2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

The list of 63 titles, drawn from 89 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 of titles that exemplify the quality and range of graphic novels appropriate for teen audiences.

“There were many fantastic graphic novel titles this year,” said Candice Mack, committee chair. “This allowed the committee to create a diverse list featuring a variety of artistic styles, perspectives and settings. We hope librarians will find this to be a very useful list.”

Members of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee are Candice Mack, chair, Los Angeles Public Library; Emily Brown, Harry Kizirian Elementary School, Providence, R.I.; Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Jesse Karp, Little Red School House/Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York, N.Y.; Joy Kim, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Jessica Lorentz Smith, Bend (Ore.) Senior High School; Barbara Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, N.Y.; Kimberly Paone, Matawan-Aberdeen (N.J.) Public Library; Michael Pawuk, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, Ohio; Christian Zabriskie, Queens Public Library, Jamaica, N.Y., Dorcas Wong, San Francisco Public Library; Matthew Moffett, administrative assistant, Fairfax, Va.; and Ian Chipman, Booklist consultant, Chicago.

*denotes top ten selection

Nonfiction

Canada, Geoffrey and Jamar Nicholas. Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence. Beacon Press, 2010. $14. 9780807044490.
Geoff has to learn the violent codes of the street, or he won't survive.

Dembicki, Matt (ed.), and Various Artists. Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. Fulcrum Books, 2010. $22.95. 9781555917241.
Trickster tales told by Native American storytellers.

Hinds, Gareth. The Odyssey. Candlewick Press, 2010. $14.99. 9780763642686.
Twenty years of braving monsters, gods, shipwreck, and traitors in order to make it home is the ultimate journey.

Mucci, Tim and Ben Caldwell. The Odyssey. Sterling, 2010. $7.95. 9781402731556.
Odysseus is here to chew bubble gum and kick butt...and he’s all out of bubble gum.

*Neri, G. and Randy Duburke. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty. Lee & Low Books, 2010. $16.95. 9781584302674.
The life, death and aftermath of an eleven-year-old gangbanger, based on a true tragedy.

O' Connor, George. Zeus: King of the Gods. First Second, 2010. $9.99. 9781596434318.
What does it take to become the ruler of the Gods?

*Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. Graphix, 2010. $10.99. 9780545132060.
Brace yourself: Middle School plus orthodontia equals dental drama.

Fiction

Adachi, Mitsuru. Cross Game V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $19.99. 9781421537580.
Ko's family runs a sporting goods store, but he learns to love baseball from the four sisters who live down the street.

Ando, Natsumi. Arisa V. 1. Del Rey Manga, 2010. $10.99. 9780345522412.
Tsubasa poses as her troubled twin sister and discovers dark secrets that may be more than she bargained for.

Arikawa, Hiro and Kiiro Yumi. Library Wars V. 1: Love & War.VIZ Media, 2010. $9.99. 9781421534886.
Join the Library Defense Force! Fight for your right to read!

*Aristophane. The Zabime Sisters. Trans. by Matt Madden. First Second, 2010. $16.99. 9781596436381.
Experience the first day of summer vacation with three sisters on their island home of Guadelupe.

Arnold, J.D. and Richard Koslowski. B.B. Wolf and the Three LPs. Top Shelf, 2010. $12.95. 9781603090292.
B.B. Wolf wasn't looking for trouble but the little pigs sure brought it to his door.

Carey, Mike and Peter Gross. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity. DC/Vertigo, 2010. $9.99. 9781401225650.
What if your father wrote a best-selling fantasy series named after you… and all of it was true?

Churchland, Marian. Beast. Image Comics, 2009. $15.99. 9781607061472.
A young artist is hired to create a sculpture of an ancient creature, but the job is not what it first appears and neither is the beast.

*Dayton, Brandon . Green Monk. Self-published, 2009. $4.99. 9780615382838.
A young monk with the most powerful blade of grass EVER wanders into battle with a fierce giant.

DeFilippis, Nunzio and Christina Weir. Destiny’s Hand Omnibus. Seven Seas, 2009. $14.99. 9781934876732.
Olivia fights her way into a pirate’s life.

Deutsch, Barry. Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword. Amulet Books, 2010. $15.95. 9780810984226.
Mirka is an Orthodox Jewish girl who aspires to live an unorthodox life — fighting dragons.

Dorkin, Evan and Jill Thompson. Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites. Dark Horse, 2010. $19.99. 9781595825131.
A group of dogs and one open-minded cat join forces to protect the community of Burden Hill against a variety of supernatural forces.

Doyle, Arthur Conan, Ian Edginton, et. al. A Study in Scarlet: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel. Sterling, 2010. $14.95. 9781402770821.
A tale of desperate revenge and keen deduction.

Dunning, John Harris and Nikhil Singh. Salem Brownstone. Candlewick Press, 2010. $18.99. 9780763647353.
Salem receives an inheritance that goes beyond a gothic mansion: he must fight his father’s battle against dark forces.

Fawkes, Ray. Possessions, Book One: Unclean Getaway. Oni Press, 2010. $5.99. 9781934964361.
Gurgazon the Unclean is just about the cutest little pit demon you are likely to meet.

Groenig, Matt and Bill Morrison (ed.). The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis. Abrams ComicArts, 2010. $24.95. 9780810988378.
Can two comedies survive when Fry, Bender, Leela and the rest of the Planet Express Delivery service meet up with the citizens of Springfield?

Hale, Shannon, et. al. Calamity Jack. Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, 2010. $14.99. 9781599903736.
Rapunzel’s best guy Jack is back to save his mom from the giant at the top of the beanstalk.

Hester, Phil and Brian Churilla. The Anchor V. 1: Five Furies. Boom! Studios, 2010. $9.99. 9781608860203.
God's own legbreaker wreaks havoc on evil both in this world and in Hell.

Higson, Charlie and Kev Walker. SilverFin: The Graphic Novel. Hyperion Books for Children, 2010. $19.99. 9781423130222.
James Bond's days at school were as exciting as you might expect.

Isaka, Kotara and Megumi Osuga. Maoh: Juvenile Remix V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $9.99. 9781421534282.
Vigilantes rule the streets of Nakota. Does Ando have a secret power that will change that?

*Iwaoka, Hisae. Saturn Apartments V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $12.99. 9781421533643.
Mitsu takes on his late father's dangerous job as a window washer on the space ship Saturn Apartments.

Jablonski, Carla and Leland Purvis. Resistance: Book 1. First Second, 2010. $16.99. 9781596432918.
You’re never too young to fight for freedom.

Kelly, Joe and Max Fiumara. Four Eyes V. 1. Image Comics, 2010. $9.99. 9781607062929.
When his father dies, a young boy takes over his job for a depression era gangster . . . hunting dragons.

*Kim, Susan, et. al. Brain Camp. First Second, 2010. $16.99. 9781596433663.
Two teens discover there is something far more sinister than nature hikes going on at their summer camp.

Kitoh, Mohiro. Bokurano: Ours, V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $12.99. 9781421533612.
Giant robots have come to Earth, most to attack but one mysterious mech is here to protect. 

Larson, Hope. Mercury. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010. $27. 9781416935858.
Two girls: separated by 150 years but connected by one locket.

*Layman, John and Rob Guillory. Chew V. 1: Taster’s Choice. Image Comics, 2009. $9.99. 9781607061595.
When Tony Chu has to investigate murder, just about anything can end up down the hatch.

Lemire, Jeff. Sweet Tooth V. 1: Out of the Woods. Vertigo, 2010. $9.99. 9781401226961.
When you’re a half deer, half boy, every day is hunting season.

Leone, Christopher, et. al. We Kill Monsters. Red 5 Comics, 2010. $14.95. 9780980930276.
Why do monsters keep appearing in Kern County? The Basher Brothers are on a mission to find out.

McCreery, Conor, et. al. Kill Shakespeare V. 1: A Sea of Troubles. IDW Publishing, 2010. $19.99. 9781600107818.
Shakespeare's greatest heroes clash with his most menacing villains.

Midorikawa, Yuki. Natsume's Book of Friends V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $9.99. 9781421532431.
His grandmother’s strange legacy helps Natsume make friend with both humans and spirits.

Mignola, Mike. The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects. Dark Horse, 2010. $17.99. 9781595825018.
The absurd adventures of a robotic Victorian super-hero and other assorted weirdness.

Millar, Mark and Steve McNiven. Wolverine: Old Man Logan. Marvel Comics, 2010. $29.99. 9780785131724.
Fifty years after supervillains take over, a broken Wolverine treks across the country to save those dearest to him.

Nihei, Tsutomu . Biomega V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $12.99. 9781421531847.
A zombie virus has hit the atmosphere and is spreading rapidly. 

Ono, Natsume. House of Five Leaves V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $12.99. 9781421532103.
An out-of-work samurai finds himself drawn into the gang known as the Five Leaves.

Ono, Natsume. Not Simple. VIZ Media, 2010. $14.99. 9781421532202.
Ian is on a journey across the USA to find his sister.

Raicht, Mike, et. al. The Stuff of Legend: Book 1: The Dark. Villard, 2010. $13. 9780345521002.
When a boy is kidnapped by the Boogeyman, his toys brave the horrors of the Dark to rescue him.

Renier, Aaron. The Unsinkable Walker Bean. First Second, 2010. $13.99. 9781596434530.
Evil sea witches, skulls made of pearl, pirates, burning ships: now that’s adventure!

Rucka, Greg and J.H. Williams. Batwoman: Elegy. DC Comics, 2010. $24.99. 9781401226923.
Don’t ask, don’t tell Batwoman what to do.

*Shiga, Jason. Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities. Amulet Books, 2010. $15.95. 9780810984233.
Have you played any comics lately? Choose your own adventure.

Straczynski, J. Michael and Shane Davis. Superman: Earth One. DC Comics, 2010. $10.99. 9781401224684.
Strange visitor, mild-mannered reporter.  You know the story . . . but not quite like this.

Stroud, Jonathan and Lee Sullivan. Amulet of Samarkand: A Bartimaeus Graphic Novel. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. $19.99. 9781423111467.
A shape-shifting djinni and a magician's apprentice versus the evil mastermind of the British Empire: It’s on!

Sukane, Kumiko. Afterschool Charisma V. 1. VIZ Media, 2010. $12.99. 9781421533971.
Shiro’s classmates are the clones of Hitler, Mozart, and Marie Curie.

Tada, Kaoru. Itazura Na Kiss V. 1. Digital Manga, 2009. $14.95. 9781569701317.
Will Kotoko survive the meddling of her family and friends long enough to win the heart of the boy of her dreams?

Tadano, Nobuaki. 7 Billion Needles V. 1. Vertical, 2010. $10.95. 9781934287873.
Hikaru gets a second chance at life, but there are some major strings attached.

Talbot, Bryan. Grandville. Dark Horse, 2009. $17.95. 9781595823977.
Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard will badger anyone who stands in the way of the truth.

Taylor, Sarah Stewart and Ben Towle. Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. $17.99. 9781423113379.
Amelia's historic take-off inspires one young lady in Nova Scotia.

*TenNapel, Doug. Ghostopolis. Graphix, 2010. $14.99. 9780545210287.
Garth Hale has gone to the other side, but he’s not dead yet.

Toboso, Yana. Black Butler V. 1. Yen Press, 2010. $10.99. 9780316080842.
Earl Phantomhive's butler is devilishly good.

Torres, J. and Elbert Orr. Lola: A Ghost Story. Oni Press, 2009. $14.95. 9781934964330.
Just like his Filipina grandmother, Jesse can see things no one else can see.

*Weing, Drew. Set to Sea. Fantagraphics, 2010.$16.99. 9781606993682.
A lumbering poet discovers hardship and wisdom on the high seas.

White, Tracy. How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story. Roaring Brook Press, 2010. $16.99. 9781596434547.
Seventeen-year-old Stacy has checked into a mental institution.
 
Yaginuma, Kou. Twin Spica V. 1. Vertical, 2010. $10.95. 9781934287842.
Asumi must pass the entrance exam for space school.

Yang, Gene Luen. Prime Baby. First Second. 2010.. $19.99. 9781596436503.
Is Thaddeus' baby sister a prime-number-loving alien?

Yolen, Jane and Mike Cavallaro. Foiled. 2010. First Second, 2010. $15.99. 9781596432796.
En garde! A girl should never leave home without her trusty rapier.

Yun, JiUn.

Time and Again V. 1. Yen Press, 2009. $10.99. 9780759530584.
Time and Again V. 2.Yen Press, 2009. $10.99. 9780759530591.

An exorcist and his sensible bodyguard travel through Tang Dynasty China, completing jobs for hire.