2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

The list of 53 titles, drawn from 154 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.

In addition, the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee created a Top Ten list.

“This year’s list is diverse and engaging for a wide variety of teen readers,” said Robin Brenner, committee chair. “Creating the list reinforced how many quality titles are available for teens.”

Members of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee are Robin Brenner, chair, Brookline (Mass.) Public Library; Rachel Kay Aronowitz, San Francisco Public Library; Marea Black, Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix, Ariz.; Sarah Couri, Donnell Library Center, New York Public Library; Christi Showman Farrar, Woburn (Mass.) Public Library; Lisa Goldstein, Stone Avenue Branch, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Michael Jara, South Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library; Sadie Mattox, Oklahoma Dept. of Libraries, Oklahoma City; Barbara Moon, Suffolk Coop Library System, Bellport, N.Y.; Michael Pawuk, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, Ohio; Eva Volin, Alameda (Calif.) Free Library; and Ian Chipman, consultant, Booklist, Chicago, Ill.

2009 Titles


Buhle, Paul and Sabrina Jones. Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography. Hill and Wang. 2008. 978-0-809094-97-4. $19.95.
Dance, scandal, politics and passion.

Hennessey, Jonathan and Aaron McConnell.
The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation. Hill and Wang. 2008. 978-0-8090-9470-7. $16.95.
Not only will you finally understand the Electoral College, you’ll have a lot of fun along the way.

Landowne, Youme and Anthony Horton.
Pitch Black. Cinco Puntos Press. 2008. 978-1-9336-9306-4. $14.00.
Art can survive even underground.

Pink, Daniel H. and Rob Ten Pas. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need. Riverhead Trade. 2008. 978-159448-291-5. $15.00.
Great advice from the career fairy.

Schultz, Mark, Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon.
The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA. Hill and Wang. 2008. 978-0-809089-38-3. $18.98.
If only your science textbook were this interesting.

Steinberger, Aimee Major.
Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan. Go Comi. 2007. 978-1-933617-83-1. $16.99.
An American otaku does Japan.


Abel, Jessica, Gabriel Soria and Warren Pleece. Life Sucks. First Second. 2008. 978-1-59643-107-2. $19.95.
When a goth girl falls for a Dracula wannabe, what's a young vampire to do? 

Ashihara, Hinako.
Sand Chronicles, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1477-2. $8.99.
Sand Chronicles, v. 2. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1478-9. $8.99.
Sand Chronicles, v. 3. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1479-6. $8.99.
Time changes everything…even love. 

Bialik, Steve. Minister Jade. Cellar Door Publishing. 2008. 978-0-976683-13-1 . $14.99.
If stepping out of line destroys your family’s honor, can you still save the day?

Black, Holly and Ted Naifeh. The Good Neighbors: Book One, Kin. 2008. Graphix. 978-0-4398-5562-4. $16.99.
Even faeries can be the stuff of nightmares. 

Brubaker, Ed and Steve Epting.

The Death of Captain America: The Death of the Dream, v. 1. 2008. Marvel. 978-0-785124-23-8. $14.99.
The Death of Captain America: The Burden of Dreams, v. 2. 2008. Marvel. 978-0-785124-24-5. $14.99.
How do you continue your best friend’s legacy when you haven’t had time to mourn?

Clevinger, Brian and Steve Wegener.
Atomic Robo: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne. 2008. Red Five Comics. 978-0-9809302-0-7. $18.99.
Atomic Robo fights nefarious creatures and mad scientists armed with banter, a strong heart, and a swell pair of jodhpurs. 

David, Peter, Robin Furth and Jae Lee.

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born, v. 1. Marvel. 2008. 978-0-785121-44-2. $24.99.
Dark Tower: The Long Road Home, v. 2. Marvel. 2008. 978-0-785127-09-3. $24.99.
Love, magic and murder – a gunslinger’s grim coming of age.

Diggle, Andy and Jock.
Green Arrow: Year One. DC. 2008. 978-1-4012-1687-0. $24.99.
Arrows vs. guns – guess who wins?

Flight, v. 5. Villard. 2008. 978-0-345-50589-7. $25.00.
Whether fleeing toward something or away, this collection of short stories transports you.

Fujisawa, Yuki. 
Metro Survive, v. 1. DrMaster Publications. 2008. 978-1-59796-125-7. $9.95.
Metro Survive, v. 2. DrMaster Publications. 2008. 978-1-59796-126-4. $9.95.
The massive earthquake was only the start of their troubles. 

Hale, Shannon, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale.
Rapunzel’s Revenge. Bloomsbury. 2008. 978-0-345-50330-5. $18.99. 
When your handsome prince never arrives it’s time to save yourself.

Hicks, Faith Erin. The War at Ellsmere. Slave Labor Graphics. 2008. 978-1-59362-140-7. $12.95.
Bad food, bullies and killer homework…just another day at an all-girls’ boarding school?

Hotta, Yumi and Takeshi Obata.

Hikaru no Go, v. 12. VIZ Media. 2008. 978-1-4215-1508-3. $7.95.
Hikaru no Go, v. 13. VIZ Media. 2008. 978-1-4215-1509-0. $7.95.
Hikaru’s ready to turn pro, but will he leave Sai behind?

In-Wan, Youn and others.

Deja-Vu: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Tokyopop. 2008. 978-1-4278-0318-4.
Some people are destined to be together, but it may take a few lifetimes to get there.

Inoue, Takehiko.
Real, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-4215-1989-0. $12.99.
Real, v. 2. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1990-6. $12.99.
If basketball is the best game on two feet, imagine how great it is on wheels.

Inoue, Takehiko. Slam Dunk, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-0679-1. $7.99.
Got game, get girls…or not.

Ito, Junki. Uzumaki, v.1. VIZ. 2007. 978-1-4215-1389-8. $9.99.
You’ll never look at spirals the same way again.

J ohns, Geoff and Dave Gibbons.
Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War, v. 1. DC. 2008. 978-1-4012-1650-4. $24.99.
Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War, v. 2. DC. 2008. 978-1-4012-1800-3. $24.99.
Thousands of green lanterns, one epic intergalactic war.

Johnson, Mat and Warren Pleece. Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery. Vertigo. 2008. 978-1-4012-1097-7. $19.99.
Sometimes the best way to expose a deadly secret is by hiding in plain sight.

 Kabei, Yukako and Shiori Teshirogi.  Kieli, v. 1. Yen Press. 2008. 978-0759528512. $9.99. Kieli, v. 2. Yen Press. 2008.  978-0759528529. $10.99.
Putting spirits to rest doesn’t prevent you from being haunted.

Kawahara, Kazune.  High School Debut, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1481-9. $8.99. 
High School Debut, v. 2. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1482-6. $8.99.
The hottest guy in school will teach Haruna how to attract a boyfriend as long as it’s not him.

Kirkman, Robert and Jason Howard.
Astounding Wolf-Man, v. 1. Image Comics. 2008. 978-1-58240-862-0. $9.99.
Gary Hampton was mauled and left for dead - but that's not the worst of it.

Kirkman, Robert and Ryan Ottley.
Invincible, v. 9. Image Comics. 2008. 978-1-58240-827-9. $14.99.
He’s invincible…but his mom still does his laundry.

Kishimoto, Masashi. 
Naruto, v. 28. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1864-0. $7.95. 
Naruto, v. 29. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1865-7. $7.95.
Naruto, v. 30. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1942-5. $7.95.
Naruto, v. 31. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1943-2. $7.95.
Naruto…older, wiser, a brand new mission.

Kiyuduki, Satoko.
Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, v. 1. Yen Press. 2008. 978-0-759528-9-70. $10.99.
Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, v. 2. Yen Press. 2008. 978-0-759529-01-4. $10.99. A small girl, a large coffin, a long journey.

Kusakawa, Nari.
Two Flowers for the Dragon, v. 1. CMX Manga. 2008. 978-1-4012-1526-2. $9.99.
Two Flowers for the Dragon, v. 2. CMX Manga. 2008. 978-1-4012-1527-9. $9.99.
Redefines wearing your heart on your sleeve. 

Moore, Terry. Echo: Moon Lake. Abstract Studio. 2008. 978-1-892597-40-3. $15.95.
A flash of light. An explosion in the sky. One woman gone. One woman marked...forever?

Nakaji, Yuki.
Venus in Love, v. 1. DC Comics/CMX. 2007. 978-104012-1345-9. $9.99.
Venus in Love, v. 2. DC Comics/CMX. 2007. 978-1-4012-1730-3. $9.99.
Venus in Love, v. 3. DC Comics/CMX. 2007. 978-1-4012-1772-3. $9.99. Girl meets boy.  Boy meets boy.  If only love were that simple.

Pak, Greg and Carlo Pagulayan.
Planet Hulk. Marvel Comics. 2008.  978-0-785120-12-4. $34.99.
The Hulk is this world’s greatest gladiator, but can he be their hero?

Park, Hee Jung.
Fever, v. 1. Tokyopop. 2008. 978-1-4278-0532-4. $9.99.
Outside the mainstream, they may find just what they need.  

Rich, Jamie and Marc Ellerby.
Love the Way You Love: Side A Songs of Faith, v. 1. Oni Press. 2007. 978-1932664-66-9. $11.95.
Love the Way You Love: Side B, v. 2. Oni Press. 2008. 978-1-932664-95-9. $11.95.
A rock-n-roll Tristan and Isolde.

Sakai, Stan.
Usagi Yojimbo: Tomoe's Story. Dark Horse Comics. 2008. 978-1-59307-947-5. $15.95.
A female samurai may not be traditional, but sometimes she’s the best person to have at your back.

Shitou, Kyoko.
Key to the Kingdom, v. 1. CMX. 2007. 978-1-4012-1393-0. $9.99.
A reluctant heir.  A fierce warrior.  A race for the throne.

Simone, Gail and Neil Googe.
Welcome to Tranquility, v. 1. Wildstorm. 2007. 978-1-4012-1516-3. $19.99.
Welcome to Tranquility, v. 2. Wildstorm. 2008.  978-1-4012-1773-0. $14.99.
Being a hero doesn’t stop at retirement.

Straczynski, J. Michael and Esad Ribic. Silver Surfer: Requiem. Marvel. 2007. 978-0-7851-2848-9. $19.99.
His final journey takes him home.

Takaya, Natsuki.
Fruits Basket, v. 20. Tokyopop. 2008. 978-1-4278-0009-1. $9.99.
Fruits Basket, v. 21. Tokyopop. 2008. 978-1-4278-0682-6. $9.99.
What you’ve been waiting for -- the climax of an enduring series.

Tamaki, Mariko and Jilliam Tamaki. Skim. Groundwood Books. 2008. 978-0-8889-9753-1. $18.95.
Love and loss make you who you are. 

Tamaki, Mariko and Steve Rolston.
Emiko Superstar. Minx. 2008. 978-1-4012-1536-1. $9.99.
A stolen diary turns a wallflower into a superstar. 

TenNapel, Doug. Monster Zoo. Image Comics. 2008. 978-1-58240-911-5. $14.99.
A day at the zoo: peanuts, the girl of your dreams, and killer pandas.

Tezuka, Osamu. Black Jack, v. 1. Vertical. 2008. 978-1934287-27-9. $16.95.
A mysterious surgeon-for-hire who will perform any operation -- for a price.

Tezuka, Osamu.
Dororo, v. 1. Vertical. 2008. 978-1-934287-16-3. $13.95. 
Dororo, v. 2. Vertical. 2008. 978-1-934287-17-0. $13.95. 
Dororo, v. 3. Vertical. 2008. 978-1-934287-18-7. $13.95. 
48 demons.  Stolen body parts.  A fight to become whole.

Umino, Chica.

Honey and Clover, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1504-5. $8.99.
Honey and Clover, v. 2. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1505-2. $9.99.
Honey and Clover, v. 3. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1505-2. $9.99.
Starving art students may not win at love, but they always have each other.

Way, Gerard and Gabriel Ba. Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite. Dark Horse. 2008. 978-1-59307-978-9. $17.95.
When you come from a family of superheroes, don’t piss off your sister.

Whedon, Joss and Michael Ryan.
Runaways: Dead End Kids. Marvel. 2008. 978-0-7851-2853-3. $19.99.
Teen runaways find a new direction to run -- 100 years in the past.  

Wilson, G. Willow and M. K. Perker. Cairo. Vertigo. 2007. 978-1-4012-1140-0. $24.99.
In this modern fable, a stolen hookah unleashes a genie who changes five lives forever.

Yagami, Yu.
Hikkatsu! Strike a Blow to Vivify!, v. 1. Go Comi. 2007. 978-1-933617-57-2. $10.99.
Hikkatsu! Strike a Blow to Vivify!, v. 2. Go Comi. 2007. 978-1-933617-58-9. $10.99.
Hikkatsu! Strike a Blow to Vivify!, v. 3. Go Comi. 2007. 978-1-933617-59-6. $10.99.
Shota can fix appliances...with karate!  But can he fix the world? 

Yazawa, Ai.
Nana, v. 8. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1539-7. $8.99.
Nana, v. 9. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1745-2. $8.99.
Nana, v. 10. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1746-9. $8.99.
Nana, v. 11. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1745-2. $8.99.
Nana, v. 12. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1879-4. $8.99.
Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.  Dating a rock star isn’t all its cracked up to be.