2024 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens is a list of recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those ages 12-18, prepared yearly by YALSA. Click on the title of each book to be taken to the blog post featuring a review, or browse all blog posts here. You can see previous lists on the YALSA website and on the Teen Book Finder app.

Blogging Team

Kelley Blue, Portland Public Library, ME (Coordinator); Meg Bowie, Free Library of Philadelphia; Jean Broughton, Vancouver Public Library; Jacqueline Bush, Stratford Library Association; M’issa Fleming, New Orleans Public Library; Patricia Jimenez, Teacher-Librarian, Sunnyslope High School; Rachel Johannigmeier, Kirkwood Public Library; Kaileigh Oldham, Danville Public Library; Ness Shortley, Wake County Public Schools, NC; Mariela Siegert, Downers Grove North High School Library; Scot Smith, Robertsville Middle School; Cheyenne Sons, Mayfield Senior School; Lee Stokes, Upper Darby Township Library; Adam Wheeler, Chicago Public Library.

Coordinator note: Age range recommendations for all titles on this list are determined by information provided from publishers, professional reviews, and the professional reading knowledge of committee members.

Top Ten

  • Belle of the Ball
  • By Mari Costa
  • Art by the author
  • March 21, 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • First Second, paper, $17.99
  • 9781250784124
  • Grades: 9-12
  • 741.5973
  • Feelings get complicated between team mascot Belle, cheerleader Regina, and all-star athlete Chloe in this refreshing take on the high school love triangle.
  • Brooms
  • By Jasmine Walls
  • Art by Teo
  • October 10, 2023
  • Length: 248 p.
  • Levine Querido, paper, $18.99
  • 9781646142682
  • Grades: 9-12
  • sqaa
  • In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan risk competing in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.
  • Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam
  • By Thien Pham
  • Art by the author
  • June 20, 2023.
  • Length: 240 p.
  • First Second, paper, $17.99
  • 9781250809728
  • Grades: 9-12
  • 305.9.
  • Distinct memories of food link the chapters of Thien Pham’s life: fleeing Vietnam, surviving a refugee camp, growing up in California, and becoming a graphic artist.
  • Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1, Vol. 2
  • By Makoto Ojiro
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 178 p., 200 p.
  • VIZ Media, paper, $12.99
  • 9781974736577, 9781974737031
  • Grades: 9-12
  • 741.5952.
  • Sleepless high school student Ganta Nakami begins napping in his school’s abandoned astronomy tower with classmate (and fellow insomniac) Isaki Magari in this sweet slice-of-life manga series.
  • Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir
  • By Pedro Martín
  • Art by the author
  • August 1, 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • Dial Books, paper, $14.99
  • 9780593462294
  • Grades: 5-8
  • 305.86
  • Pedro embarks on an epic, often hilarious, family road trip from California to Mexico and back again on a mission to bring his legendary abuelito to the U.S.
  • Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story
  • By Sarah Myer
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 272 p.
  • First Second, paper, $17.99
  • 9781250268808
  • Grades: 8-12
  • Length: 305.
  • Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom in this coming-of-age memoir.
  • Muhammad Najem, War Reporter: How One Boy Put the Spotlight on Syria
  • By Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus
  • Art by Julie Robine
  • 2022
  • Length: 320 p.
  • Little, Brown Ink, paper, $12.99
  • 9780759556904
  • Grades: 5-10
  • 956.9104.
  • After losing nearly everything to endless war and devastation, teenager Muhammad gathers the stories of Syrian children and makes a global impact with his journalism.
  • The Talk
  • By Darrin Bell
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 352 p.
  • Henry Holt and Co., hardcover, $29.99
  • 9781250805140
  • General Adult
  • 305.896
  • As he raises his own son, Darrin Bell reflects on how “The Talk” shaped his childhood, teen years, and young adult life, and how he found a voice through cartooning.
  • Tiger, Tiger, vol. 1. 
  • By Petra Erika Nordlund
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99
  • 9781638584193
  • Grades: 10-12
  • 741.94897.
  • Ludovica is a sheltered royal who longs to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail! But the high seas hold much more than she ever anticipated.
  • Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice
  • By Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes
  • Art by Dawud Anyabwile
  • 2022
  • Length: 208 p.
  • Norton Young Readers, paper, $17.95
  • 9781324052159
  • Grades: 7-12
  • 796.42.
  • Track-and-field gold medalist and civil rights icon Tommie Smith recounts his life leading up to his participation in the 1968 Summer Olympics in this riveting and relevant graphic memoir.

Nominations

Nonficton

*Denotes a Top Ten Title

  • 83 Days in Mariupol: A War Diary. By Don Brown. Art by the author. 2023. 128p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $22.99 (9780063311565). Gr. 10-12. 947.7086. This work of graphic nonfiction focuses on the siege of Mariupol and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • The Bodyguard Unit: Edith Garrud, Women’s Suffrage, and Jujitsu. By Clément Xavier. Art by Lisa Lugrin. 2023. 136 p. Graphic Universe, paper, $17.99 (9798765607473). Gr. 8-12. 324.623. This graphic biography tells the story of how jujitsu instructor Edith Garrud taught women demanding the right to vote in England how to defend themselves against violent oppression.
  • Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. By Steve Sheinkin. Art by Nick Bertozzi. 2023. 256p. Roaring Brook Press, paper, $17.99 (9781250206749). Gr. 6-8. 623.45119. This graphic adaptation of Sheinkin’s award-winning work of narrative nonfiction explores the history, spycraft, and science of building the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II.
  • Dreamer: A Graphic Novel Memoir. By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée. Art by Karen De la Vega. 2023. 128p. Graphix, paper, $14.99 (9781338787603). Gr. 6-8. 796.962. Former NHL player Akim Aliu recounts the difficult path he took during his youth to achieve his dream in a sport traditionally dominated by white players and coaches.
  • Embrace Your Size: My Own Body Positivity. By hara. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Yen Press, paper, $17.00 (9781975347291). General Adult. 306.4. This nonfiction manga contains vignettes about the creator’s personal experiences with body image and how body positivity does/does not exist in society.
  • *Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam. By Thien Pham. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250809728). Gr. 9-12. 305.9. Distinct memories of food link the chapters of Thien Pham’s life: fleeing Vietnam,  surviving a refugee camp, growing up in California, and becoming a graphic artist.
  • A First Time for EverythingBy Dan Santat. Art by the author. 2023. 230p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250851048). Gr. 6-8. B. The summer before his first year in high school, Dan Santat travels to Europe with his classmates and steps outside his comfort zone.
  • Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day. By Dan Nott. Art by the illustrator. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $17.99 (9781984896049). Gr. 7-12. 509. This work of graphic nonfiction provides an in-depth look at the technological, historical, and social aspects of water, electricity, and the Internet and demonstrates the urgent need for changes to the current systems.
  • In Limbo: A Graphic Memoir. By Deb JJ Lee. Art by the author. 2023. 339p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250252661). Gr. 10-12. B. This graphic memoir explores some of the author’s most poignant and painful memories of growing up as a Korean-American and perpetually feeling ‘in limbo’ with friends, family, and community.
  • It Won’t Always Be Like This: A Graphic Memoir. By Malaka Gharib. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. Ten Speed Press, paper, $19.99 (9781984860293). General Adult. B. After Malaka’s parents divorced and her father left the US, she now spends summers with him in Egypt, where she struggles to understand where she fits within family and culture.
  • The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women’s Lives. By Kelcey Ervick. Art by the author. 2022. 336p. Avery Publishing Group, paper, $27.00 (9780593539187). General Adult. B. One athlete’s personal history with Title IX is interspersed with factual details about the fight for equality in women’s sports and the history of women’s soccer.
  • Kwändǖr. By Cole Pauls. Art by the author. 2022. 140p. Conundrum Press, paper, $25.00 (9781772620771). General Adult. 741.5973. This collection of shorter comics and zines brings together the culture and experience of the artist and other Dene and Arctic peoples living in Haines Junction, Yukon Territory.
  • Maybe an Artist: A Graphic Memoir. By Elizabeth Montague. Art by the author. 2022. 176p. Random House Studio, paper, $17.99 (9780593307823). Gr. 7-9. B. Liz Montague describes her life from childhood to the start of her professional career as a Black female cartoonist.
  • *Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir. By Pedro Martín. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Dial Books, paper, $14.99 (9780593462294). Gr. 6-8. 305.86. Pedro embarks on an epic, often hilarious, family road trip from California to Mexico and back on a mission to bring his legendary abuelito to the U.S.
  • *Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story. By Sarah Myer. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250268808). Gr. 8-12. 305. Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom in this coming-of-age memoir.
  • *Muhammad Najem, War Reporter: How One Boy Put the Spotlight on Syria. By Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus. Art by Julie Robine. 2022. 320p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $12.99 (9780759556904). Gr. 6-10. 956.9104. After losing nearly everything to endless war and devastation, teenager Muhammad gathers the stories of Syrian children and makes a global impact with his journalism. 
  • Numb to This: Memoir of a Mass Shooting. By Kindra Neely. Art by the author. 2022. 304p. Little, Brown & Co., paper, $17.99 (9780316462099). Gr. 8-12. 362.88/B. The author recounts a mass shooting at her college and explores what it is like to be a survivor in an age of epidemic gun violence.
  • The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. By The Kao, Min Christensen and David Daneman (editors). Various artists. 2023. 176p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $16.99 (9781524880125). General Adult. 741. This collection of mini-comics assembled by trans and nonbinary creators features vibrant and affirming autobiographical stories about identity.
  • Sunshine: How One Camp Taught Me About Life, Death, and Hope. By Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphix, paper, $14.99 (9781338356311). Gr. 8-12. 618.92. In this graphic memoir, Krosoczka recounts his experiences as a volunteer counselor at a summer camp for terminally ill children and their families.
  • *The Talk. By Darrin Bell. Art by the author. 2023. 352p. Henry Holt and Co., hardcover, $29.99 (9781250805140). General Adult. 305.896. As he raises his own son, Darrin Bell reflects on how “The Talk” shaped his childhood, teen years, and young adult life, and how he found a voice through cartooning.
  • The Tryout: A Graphic Novel. By Christina Soontornvat. Art by Joanna Cacao. 2022. 272p. Graphix, paper, $12.99 (9781338741261). Gr. 6-8. B. In this graphic memoir, Christina recalls her experiences of trying out for the cheerleading squad as one of the only Asian-Americans in her Texas middle school.
  • Unaccompanied: Stories of Brave Teenagers Seeking Asylum. By Tracy White. Art by the author. 2023. 168p. Street Noise Books, paper, $19.99 (9781951491208). Gr. 10-12. 362.87. Based on interviews with real teens and the adults helping them seek U.S. citizenship, this collection presents a variety of perspectives and experiences from asylum seekers.
  • *Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice. By Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes. Art by Dawud Anyabwile. 2022. 208p. Norton Young Readers, paper, $17.95 (9781324052159). Gr. 7-12. 796.42. Track-and-field gold medalist and civil rights icon Tommie Smith recounts his life leading up to his participation in the 1968 Summer Olympics in this riveting and relevant graphic memoir.
  • We Survived the Holocaust: The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story. By Frank W. Baker. Art by Tim E. Ogline. 156p. Imagine and Wonder, paper, $19.99 (9781637610206). Gr. 8-10. 900/B. This graphic biography follows the lives of Bluma and Felix Goldberg from childhood, life inside German concentration camps, and their years together after the war.

Fiction

*Denotes a Top Ten Title

  • Akane-banashi, Vol. 1. By Yuki Suenaga. Art by Takamasa Moue. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736485). Gr. 7-12. 741.5952. Motivated by revenge, 17-year-old Akane sets out to conquer the world of rakugo, a traditional Japanese storytelling art.
  • Ay, Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico. By Christine Suggs. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Little, Brown Ink, paper (9780316591928). Gr. 7-12. 741.5973/920 Christine recounts a summer trip to Mexico to visit extended family. As a biracial teen who doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, they grapple with faith, sexuality, body image, and cultural identity.
  • *Belle of the BallBy Mari Costa. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250784124). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Feelings get complicated between team mascot Belle, cheerleader Regina, and all-star athlete Chloe in this refreshing take on the high school love triangle.
  • A Boy Named Rose. By Gaelle Greniller. Art by the author. 2023. 212p. Fairsquare Comics, paper, $29.99 (9798985927863). General Adult. 741. 1920s Paris: Rose is a boy who wants to dance with the girls at Le Jardin, the cabaret owned by his mother.
  • Break of Dawn. By Tetsuya Imai. Art by the author. 2023. 528p. Kodansha, paper, $22.99 (9781646518159). Gr. 8-12. 741.5952. In the year 2038, a kid named Yuma and his friends find themselves embroiled in a space mission after the family robot is taken over by an alien ship in distress.
  • *Brooms. By Jasmine Walls. Art by Teo. 2023. 248p. Levine Querido, paper, $18.99 (9781646142682). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan risk competing in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.
  • Call the Name of the Night, Vol. 1. By Tama Mitsuboshi. Art by the author. 2023. 194p. Yen Press, paper, $13.00 (9781975352004). Gr. 6-12. 741.5952. Gifted or cursed? With the help of a new mentor and some shadowy spirits, young Mira may learn to feel good about her strange new powers.
  • Catwoman: Lonely City. By Cliff Chiang. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. DC Comics, hardcover, $29.99 (9781779516367). General Adult. 741.5973. Fresh out of prison, Selina Kyle plans one last big score with fellow Gotham supervillains. Can she pull it off before her past catches up?
  • Charisma’s Turn. By Monique Couvson. Art by Amanda Jones. 2023. 128p. The New Press, hardcover, $19.99 (9781620974018). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. After repeat suspensions for fighting, Charisma is given an alternative way to work out her issues at school: lead the social justice club.
  • Clock Striker, Vol. 1: I’m Gonna Be a Smith! By Issaka Galadima with Frederick L. Jones. Art by Issaka Galadima. 2023. 224p. Rockport Publishers, paper, $13.99 (9780760381571). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. A new shonen-style adventure series about a young girl who lives in a world where science and engineering are used for combat.
  • Codex Black, Book 1: Fire Among Clouds. By Camilo Moncada Lozano. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. IDW, paper, $16.99 (9781684059591). Gr. 6-8. 741.5972. Itzcacalotl, a teen with wings, and Donaji, a teen with a god-possessed poncho, find themselves in a world of magic and adventure in this Mesoamerican adventure.
  • Cosmoknights, Book 2. By Hannah Templer. Art by the author. 2023. 280p. Top Shelf Productions, paper, $24.99 (9781603095112). General Adult. 741.5973. This long-awaited sci-fi sequel kicks right into hyper-drive with rebel gladiators Bee and Cass fighting the colonialist, capitalist patriarchy! Committee note: this volume can be enjoyed without having read other books in the series, though we do recommend purchasing volume 1.
  • The Cursed Princess Club. By LambCat. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2023. 288p. Webtoons Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259791). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973 Vol. 2. 2023. 352p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990778407). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973 Beloved by her eccentric family, Princess Gwendolyn has never thought of herself as ugly–until her betrothed says she is! Enter the Cursed Princess Club: part support group, part hot mess.
  • Dai Dark, Vol. 5. By Q Hayashida. Art by the author. 2023. 214p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638588252). Gr. 10-12. 741.5952. This series follows teen Zaha Sanko and company on a fully unserious journey of eldritch space horror and comedy. Committee note: this volume is best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting previous books as well as this volume.
  • D&D Dungeon Club, Vol. 1: Roll Call. By Molly Knox Ostertag. Art by Xanthe Bouma. 2022. 208p. HarperAlley, hardcover, $19.99 (9780063039247). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Middle schoolers Jess and Olivia have a long-running, two-person Dungeons and Dragons campaign. When Olivia wants to bring in new players, Jess worries about their friendship.
  • Daemons of the Shadow Realm, Vol. 1. By Hiromu Arakawa. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Square Enix Manga, paper, $12.99 (9781646091867). General Adult. 741.5952. In this new series from the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, twins Yuru and Asa discover their shared destiny: to rule over powerful daemons and save the world.
  • Danger and Other Unknown RisksBy Ryan North. Art by Erica Henderson. 2023. 208p. Penguin Workshop, paper, $16.99 (9780593224847). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy are on a quest to save the world in this standalone sci-fi romp from the creators behind The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
  • DC vs. Vampires. By James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg. Art by Otto Schmidt. Vol. 1. 2022. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779516794). General Adult. 741.5973. Vol. 2. 2023. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779521248). General Adult. 741.5973. A mysterious master is turning both heroes and villains into vampires. With the Justice League compromised, can Batman save (or even survive) the day?
  • Dinosaur Sanctuary. By Itaru Kinoshita and Shin-ichi Fujiwara. Art by Itaru Kinoshita. Vol. 1. 2022. 194p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685793241). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2023. 200p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685793258). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Rookie dino-keeper Suma brings new energy and ideas to a failing dinosaur sanctuary in Japan where the staff share a special bond with their Jurassic charges.
  • Doughnuts and Doom. By Balazs Lorinczi. Art by the author. 2022. 136p. Top Shelf Productions, paper, $14.99 (9781603095136). Gr. 9-12. 741.5941. Magical Margot heads to a local doughnut shop after failing an exam, then accidentally wrecks the shop and curses sweet-slinger Elena. Oops!
  • DPS Only! By Velinxi. Art by the author. 2022. 432p. Andrew McMeel Publishing, paper, $18.99 (9781524876494). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Vicky’s brother is a big-shot esports player, and he has no idea that she’s been secretly playing (and winning) the same game behind his back.
  • Dreams, Vol. 1: Visions of the Crow. By Wanda John-Kehewin. Art by Nicole Marie Burton and Kielamel Sibal. 2023. 80p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920459). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. High school senior Damon Quinn has a lot to feel angry about, and he doesn’t need a vision-causing crow following him around on top of everything else.
  • Enemies: Berrybrook Middle School, Vol. 5. By Svetlana Chmakova. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. JY / Yen Press, paper, $13.00 (9781975312725). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Aspiring artist Felicity struggles to maintain relationships with her classmates after entering her school’s entrepreneur club pitch contest. Committee note: this volume can be enjoyed without having read other books in the series.
  • Everything Is Fine, Vol. 1. By Mike Birchall. Art by the author. 2023. 304p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $19.99 (9781990259777). General Adult. Sam and Maggie have a perfect life along with all their neighbors. Everything is fine! Questioning this existence, however, leads to deadly risks that Maggie may be ready to take.
  • FirebirdBy Sunmi. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780062981516). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. After sophomore Caroline begins tutoring senior Kimberly, the two strike up an increasingly close relationship while navigating family issues, queer identities, and potential romance.
  • Freestyle. By Gale Galligan. Art by the author. 2022. 240p. Graphix, paper, $12.99 (9781338045802). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Cory navigates the challenges of eighth grade with members of his dance crew and newfound friend, Sunna, along with plenty of breakdance moves and yo-yo tricks.
  • Frontera. By Julio Anta. Art by Jacoby Salcedo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063054943). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. After unfortunate events, Mateo must rely on a ghost he isn’t even sure exists to complete his journey across the Sonoran Desert to the United States.
  • The Hills of Estrella Roja. By Ashley Robin Franklin. Art by the author. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, paper, $21.99 (9780358567028). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Mari and Kat arrive in remote Estrella Roja for different reasons, but together they investigate the small town’s spooky mysteries–developing feelings for one another along the way.
  • Hollow. By Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White. Art by Berenice Nelle. 2022. 176p. Boom Box, paper, $19.99 (9781684158522). Gr. 9-12. 741.5. In this modern retelling, Izzy Crane moves to the town of Sleepy Hollow where “the legend” and the legacy are all too real.
  • Hooky. By Míriam Bonastre Tur. Art by the author. Vol. 2. 2022. 368p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $24.99 (9780358693093), Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Vol. 3. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $24.99 (9780358693574). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. The magical adventures of twins Dani and Dorian continue right in this popular WEBTOON series. Committee note: this complete three volume series is best enjoyed as a whole. We recommend purchasing all three volumes.
  • Hoops. By Matt Tavares. Art by the author. 2023. 215p. Candlewick Press, paper, $12.99 (9781536231953). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Inspired by real players and events, “Hoops” tells the story of a trailblazing women’s high school basketball team at the dawn of Title IX.
  • Hungry GhostBy Victoria Ying. Art by the author. 2023. 198p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250767004). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. A significant life event forces high school senior Valerie to realize that her relationships with food, her body, and her mother are toxic and causing her harm.
  • If You’ll Have Me. By Eunnie. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, paper, $17.99 (9780593403235). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973. Opposites attract when shy, sensitive college freshman Momo meets the cool, popular PG in this sapphic romance.
  • The Infinity Particle. By Wendy Xu. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. Quill Tree Books, paper, $18.99 (9780062955760). Gr. 8-12. 741.5973. When young scientist Clementine Chang moves to Mars, a blossoming romance with her mentor’s humanoid AI, Kye, challenges her understanding of humanity.
  • *Insomniacs After School. By Makoto Ojiro. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2023. 178p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974736577). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974737031). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. Sleepless high school student Ganta Nakami begins napping in his school’s abandoned astronomy tower with classmate (and fellow insomniac) Isaki Magari in this sweet slice-of-life manga series.
  • Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Kodansha, paper, $14.99 (9781646516490). Gr. 10-12. 741.5952. First year university student Chika explores the spectrum of asexual identities with the help of new friends, classmates, housemates, and old-fashioned research.
  • Kaiju No. 8. By Naoya Matsumoto. Art by the author. Vol. 4. 2022. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974732340). General Adult. 741.5952. Vol. 5. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974734184). General Adult. 741.5952. The gorey and hilarious adventures of half-man, half-kaiju Kafka Hibino continue! Should our hero reveal his true self if it means saving others? Committee note: these volumes are best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting previous books as well as these new volumes.
  • The Keeper. By Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. Art by Marco Finnegan. 176p. Abrams Comic Arts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419751554). General Adult. 741.5973. Aisha’s grandmother promised she would never end up in the foster system. Even when she dies, someone (or something) is keeping that promise to Aisha.
  • The Knight Blooms Behind the Castle Walls. By Masanari Yuduka. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638589563). Gr. 6-8. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685794972). Gr. 6-8. 741.5952. In this manga for fans of medieval adventure, young Rosa leaves her old life behind to take on the role of squire in her quest to become knight.
  • The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic NovelBy Antonio Iturbe and Salva Rubio. Art by Loreto Aroca. 2023. 144p. Laura Godwin Books, paper, $14.99 (9781250842985). Gr. 7-9. 741.5946. This graphic adaptation of the YA novel is based on the life of Dita Kraus, who was entrusted with keeping forbidden books safe while imprisoned in Auschwitz.
  • The Lonesome Hunters, Vol. 1. By Tyler Crook. Art by the author. 2023. 120p. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781506731018). General Adult. 741.5973. An old monster hunter and a young teen set out on a supernatural road trip together in an attempt to destroy ancient evils.
  • Mage and the Endless Unknown. By SJ Miller. Art by the author. 2023. 152p. Iron Circus Comics, hardcover, $15.00 (9781638991199). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. The delightful and fanciful turn dark and sinister in this mostly wordless graphic novel about a mage and their companion exploring different lands.
  • Malcolm Kid and the Perfect Song. By Austin Paramore. Art by Sarah Bollinger. 2023. 208p. Oni Press, paper, $24.99 (9781637152232). Gr. 7-12. 741.5973. Aspiring piano player Malcolm follows his friend, Ari, into a strange shop to find the perfect keyboard, unsuspecting of the ghost trapped inside it.
  • Match Point. By Maddie Gallegos. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250784148). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Rosie Vo hates racquetball, but her dad, a former champion, wants her to play. Can a new teammate turn things around for Rosie?
  • Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand. By Yoko Komori. Art by the author. 2023. 408p. VIZ Media, paper, $19.99 (9781974734658). Gr. 6-8. 741.5952. Tokiko and her father move from Tokyo to a small seaside town with a strange secret. Can Tokiko and her new friend Yoskue discover the truth?
  • Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You. By Akitaka. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2022. 146p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291419). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2022. 130p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291426). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 3. 2023. 143p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291730). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 4. 2023. 162p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647292133). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Transfer students Miyazen and Matsubayashi are from different worlds but are drawn to each other at their new school. Shyness makes getting closer a lengthy process. Committee Note: this four volume series is complete, concluding with volume 4.
  • Monkey Meat. By Juni Ba. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Image Comics, paper, $16.99 (9781534323230). General Adult. 741.5973. Welcome to a wacky world where the Monkey Meat corporation rules, and their products might give you supernatural powers!
  • The Moth KeeperBy K. O’Neill. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $13.99 (9780593182260). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Anya becomes the apprentice Moth Keeper for her nocturnal village, but the job is more difficult than she imagined.
  • My Life Among Humans. By Jed McGowan. Art by the author. 2023. 96p. Oni Press, hardcover, $19.99 (9781637151990). General Adult. 741.5973. An alien is forced to spy on an earth family, but observing humans leads him down a path of self-discovery.
  • My Special One, Vol. 1. By Momoka Koda. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736706). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. All her friends are fangirls falling for pop idols but never Sahoko! Will that change when an idol wanders into her family’s restaurant?
  • Night and Dana. By Anya Davidson. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphic Universe, paper, $18.99 (9781728430362). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. When horror-loving teens Dana and Lily go too far in a prank at school, they’re principal enrolls them in a film class at a local community college.
  • The Night Eaters. By Marjorie Liu. Art by Sana Takeda. Book 1: She Eats the Night. 2022. 208p. Abrams ComicArts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419758706). General Adult. 741.5973. Book 2: Her Little Reapers. 2023. 272p. Abrams ComicArts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419758720). General Adult. 741.5973. The creators of Monstress weave a new horror-fantasy tale focused on twenty-something twins Billy and Milly, who are about to discover more about their parents than they ever wanted to know.
  • Nightwing. By Tom Taylor. Art by Bruno Redondo. Vol. 2: Get Grayson. 2022. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779517456). General Adult. 741.5973. Vol. 3: The Battle for Bludhaven’s Heart. 2023. 176p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779520166). General Adult. 741.5973. Fighting for the future of Bludhaven is tough when you’re both Dick Grayson and Nightwing, and everyone wants both of you dead! Committee note: these volumes are best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting the first book in this series as well as these volumes
  • NorthrangerBy Rey Terciero. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063007383). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. In this retelling of Jane Austen’s gothic Northanger Abbey, Cade works at a Texas ranch where he finds romance with the mysterious Henry Tyler, a houseful of secrets, and ghosts of all kinds.
  • The Ojja-Wojja: A Horror Mystery, or Whatever. By Magdalene Visaggio. Art by Jenn St-Onge. 2023. 192p. HarperTeen, paper, $13.99 (9780062852427). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Best friends Val and Lanie dig too deep into their town’s folklore and unleash an ancient monster. Now it’s up to them to save their community from certain destruction.
  • Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Guide, Vol. 3. By Mone Sorai. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Love X Love, paper, $12.99 (9781427872531). Gr. 10-12. 741.5952. Ashahi and Mitsuki continue their trip abroad, visiting London, Spain and Morocco, and enjoy the company of one of Mitsuki’s friends. Committee Note: this volume is best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting previous books in this series as well as this volume.
  • Paper Planes. By Jennie Wood. Art by Dozerdraws. 2023. 216p. Maverick, paper, $14.99 (9781952303548). Gr. 8-12. 741.5952. After an incident at school, two former friends endure a camp for teens with behavioral problems. As the summer unfolds, will they be able to fix their broken relationship?
  • PardalitaBy Joana Estrela. Art by the author. 2023. 224p. Levine Querido, paper, $16.99 (9781646142569). Gr. 8-12. 741.5946. A coming-of-age story told in poems and panels about 16-year-old Raquel and her developing relationship with alluring drama student Pardalita.
  • Pearl of the Sea. By Anthony Silverston, Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel. Art by Willem Samuel. 2023. 168p. Catalyst Press, paper, $19.95 (9781946395740). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Pearl works odd and semi-dangerous jobs to help her father. One day while diving in a restricted area, she befriends a sea creature with secrets.
  • Poison Ivy, Vol. 1: The Virtuous Cycle. By G. Willow Wilson. Art by Marcio Takara. 2023. 200p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779518491). General Adult. 741.5973. Having lost most of her powers, Pamela Isley leaves Gotham and Harley Quinn behind on a quest of vengeance for herself and the planet Earth.
  • The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. By Deya Muniz. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-12. 741.5973. Lady Camembert disguises herself as a man in order to inherit her father’s title without marrying, but falling for beautiful activist Princess Brie wasn’t part of her plan.
  • Project Nought. By Chelsey Furedi. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Clarion Books, paper, $18.99 (9780358381693). Gr. 8-12. 741.5973. Teenager Ren is yanked forward in time to 2133 for a time travel exchange program where everything seems good… until it seems it isn’t.
  • Roaming. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Jillian Tamaki. 2023. 444p. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $34.99 (9781770464339). General Adult. 741.5971. During their first year of college, high school friends Dani and Zoe meet up in NYC for a long-planned adventure, but Dani’s classmate Fiona interrupts their happy reunion.
  • Saving Sunshine. By Saadia Faruqi. Art by Shazleen Khan. 2023. 224p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250793812). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. On a family trip to Key West, bickering twins Zara and Zeeshan have their phones confiscated to help them learn to get along. What will they do now?
  • Scarlet Witch, Vol. 1: The Last Door. By Steve Orlando. Art by Sara Pichelli, Carlos Nieto, and Russell Dauterman. 2023. 168p. Marvel Comics, paper, $19.99 (9780785194743). General Adult. 741.5973. In this portal fantasy, Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, runs a magic shop that lures only those with problems that cannot be solved by conventional means.
  • The Sea in You. By Jessi Sheron. Art by the author. 2023. 210p. Iron Circus, paper, $15.00 (9781638991113). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. This modern graphic retelling of “The Little Mermaid” ventures into dark new waters while maintaining the timeless themes of transformation, empowerment, and true love.
  • Sea Serpent’s Heir, Book 1: Pirates Daughter. By Mairghread Scott. Art by Pablo Tunica. 2022. 160p. Image Comics, paper, $14.99 (9781534321298). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Aella’s pirate mom keeps a BIG secret from her: Aella is the reincarnation of the demonic sea serpent Xir, destined to destroy the world.
  • Season of the Bruja, Vol. 1. By Aaron Durán. Art by Sara Soler. 2023. 128p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781549308161). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. A young bruja works to keep paranormal beings and magic safe but falters after losing her grandmother to a religious sect determined to destroy all her kind.
  • Space Trash, Vol. 1. By Jenn Woodall. Art by the author. 2022. 96p. Oni Press, hardcover, $21.99 (9781637150405). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973. Sent to a reformatory high school on the moon, Stab, Yuki, and Una want nothing more than to find a way back to Earth.
  • The Spirit of DenendehBy Richard Van Camp. Art by Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk and Nickolej Villiger. Vol. 1: A Blanket of Butterflies. 2022. 56p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920404). Gr. 9-12. 741.5971. Vol. 2: As I Enfold You in Petals. 2023. 72p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920411). Gr. 9-12. 741.5971. This slim but powerful comics duology blends history and spirituality with the present day lives of indigenous Tłı̨chǫ Dene characters.
  • Stars in Their Eyes. By Jessica Walton. Art by Aśka. 2023. 224p. Graphix, paper, $15.99 (9781338818796). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Maisie, an above-the-knee amputee, meets Ollie at her first ever FanCon, and the two bond quickly over movies, shows, and comics.
  • The Summer Hikaru Died, Vol. 1. By Mokumokuren. Art by the author. 2023. 180p. Yen Press, paper, $15.00 (9781975360542). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. High school student Yoshiki has an unsettling feeling about his lifelong friend Hiakaru. Though he looks, talks, and acts the same, Hikaru is not Hikaru anymore.
  • Superman: Son of Kal-El. By Tom Taylor. Vol. 2: The Rising. By Tom Taylor. Art by Cian Tormey and Bruno Redondo. 2022. 168p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779517388). General Adult. 741.5973. Vol. 3: Battle for Gamora. By Tom Taylor and Nicole Maines. Art by Cian Tormey and Clayton Henry. 2023. 136p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779520074). General Adult. 741.5973. New Superman, new problems. Jonathan Kent has to handle Lex Luther pairing up with the dictator of Gamora! Can his dad just come back already? Committee Note: these volumes are best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting the first book in this series as well as these volumes.
  • Talli, Daughter of the Moon, vol. 1. By Sourya. Art by the author. 2022. 168p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781637150825). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Talli is a summoner, a descendent of the moon goddess, and she is forced to live on the run with a ragtag group of allies.
  • Tegan and Sarah: Junior High. By Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. Art by Tillie Walden. 2023. 304p. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $14.99 (9780374313029). Gr. 6-8. 741.5971. A fictionalized version of twin musicians Tegan & Sara Quin’s early teen years, featuring new friends and new tests to the bonds of sisterhood.
  • *Tiger, Tiger, Vol. 1. By Petra Erika Nordlund. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99 (9781638584193). Gr. 10-12. 741.94897. Ludovica is a sheltered royal who longs to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail! But the high seas hold much more than she ever anticipated.
  • Tower of God, Vol. 1. By S.I.U. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259906). Gr. 9-12. 741.5951. Welcome to the Tower. Everyone’s dream is to ascend it. Hundreds will try; few, if any, will rise to its challenges.
  • True Beauty. By Yaongyi. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2022. 288p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259890). Gr. 7-12. 741.5951. Vol. 2. 2023. 267p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990778025). Gr. 7-12. 741.5951. Jugyeong Lim navigates self-esteem and a love triangle through her passion for (and reliance on) the art of makeup in the print volumes of this popular web series.
  • Twelfth Grade Night: Arden High, Book 1. By Molly Horton Booth and Stephanie Kate Strohm. Art by Jamie Green. 2022. 160p. Disney-Hyperion, paper, $14.99 (9781368064651). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Twins Vi and Sebastian start a new year at different schools. Soon Vi is swept up in some Shakespearean-level romantic drama. Literally!
  • Two Tribes. By Emily Bowen Cohen. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Heartdrum, paper, $15.99 (9780062983589). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Mia is Jewish and Muscogee, but living with her mom and stepfather means she only knows her Jewish heritage. She secretly visits her father to learn about her Muscogee heritage.
  • Unfamiliar, Vol. 1. By Haley Newsome. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524876838). Gr. 8-12. 741.5973. A culinary witch named Planchette gathers help from new friends and familiars to exorcize the many ghosts living in her new home.
  • Villains Are Destined to Die, Vol. 1. By Gwon Gyeoeul. Art by SUOL. 2022. 256p. Ize Press, paper, $20.00 (9798400900006). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. Ever fall asleep grinding too many hours on a new RPG? Careful! You may wake up inside the game. On hard mode. As the villain.
  • Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, Vol. 1. By Osamu Nishi. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. Vertical Comics, paper, $12.95 (9781647292423). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. After Iruma Suzuki’s parents sell his soul to a demon, he must do his best to survive high school in the underworld as a human.
  • The Witch’s Throne. By Cedric Caballes. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2022. 320p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524876500). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Vol. 2. 2023. 272p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524881276). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Inspired by the heroic stories of her childhood, young alchemist Agni ventures out to become a Throne Seeker, picking up three companions haphazardly along the way.
  • The World After the Fall, Vol. 1. By S-Cynan. Art by Undead Gamja. 2022. 280p. Ize Press, paper, $20.00 (9798400900044). Gr. 9-12. 741.5951. Jaewhan is the last of the Tower Walkers, an elite group of ‘chosen ones’ selected to climb the levels of nightmarish towers filled with monsters.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Insomniacs After School by Makoto Ojiro

  • Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1
  • by Makoto Ojiro
  • VIZ Media
  • Publication Date: March 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13: ‎9781974736577

Ganta Nakami is a grumpy and unfriendly high schooler with few friends but it’s primarily because he’s an insomniac and hardly ever sleeps. This causes him to also fall asleep at school and, while trying to find a good place to nap, he comes across the abandoned astronomy club room. Only it’s not so abandoned when he finds a fellow insomniac, outgoing Isaki Magari. After some forced proximity bonding, they discover that they can get some rest together and become secret friends.

Insomniacs After School, vol. 1 is the beginning of a heartwarming series about two unlikely high schoolers becoming closer as they are plagued by their shared disorder. The story addresses friendship, healing, and the power of dreams while also giving the reader cute banter and lightheartedness. Each character in Insomniacs After School is distinct, not only in their design but also in their personalities, allowing readers from various backgrounds to find a character they resonate with. The magic of the abandoned astronomy tower is captured in detail by Makoto Ojiro, but it is the beautiful renderings of abandoned nighttime streets that really pack an atmospheric and emotional punch.

Those who like stories about teenage friendship and unconventional bonding should read Chion-san of the Cat Temple, also by Makoto Ojiro. For manga readers who like the coming-of-age, finding-yourself vibes, I recommend Blue Period by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. Teens who enjoyed the unlikely friendship and emotional themes of the novel Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell may also enjoy this new manga series.

Cheyenne Sons

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: June 6, 2023
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Release Date: September 12, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Cursed Princess Club, Vol. 1, by LambCat

  • Cursed Princess Club, Vol. 1
  • by LambCat
  • Publisher: Wattpad WEBTOON Studios
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781990259791

Cursed Princess Club is a fun twist on traditional fairy tales. The usual rivalries of palace life do not plague the royal family of the Pastel Kingdom. The princesses and prince, along with their father, King Jack, are so warm, supportive, and loving that Princess Gwendolyn doesn’t realize she is a bit different–with green-tinged skin and a possum munching on her hair–from her beautiful siblings until she overhears the Plaid Kingdom’s youngest prince, Frederick, tell his brothers that she is “very ugly.” This shock puts Gwen on the path to meeting the titular club and all of the cursed princesses (and one prince) who live in the nearby forest.

This webcomic turned graphic novel combines manga-like illustration with quirky, offbeat humor. Misunderstandings of the Shakespearian variety keep the story moving, and the shattered fairy tale tropes amuse throughout. The storytelling is both heartwarming and hilarious. The cursed princesses are endearing and relatable, each with their unique curse, which serves as a clever metaphor for real-life insecurities. The witty dialogue and well-crafted character development keep readers engaged and emotionally invested in the story.

One of the standout elements of this webcomic is its beautiful artwork. LambCat’s illustrations capture the whimsical nature of the fairy tale world while also precisely conveying the characters’ emotions. Color and scenic detail add depth to the narrative and enhance the reading experience.

Cursed Princess Club is more than just a fun twist on classic tales; it celebrates self-acceptance, friendship, and embracing one’s uniqueness. The story’s positive message is delivered with a light-hearted touch, making it suitable for readers of all ages. Teen readers who enjoy stories that play with well-established norms, such as The Witches Throne by Cedric Caballes or ND Stevenson’s Nimona, will appreciate Cursed Princess Club.

Patricia Jimenez

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 7, 2023
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Release Date: September 26, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See the full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the officially nominated titles to date. These titles have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple team members, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, each team will choose the final list of nominations and determine the Selected List’s Top Ten from these titles. For brevity, we have not included official nominations of subsequent volumes in ongoing series in this round-up, only first volumes and standalone titles. Missed our Spring/Summer Round-Up? Check it out here.

–Kelley Blue, GGN Coordinator

Akane-banashi, vol. 1. By Yuki Suenaga. Art by Takamasa Moue. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736485). General Adult. 741.5952.

Motivated by revenge, 17-year-old Akane sets out to conquer the world of rakugo, a traditional Japanese storytelling art.

Ay, Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico. By Christine Suggs. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Little, Brown Ink, paper (9780316591928). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973/920.

Christine recounts a summer trip to Mexico to visit extended family. As a biracial teen who doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, she grapples with faith, sexuality, body image, and cultural identity.

Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. By Steve Sheinkin. Art by Nick Bertozzi. 2023. 256p. Roaring Brook Press, paper, $17.99 (9781250206749). Gr. 4-6. 623.45119.

A graphic adaptation of Sheinkin’s award-winning work of nonfiction, Bomb explores the history, intrigue, and impact of the race to build the world’s first atomic weapons.

A Boy Named Rose. By Gaelle Greniller. Art by the author. 2023. 212p. Fairsquare Comics, paper, $29.99 (9798985927863). General Adult. 741.

1920s Paris: Rose is a boy who wants to dance with the girls at Le Jardin, the cabaret owned by his mother.

Break of Dawn. By Tetsuya Imai. Art by the author. 2023. 528p. Kodansha, paper, $22.99 (9781646518159). General Adult. 741.5952.

In 2038, Yuma and his friends are embroiled in a space mission when his family’s robot is taken over by an alien ship in need of help.

Brooms. By Jasmine Wells. Art by Teo. 2023. 248p. Levine Querido, paper, $18.99 (9781646142682). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan compete in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.

Catwoman: Lonely City. By Cliff Chiang. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. DC Comics, hardcover, $29.99 (9781779516367). General Adult. 741.5973.

Just out of prison, Selina Kyle sets out on one last, big score with her fellow Gotham villains, but the past won’t let Catwoman escape its claws.

Clock Striker, vol. 1: I’m Gonna Be a Smith! By Issaka Galadima with Frederick L. Jones. Art by Issaka Galadima. 2023. 224p. Rockport Publishers, paper, $13.99 (9780760381571). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

A new shonen-style adventure series about a young girl, Smith’s apprentice, in a world where science and engineering are used for combat.

Codex Black, bk. 1: Fire Among Clouds. By Camilo Moncada Lozano. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. IDW, paper, $16.99 (9781684059591). Gr. 7-9. 741.5972.

Itzcacalotl, a teen with wings, and Donaji, a teen with a god-possessed poncho, find themselves in a world of magic and adventure in Mesoamerica.

The Cursed Princess Club, vol. 1. By LambCat. Art by the author. 2023. 288p. Webtoons Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259791). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Beloved by her eccentric family, Princess Gwendolyn has never thought of herself as ugly, until her betrothed prince says she is. Enter the Cursed Princess Club!

Daemons of the Shadow Realm, vol. 1. By Hiromu Arakawa. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Square Enix Manga, paper, $12.99 (9781646091867). General Adult. 741.5952.

Separated at birth, twins Yuru and Asa are unaware of their shared destiny: to rule over powerful daemons and save the world.

Danger and Other Unknown Risks. By Ryan North. Art by Erica Henderson. 2023. 208p. Penguin Workshop, paper, $16.99 (9780593224847). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy are on a quest to save the world in this standalone sci-fi romp from the creators of Squirrel Girl.

The Dog Knight, vol. 1. By Jeremy Whitley. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 224p. Feiwell & Friends, paper, $14.99 (9781250756725). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Nonbinary middle school student Frankie saves a dog from bullies and is given the chance to become The Dog Knight, a magical pact between humans and dogs.

Dreamer: A Graphic Novel Memoir. By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée. Art by Karen De la Vega. 2023. 128p. Graphix / Kaepernick Publishing, paper, $14.99 (9781338787603). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971/B.

Former NHL player Akim Aliu recounts the difficult path he took in his youth to achieve his dream in a sport traditionally dominated by white players.

Dreams, vol. 1: Visions of the Crow. By Wanda John-Kehewin. Art by Nicole Marie Burton and Kielamel Sibal. 2023. 80p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920459). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

High school senior Damon Quinn has a lot to feel angry about, and he doesn’t need a vision-causing crow following him around on top of everything else.

The Faint of Heart. By Kerilynn Wilson. Art by the author. 2023. 304p. Greenwillow Books, paper, $18.99 (9780063116221). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

If you could, would you remove your heart? Never feel stress, anger, fear or hurt? June has kept her heart and navigates a world where most have had it removed.

Frontera. By Julio Anta. Art by Jacoby Salcedo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063054943). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

After unfortunate events, Mateo must rely on a ghost he isn’t even sure exists to complete his journey across the Sonoran Desert to the United States.

The Girl That Can’t Get a Girlfriend. By Mieri Hiranishi. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $16.99 (9781974736591). General Adult. B.

The artist details her journey entering the w/w dating scene, covering her first relationship and heartbreak in this humorous and reflective memoir.

Goodbye, Eri. By Tatsuki Fujimoto. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974738939). General Adult. 741.5952.

Ostracized by his classmates after making an insensitive documentary film, Yuta contemplates suicide. He then meets Eri, a mysterious girl harboring secrets.

Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day. By Dan Nott. Art by the illustrator. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $17.99 (9781984896049). Gr. 7-9. 509.

An in-depth look at the technological, historical, and social aspects of water, electricity, and the Internet, demonstrating the urgent need for systems change.

The Hills of Estrella Roja. By Ashley Robin Franklin. Art by the author. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, paper, $21.99 (9780358567028). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Mari and Kat arrive in Estrella Roja for different reasons, and together they investigate the small town’s strange happenings, developing feelings for one another along the way.

If You’ll Have Me. By Eunnie. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, paper, $17.99 (9780593403235). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Opposites attract when shy, sensitive college freshman Momo meets the cool, popular PG in this sapphic romance.

The Lonesome Hunters, vol. 1. By Tyler Crook. Art by the author. 2023. 120p. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781506731018). 741.5973.

An old monster hunter and a young teen set out on a supernatural road trip together on a quest to destroy ancient evil forces.

Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Kodansha, paper, $14.99 (9781646516490). General Adult. 741.5952.

First year university student Chika explores the spectrum of asexual identities with the help of new friends, classmates, housemates, and old fashioned research.

The Knight Blooms Behind the Castle Walls, vol. 1. By Masanari Yuduka. Art by the author. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638589563). 741.5952.

Rose leaves her old life behind and takes on the role of squire in her quest to become a knight.

Mage and the Endless Unknown. By SJ Miller. Art by the author. 2023. 152p. Iron Circus Comics, hardcover, $15.00 (9781638991199). General Adult. 741.5973.

Delightful and fanciful turn dark and sinister in this mostly wordless graphic novel about a mage and their companion exploring different lands.

Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story. By Sarah Myer. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250268808). Gr. 10-12. 302 / B.

Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom.

My Special One, vol. 1. By Momoka Koda. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736706). General Adult. 741.5952.

All her friends are fangirls falling for pop idols but never Sahoko! Will that change when an idol wanders into her family’s restaurant?

Night and Dana. By Anya Davidson. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphic Universe, paper, $18.99 (9781728430362). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

When horror-loving teens Dana and Lily go too far in a prank at school, they get assigned to a film class at a local community college.

Northranger. By Rey Terciero. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063007383). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey meets American Gothic meets Heartstopper in this romantic and atmospheric retelling set in rural Texas.

The Ojja-Wojja: A Horror Mystery, or Whatever. By Magdalene Visaggio. Art by Jenn St-Onge. 2023. 192p. HarperTeen, paper, $13.99 (9780062852427). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Best friends Val and Lanie dig too deep into their town’s folklore, unleashing an ancient demon. Now it’s up to them to save their community from certain destruction.

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. By The Kao, Min Christiansen and David Daneman (editors). Various artists. 2023. 176p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $16.99 (9781524880125). General Adult. 741.

A collection of mini-comics assembled by trans and nonbinary creators featuring vibrant and affirming autobiographical stories about identity.

Paper Planes. By Jennie Wood. Art by Dozerdraw. 2023. 216p. Maverick, paper, $14.99 (9781952303548). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

Two former friends are sent to camp after an incident at school. As the summer unfolds, will they be able to fix their relationship?

Pearl of the Sea. By Anthony Silverson, Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel. Art by Willem Samuel. 2023. 168p. Catalyst Press, paper, $19.95 (9781946395740). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Pearl works many odd jobs to help her father. One day while diving in a restricted area, she befriends a sea creature with secrets.

Poison Ivy, vol. 1: The Virtuous Cycle. By G. Willow Wilson. Art by Marcio Takara. 2023. 200p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779518491). General Adult. 741.5973.

Having lost most of her powers, Pamela Isley leaves Gotham and Harley Quinn behind in a quest for vengeance for herself and the planet Earth.

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. By Deya Muniz. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Lady Camembert disguises herself as a man in order to inherit her father’s title without marrying, but falling for beautiful activist Princess Brie wasn’t part of her plan.

Project Nought. By Chelsea Furedi. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Clarion Books, paper, $18.99 (9780358381693). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Teenager Ren is yanked forward in time to 2133 for a time travel exchange program where everything seems good… until it seems it isn’t.

Roaming. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Jillian Tamaki. 2023. 444p. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $34.99 (9781770464339). General Adult. 741.5971.

During their first year of college, high school friends Dani and Zoe meet up in NYC for a long-planned adventure, but Dani’s classmate Fiona interrupts their happy reunion.

The Sea in You. By Jessi Sheron. Art by the author. 2023. 210p. Iron Circus, paper, $15.00 (9781638991113). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

This modern graphic retelling of The Little Mermaid ventures into dark new waters while maintaining the timeless themes of transformation, empowerment, and true love.

Season of the Bruja, vol. 1. By Aaron Durán. Art by Sara Soler. 2023. 128p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781549308161). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

A young bruja works to keep paranormal beings and magic safe, but loses her mentor and grandmother to a religious sect determined to destroy her.

Side Effects. By Ted Anderson. Art by Tara O’Connor. 2022. 112p. Aftershock Comics, paper, $17.99 (9781956731088). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952.

Starting college is overwhelming for Hannah. When she begins a medication prescribed by the school psychologist, she ends up experiencing side effects best left in superhero comics.

Stars in Their Eyes. By Jessica Walton. Art by Aśka. 2023. 224p. Graphix, paper, $15.99 (9781338818796). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Maisie, an above-the-knee amputee, meets Ollie at her first ever FanCon, and the two bond quickly over movies, shows, and comics.

The Summer Hikaru Died, vol. 1. By Mokumokuren. Art by the author. 2023. 180p. Yen Press, paper, $15.00 (9781975360542). General Adult. 741.5952.

High school student Yoshiki has an unsettling feeling about his lifelong friend Hiakaru. Though he looks, talks, and acts the same, Hikaru is not Hikaru anymore.

Tegan and Sarah: Junior High. By Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. Art by Tillie Walden. 2023. 304p. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $14.99 (9780374313029). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971.

A fictionalized version of twin musicians Tegan & Sara Quin’s early teen years, featuring new friends and new tests to the bonds of sisterhood.

Tiger, Tiger, vol. 1. By Petra Erika Nordlund. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99 (9781638584193). Gr. 10-12. 741.94897.

Ludovica is a sheltered royal who yearns to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail, though the high seas hold much more than she anticipated.

True Beauty, vol. 1. By Yaongyi. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webstoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259890). 741.5951.

Jugyeong Lim navigates self-esteem and a love triangle through her love for (and reliance on) the art of makeup in the first print volume of this popular web series.

Two Tribes. By Emily Bowen Cohen. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Heartdrum, paper, $15.99 (9780062983589). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Mia is both Jewish and Muscogee, but living with her mom and stepfather means she only knows her Jewish heritage, so plans to secretly visit her father.

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, vol. 1. By Osamu Nishi. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. Vertical Comics, paper, $12.95 (9781647292423). General Adult. 741.5952.

After Iruma Suzuki’s parents sell his soul to a demon, he must do his best to survive high school in the underworld.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Northranger by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo

  • Northranger
  • by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo
  • HarperAlley
  • Publication Date: June 6, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9780063007383

Cade is just your average horror-loving, queer Texas teen who stays closeted in the face of his step-dad’s casual household homophobia and gender stereotyping.  When he has to help out on a ranch for the summer, sparks fly with the equally closeted rancher’s son Henry. Their budding friendship and romance is just one piece of a large web of truths that can’t be said out loud. The mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother threatens to tear them apart when Cade’s pre-disposure to translate the world through the eyes of a horror movie gets the best of him. 

Indigo’s choice of sepia tones and shaded renderings of rural and urban Texas create a perfect mood for this contemporary gothic romance take on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Sibling squabbles, crushes, parent quarrels—all relationships—are depicted and conveyed with a surprising amount of nuance and depth within such a quick read. Teens will enjoy the tension and flow of these relationships, especially as they exist within Cade’s obsession with all things horror. Family connections, and learning to talk about uncomfortable subjects out loud, are the only things that might save the day in this wildly charming love story.

Ideal for fans of Heartstopper and Bloom, the romance and real-life complications of Northranger are beautifully portrayed. This graphic will be equally appealing to teens who find the creepiness, mystery, and tension of gothic romance especially thrilling, or for anyone who enjoys horror tropes mixed with real life. Readers who enjoy Northranger may want to also want to check out The Hills of Estrella Roja by Ashley Robin Franklin. Finally, fans of Jane Austen’s original novel and of remixes in general will find a lot to love here.

-M’issa Fleming

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 10, 2023
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Release Date: June 20, 2023
Release Date: August 29, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: The Sharp Edge of Silence by Cameron Kelly Rosenblum

  • The Sharp Edge of Silence
  • by Cameron Kelly Rosenblum
  • Publisher: Quill Tree Books
  • Release date: April 11, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780062932105

“Who will you be at Lycroft Phelps?” is the question posed to three students–Charlotte, Max, and Quinn–and each student with whom Dean Frye corresponds, but it is these three around whom this story revolves. Charlotte is a gifted ballerina and choreographer. She is most well known for dating Sebastian “Seb” McNeilly, the “genetic miracle” who also seems completely besotted with her, even as he must mysteriously cancel plans that both of them seem to be looking forward to.  Max is a scholarship student who becomes an unlikely coxswain for the Varsity 1 boy’s crew team, and in so doing, is invited to join “Slycroft” a secret society created as a rebellion against the admittance of girls to the school. Once limited to porn and pranks, Slycroft now has a tradition of setting bounties on the female attendees, and members take the girls’ panties as evidence of sexual conquest. Quinn is a legacy student who is determined to kill Colin Pearce, the Slycroft Lord of the Book. Quinn’s ingenuity at obtaining a security guard’s gun and a chance meeting with Charlotte who has discovered the Slycroft clubhouse brings Quinn’s motive into sharp relief and sets into motion an investigation and revenge plot that could tarnish the stellar reputation of Lycroft Phelps.

Told from the perspectives of Quinn, Charlotte, and Max, and supplemented with letters and emails between Lycroft Phelps faculty and administration, this is a deep dive into the bowels of rape culture and its effect on victims.  The circumstances surrounding Quinn’s rape include her own use of alcohol and the initial consensual nature of the encounter. The aftermath, including self-harm and rage at her feelings of powerlessness and the inevitability of Colin escaping any accountability for the attack, are realistically portrayed.  Author Cameron K. Rosenblum explores the varying levels of participation by each of the key male players. What could easily become male-bashing, instead, is a nuanced exploration of peer pressure and the need to stand against the elements that make rape culture possible. From start to finish, The Sharp Edge of Silence has a solidly paced plot with characters who have believable interests and motivations.  Language denigrating the female population at the school is accurately portrayed despite how difficult it can be to read. The sexual bounty, expectation for “bros” to fit a specific kind of sexual behavior, and hotness correlations are immediately recognizable by teens who have stumbled into them.  All of the elements combine to create an important story that celebrates justice and the reclamation of one’s bodily autonomy.

The alternating first person narration gives this an appeal for any teen who prefers gritty, hopeful slice-of-life stories. You’d Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow, The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg, and The Secrets We Keep by Cassie Gustafson all deal with varying shades of sexual assault and the healing that comes from naming the trauma and getting help.

-Jodi Kruse

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
The Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: https://bit.ly/BFYA24TeenFB

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: The Dog Knight by Jeremy Whitley and Bre Indigo

  • The Dog Knight by Jeremy Whitley and Bre Indigo
  • Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Publishing Group
  • Publication Date: May 16, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9781250756725

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 8, 2022
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Release Date: September 12, 2023
Release Date: October 17, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Danger and Other Unknown Risks by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

  • Danger and Other Unknown Risks
  • by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
  • Penguin Random House / Penguin Workshop
  • Publication Date: April 4 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9780593224823

In Danger and Other Unknown Risks Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy are on a quest to save their post-apocalyptic world. At midnight on January 1, 2000, the apocalypse came in the form of magic, and the world is now split into different realms where the laws of physics and the way magic works are different. Marguerite has been tasked by her uncle with finding three totems so he can perform a powerful spell that will save the world from its current magical instability. As Marguerite and Daisy try to save the world, they meet a variety of people along the way and have an adventure all their own. Will they succeed in obtaining the items they need to save the world?

Danger and Other Unknown Risks is a fun, dystopian adventure full of magic, a talking dog, and humor with a likable, quirky protagonist. The world building is fun and interesting and provides a unique magical future that the reader can get invested in. The illustrations are fun and colorful, but also include realistic body sizes, and a variety of different realms. While the art may look cartoony, readers are in for a high-stakes, perilous ride. 

Danger and Other Unknown Risks is a great read for fans of dystopian adventures or D&D stories. Fans of North and Henderson’s previous work together on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will gravitate towards this standalone volume from the familiar team. Teens who like offbeat shows like Adventure Time or Loki will also enjoy this book.

—Kaileigh Oldham

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: March 1, 2023
Release Date: February 14, 2023
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Release Date: July 4, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: The Spirit of Denendeh, Vol. 1: A Blanket of Butterflies by Richard Van Camp, Scott B. Henderson, and Donavan Yaciuk

  • The Spirit of Denendeh, vol. 1: A Blanket of Butterflies
  • by Richard Van Camp, Scott B. Henderson, and Donovan Yaciuk
  • Highwater Press
  • Publication Date: September 6, 2022
  • ISBN-13: 9781774920404

In Fort Smith, NWT in Canada, a Japanese man from Nagasaki, Shinobu, finds his family’s samurai armor at a museum, but the sword is missing. He makes an attempt to reclaim the sword from a local criminal, “Benny the Bank,” but is left for dead after a brutal fight. A young Dene boy, Sonny, brings Shinobu back to his Ethsi (grandmother in Tłı̨chǫ) and the two save his life. As he heals, Shinobu learns about Dene culture as well as a way to retrieve his sword without more violence. 

This graphic novel, while short in length, does an excellent job of conveying historical fact, action, and the importance of reconciliation and restitution. Within the story, the history of the atomic bomb on the Dene Tłı̨chǫ and other Indigenous Canadians is explored as well as the impact it has to this day, augmented by an essay at the end of the book. Based on the real-life story of samurai armor found in the Northern Lights Museum, this story explores one possibility for the armor’s presence. Back matter in the book presents a likely theory of the armor’s origin relating to Canada’s history toward Japanese Canadians in World War II. This graphic novel is not all history, though, and action sequences are enhanced by the addition of color in this new edition. The heart of the story is the representation of Dene Laws with regards to respect and love; Shinobu’s sword is not returned through the use of violence, but rather through respect and empathy, even between enemies. 

This graphic novel should do well with readers of other Dene graphic literature, such as Kwändǖr by Cole Pauls or the collection of Indigenous stories, This Place: 150 Years Retold. Fans of the historical manga, The Elusive Samurai by Yusei Matsui, will also enjoy the present-day portrayal of samurai history found here. Finally, this is an excellent resource to share with teens who want to learn more after watching Oppenheimer, as it provides an Indigenous perspective of the history and harm of the atomic bomb that teens may be unfamiliar with.

-Rachel Johannigmeier

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: October 18, 2022
Release Date: January 3, 2023
Release Date: April 4, 2023
Release Date: May 7, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Blue Box, Vol. 1, by Kouji Miura

  • Blue Box, vol. 1
  • by Kouji Miura
  • VIZ Media
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2022
  • ISBN-13: 9781974734627

Blue Box, vol. 1 is the first volume in a new series written and drawn by Kouji Miura. Taiki is on the school badminton team, and practices in the school gym at the same time as Chinatsu, an upperclassman. Chinatsu is a star on the girls’ basketball team and very popular. When Taiki first sees her, he instantly falls in love. During their days in the gym, the two get to know each other. Unaware of Taiki’s feelings, Chinatsu offers to help him improve at badminton and qualify for nationals. To complicate matters more, Chinatsu’s parents move away, and Taiki’s mother offers to let her stay at their house for the remainder of the school year. Now Taiki has to face his embarrassment and agony of having his sempai and crush living with him!

Blue Box combines the themes of sports, humor, friendship and romance in a new manga series with big teen appeal. The art fits the mold of realistic high school manga, and readers will jump right into the familiar feel. Supporting characters have their own storylines and are used for more than just comic relief. The anxiety and doubts that both Chinatsu and Taiki face about their sports careers mirror what real life teen athletes often go through. Miura manages to balance both Taiki’s crush on Chinatsu and the importance of their respective disciplines. Much of the story focuses on the bond the two main characters create through their love of sports, and how their friendship helps each other become better at them.

Recommend Blue Box to teens who enjoy sports manga such as Blue Lock by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Haikyu! by Haruichi Furudate. Teen readers who like sports combined with romance should also read the Wandance series by Coffee and Cheeky Brat by Miyuki Mitsubachi.

Jacqueline Bush

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: March 14, 2023
Release Date: July 18, 2023
Release Date: August 8, 2023
Release Date: August 29, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.