The most recommended new graphic novels

Who picked these books? Meet our 54 experts.

54 authors created a book list connected to new graphic novels, and here are their favorite new graphic novels books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of new graphic novels book?


Book cover of Mexikid

Bethanie Deeney Murguia

From Bethanie's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Graphic novelist Creature adorer Illustrator

Bethanie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Bethanie Deeney Murguia Why did Bethanie love this book?

Mexikid uses the graphic novel format cleverly and beautifully to interweave lore and flashbacks into a road trip story about a family driving to Mexico to bring their abuelo back to the US.

This book has the funniest haircut scene (and haircut) I've encountered. The interactions of the nine siblings are my favorite part, though—so truthfully and hilariously captured.

The story is also touching and personal as Pedro, the narrator, learns about his Mexican heritage and family history. It's one of the best graphic novels I've read this year!

By Pedro Martín,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mexikid 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?

An unforgettable graphic memoir about a Mexican American boy's family and their adventure-filled road trip to bring their abuelito back from Mexico to live with them that National Book Award Finalist Victoria Jamieson calls "one of those books that kids will pass to their friends as soon as they have finished it."

Pedro Martin has grown up hearing stories about his abuelito-his legendary crime-fighting, grandfather who was once a part of the Mexican Revolution! But that doesn't mean Pedro is excited at the news that Abuelito is coming to live with their family. After all, Pedro has 8 brothers and…

Book cover of Pizza and Taco: Rock Out!

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of The Dragon in The Closet, Book One

From my list on graphics and comics for kids learning to read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing and drawing children’s books and comic books for kids for over 23 years. I've always loved the comic book format and visual storytelling. Reading pictures is actually very stimulating for kids and adults alike. I’m also a parent to three daughters and teach art at an elementary school locally, so I work with children and see what captures their imaginations and inspires them. As someone who’s written and illustrated numerous graphic novels for kids, moderates a children’s book review group, and reads so many of the newest books available, I selected these graphic novels as some of the best I’ve read in the different genres that have been released recently.

Carolyn's book list on graphics and comics for kids learning to read

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Why did Carolyn love this book?

In this issue of the extremely funny series Pizza and Taco, they team up with two more friends, Hotdog and Hamburger to make a rock band. Lots of jokes are peppered in with the struggles of writing songs and learning to work together! This is a great series for kids in the 1st and 2nd grade reading level.

The art is fun and the graphic novel has simple layouts that makes it easy for kids to follow the action. There are some really cute band jokes right in the beginning that may go over children’s heads like “Food Fighters” and “Jam Jett”, but are still funny names.

What’s great about comics like this is that it gets kids reading and caters to an ADHD brain. Short sentences and a fast-moving plot are a great device to engage young children.

By Stephen Shaskan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pizza and Taco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Besties Pizza and Taco are ready to rock out! They have a cool band name! And some instruments—sort of. Songs? Well, even without mad musical skills, how hard can it be? This super-silly graphic novel series by Stephen Shaskan hits a new high note!

Pizza and Taco love music! They make lists, and they have tryouts to get more band members. They think they have all the ingredients to rock the scene. But maybe this garage band should stay in the garage!!

This hilarious young graphic novel—with chapters—will tickle the funny bones of kids ages 5 to 8 and bolster…

Book cover of The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Anna Kopp Author Of The Marble Queen

From my list on queer fantasy graphic novels for young adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a queer teen in the early 2000s, I didn’t have sapphic books or media available to me aside from anime, and even then, the dubbed versions on TV were scrubbed of queerness (I’m looking at you, Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura). I did have Revolutionary Girl Utena, and it was everything to me: fantasy, ballgowns, and girls dancing together. I wrote my book for that me who craved to see herself in beautiful, fantastical stories, and it’s why I love the fact that we have so many more out there right now that I can recommend to all of you!

Anna's book list on queer fantasy graphic novels for young adults

Anna Kopp Why did Anna love this book?

This book made me laugh out loud. There were so many cheese puns that my face hurt from my perpetual grin after reading it.

I love having a queer book with lots of heart and low stakes, where I can just relax and enjoy the fun. And the outfits! I need these dresses and suits in my life!

By Deya Muniz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich 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?

Lady Camembert wants to live life on her own terms, without marriage. Well, without marrying a man, that is. But the law of the land is that women cannot inherit. So when her father passes away, she does the only thing she can: She disguises herself as a man and moves to the capital city of the Kingdom of Fromage to start over as Count Camembert.

But it's hard to keep a low profile when the beautiful Princess Brie, with her fierce activism and great sense of fashion, catches her attention. Camembert can't resist getting to know the princess, but…

Book cover of Freestyle

Steph Mided Author Of Club Kick Out! Into the Ring

From my list on middle grade inspiring creativity in their readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been drawing and writing ever since I could hold a pencil, and a big inspiration for me to start my lifelong creative journey were graphic novels. So even as an adult, I love to read work from a wide range of genres and age ranges to see what my fellow authors and artists are up to. Especially making my own middle grade graphic novel series, I look up to so many of the authors and artists on this list and chances are you and your kids will too if you pick one of these up!

Steph's book list on middle grade inspiring creativity in their readers

Steph Mided Why did Steph love this book?

Gale Galligan is another artist I’ve followed for a while now and it seems like everything they make just overflows with creativity and charm.

I love how Freestyle combines both dance and yo-yoing, two things I’d never think to put together, and makes it work so seamlessly. The book is just pure, vibrant, fun, and even as an adult I found myself going back and admiring the artwork and movement Gale portrays on every page. This is the kind of book that will have readers coming back again and again just to get wrapped up in its beautiful, vivid world. 

By Gale Galligan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freestyle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author, Gale Galligan, comes a fun, high-energy
Graphic Novel about friendship, family, and school!

Cory's dance crew is getting ready for a major competition before
they leave year nine. The crew captain gets increasingly intense
about nailing the routine. And Cory's parents ground him for
not taking his marks seriously.

He ends up with a new tutor, Sunna, who he dismisses as a boring
nerd. until he catches her secretly practicing cool yo-yo tricks.
As his friendship with Sunna grows, he ends up missing practice
and bailing on his crew.

How is Cory supposed to balance the expectations…

Book cover of Living with Viola

Marla Lesage Author Of AWOL

From my list on graphic novels that tackle tough topics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed reading true stories and stories that feel like they could be true. I enjoy learning about other people’s lives and experiences. If a character’s life experiences have been very different than my own, it is eye-opening and informative. If we’ve had similar experiences it helps me feel less alone. When writing, I usually draw inspiration from my own life experiences. With AWOL, I wanted to share military family culture and help readers affected by PTSD feel less alone. 

Marla's book list on graphic novels that tackle tough topics

Marla Lesage Why did Marla love this book?

Rosena Fung pairs the tough topics of mental health and anxiety with delightfully whimsical and colorful illustrations. Livy is trying to fit in at a new school while navigating the pressure she feels as a child of Chinese immigrants. Viola is Livy’s anxiety personified. I live with my own version of Viola, so I found the story especially relatable. As Livy learns to deal with Viola, we also learn some great tips on dealing with our own anxieties.

By Rosena Fung,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"unforgettable . . . will shake middle grade readers to the core"-School Library Journal, starred review

"Beautifully illustrated, relatable, and genuine." -Molly Brooks, creator of Sanity & Tallulah

"Everyone needs to buy this book now. Seriously. Buy it, read it, share it."-Colleen Nelson, author and teacher

Honest and funny, this award-winning graphic novel from a debut creator is a refreshingly real exploration of mental health, cultural differences, and the trials of middle school.

Livy is already having trouble fitting in as the new girl at school-and then there's Viola. Viola is Livy's anxiety brought to life, a shadowy twin that…

Book cover of Lumberjackula

Darcy Marks Author Of Grounded for All Eternity

From my list on Halloween for middle grade readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was five my dad had to carry me, crying, out of the Salem Witch’s Dungeon. You’d think that would put a damper on my love of spooky things, but it absolutely did not! Bela Lugosi was my first crush. I set up Haunted Houses in my garage and read every single book my local library had on the Salem Witch Trials. I made my way from Bunnicula and The Halloween Tree, to books by Stephen King and Anne Rice. Halloween and horror will always have a special place in my heart, and yet…I still don’t let my legs dangle off my bed, lest the monsters get me.

Darcy's book list on Halloween for middle grade readers

Darcy Marks Why did Darcy love this book?

I firmly believe that Halloween books are for everyone, even kids who don’t want their pants scared off or kids who aren’t big readers. In comes Lumberjackula! An adorable graphic novel with a great Halloween esthetic.

Jack is a half vampire, half lumberjack kid who has to make a big decision: should he go to Lumberjack school like Mom wants, or Vampire school like Dad wants? Jack doesn’t want to disappoint either parent, but he has a secret…he wants to dance!

Lumberjackula has all the fun of Halloween without the fear, and the illustrations are adorable. It’s a great book to make sure all of your middle graders get to join in the Halloween fun. (And as a former goth myself, Dad’s band is awesome!)

By Mat Heagerty, Sam Owen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lumberjackula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

For fans of The Okay Witch and Fake Blood, this hilarious middle grade graphic novel follows a half-vampire, half-lumberjack boy who feels torn between his parents and just wants to be a dancer.

Jack is in a pickle. His lumberjack mom wants him to go to Mighty Log Lumberjack Prep to learn how to chop wood and wear flannel. His vampire dad wants him to go to Sorrow's Gloom Vampire School to learn how to turn into a bat and drink blood-orange juice. And Jack has a secret: what he really wants to do is dance.

When he finds out…

Book cover of Badtime Bedtime Stories

Jeffrey Brown Author Of Star Wars: The Mandalorian and Child

From Jeffrey's 10-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Cartoonist Dad Star Wars fan Pickup soccer player Cat person

Jeffrey's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Jeffrey's 10-year-old's favorite books.

Jeffrey Brown Why did Jeffrey's 10-year-old love this book?

These comics are very much of a particular time and place (1970s England), but that’s also part of what makes them so strange and funny to my son. Almost like a cross between Monty Python, Roald Dahl, and Mad magazine. Lots of little jokes and details, bad puns, and all kinds of goofy weirdness.

By Leo Baxendale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Badtime Bedtime Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Once upon a badtime...
In these explosive, hysterical comics, Dr Jeykll and Mr Snide, Little Miss Muffet and Little Red Riding Hood run wild in chaotic retellings of beloved tales. These anarchic, frenzied comics stories from the pen of Leo Baxendale are the arguably the jewel of the British humour comics, beloved by many for their DIY storybook aesthetic when they were originally printed in Monster Fun. Now, in this stunning new collection, the comics are restored to their full glory, while reprinted in a smaller style to retain the intimate feel of the originals. Crammed with gags and hidden…

Book cover of Star Knights

Barbara Perez Marquez Author Of The Cardboard Kingdom

From my list on to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I strive to create stories that I wish I had found on shelves when I was younger. In that same way, every title on this list not only brings new ways to find adventures through reading, but will hopefully leave young readers with new skills to face the world around them. We often think just cause a story has fantastical elements that it makes them detached from reality, but give any of these a read and you'll find, the farther it is from real life, the brighter the common themes we all share shine through.

Barbara's book list on to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did Barbara love this book?

For any kids that are looking for their next space adventure. Davault's art style is welcoming and the story is a delight. I found Star Knights to hit that string of what it means to stand for our friends and how, as a kid, I too was looking for ways to connect with others. 

By Kay Davault,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A simple frog who wants to become a legendary knight finds himself on a magical journey. From the comic artist behind Oddity Woods comes a fantasy graphic novel with a lot of heart, adventure, and hijinks!

What makes a hero?

Brave Star Knights are heroes who go on adventures. But Tad is just a frog, and frogs can’t save the day. Can they? Determined to out-hop his mud-dweller fate and pursue his dream of being a knight, Tad finds himself on a quest with a surprise group of adventurers, including the Star King!

It’s a race against time as Tad…

Book cover of Forest Hills Bootleg Society

Ashley Robin Franklin Author Of The Hills of Estrella Roja

From my list on queer YA graphic novels that'll make you feel less alone.

Why am I passionate about this?

While The Hills of Estrella Roja is my YA debut, I’ve been a big fan of YA graphic novels for years. I think YA is such fertile ground for great storytelling, because of how intense things can feel at that age, you’re on the cusp of adulthood, figuring out what type of person you are/want to be and where you fit in the world. Then throw in queerness, which adds a whole other layer to the experience. As a queer cartoonist creating work for young people (and everyone, really!) during this distressing era of book bans, creating and supporting authentic and diverse queer stories feels more important than ever. 

Ashley's book list on queer YA graphic novels that'll make you feel less alone

Ashley Robin Franklin Why did Ashley love this book?

Friendship and navigating school social hierarchy is hard enough, but throw in a secret queer relationship and a bootleg anime dvd business? Yikes!

What I love about Forest Hills Bootleg Society is how messy it is; these girls have PROBLEMS. Of course they do, they’re teens. This graphic novel is so funny and relatable at times, while at other points, it’s heartbreaking. This especially speaks to me as a former anime-teen! 

By Dave Baker, Nicole Goux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forest Hills Bootleg Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Set in 2005, this gorgeously illustrated, funny, and honest graphic novel follows four teens who stumble into an illicit anime DVD-burning business that shakes up their conservative small town…and their friendship.

When Brooke, Kelly, Maggie, and Melissa buy a bootleg anime DVD at a gas station, they get much more than they bargained for with Super Love XL, a risqué move featuring—among other things—a giant mecha who shoots lasers out of her chest. The four girls are horrified (and maybe a little fascinated). It’s so unlike anything they’ve seen, would probably shock everyone else in their town, and definitely would…

Book cover of Roaming

Adam B. Ford Author Of The Prey of Freedom

From Adam's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Ultimate Frisbee player Snowboarder Graphic designer Subverter of norms Lover of sound effects

Adam's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Adam B. Ford Why did Adam love this book?

This is a hefty graphic novel, but it never feels like too much. It’s a snapshot of a time and place, three college girls visiting New York City for five days, and there’s not an overload of plot, but it still flows along sweetly.

It’s printed in tri-tone, and there are pages that simply evoke the sights and sounds (and even smells) of New York. The characters are presented simply, but their complexities are brought to life through their interactions with each other and their surroundings.

I went in with zero knowledge of who these kids were and came out feeling as though I knew them personally. It brought back memories of kicking around a city, at once aimless and with purpose, where nothing much changes, but everything’s different.

By Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spring Break, 2009: Five days, three friends, and one big city. Roaming marks a triumphant return to the graphic novel and a deft foray into new adult fiction for Caldecott Medal authors Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. Over the course of a much-anticipated trip to New York, an unexpected fling blossoms between casual acquaintances and throws a long-term friendship off-balance. Emotional tensions vibrate wildly against the resplendently illustrated backdrop of the city, capturing a spontaneous queer romance in all of its fledgling glory. Slick attention to the details of a bustling, intimidating metropolis are softened with a palette of muted…