, Scars, Ends/Begins, and The Pact.

Stone introduces Edwin, a young man who must discover his family's past if he is to have any future. Edwin learns of his ancestor, Stone, a Plains Cree warrior who came of age in the early 19th century. When Stone's older brother is tragically killed during a Blackfoot raid, he must overcome his grief to avenge…


Book cover of Roller Girl

Misty Wilson Author Of Play Like a Girl

From my list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, if I wasn’t good at something right away, I’d quit. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of others. Because of that, I never experienced how great it felt to overcome obstacles, to succeed at something hard—until I played football. Girls Who Persevere is an important topic to me because so often, girls are treated as if they’re inferior or incapable. It’s ingrained in them that they shouldn’t try certain things (like football!), and if they fail at first, it must mean they can’t do it. I think it’s important to see strong girls doing big things, even when they’re hard. These books show just that.

Misty's book list on graphic novels featuring girls who persevere

Misty Wilson Why did Misty love this book?

This is one of the first graphic novels I ever read, and I couldn’t stop laughing. The story is fun, and it’s the perfect example of a girl staying true to who she is while realizing that sometimes people change and friends grow apart as they grow up. I loved that I got to learn a new sport while enjoying this coming-of-age story. 

By Victoria Jamieson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Roller Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller Roller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby-perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile!

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid's life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend…


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Interested in comics, the American Dream, and Malaysia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about comics, the American Dream, and Malaysia.

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