Crazy About Comics Reading List

Saturday May 5th is free comic book day, an annual event where comic book stores give out free comics to shoppers. Whether you are planning to visit a comic book shop and want to find more great comics and graphic novels or if you just want to try something new, here are some of our recommended graphic novels for kids, teens and anyone who loves a good comic.

Young Readers

The Amazing Crafty Cat
Written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper
First Second, 2017
ISBN 978-1-62672-486-0
IL: Ages 6-9 RL: Grades 2-3

From Just Grace and Fashion Kitty author Charise Mericle Harper comes the first volume in a funny and charming new graphic-novel trilogy for elementary-age readers about a little girl who can craft her way out of any situation. Each volume includes fun and simple instructions for do-it-yourself crafting activities. Get your paws ready for crafty time!

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Colette’s Lost Pet
Written and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Tundra Books, 2017
ISBN 978-1-101-91759-6
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grade 2

Colette, a new Mile End resident, is bored and lonely. So when two kids show up outside her yard, Colette tells a fib: she’s lost her parakeet, and could someone please help her find it? Soon, every kid in the neighbourhood is helping search for her mythical bird. Do they really believe her? Or is it just more fun to pretend?

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Fluffy Strikes Back
Written and Illustrated by Ashley Spiers
Kids Can Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77138-127-7
IL: Ages 6-10 RL: Grade 3

Fluffy Vandermere, top cat at P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel), works tirelessly to protect the world from alien (a.k.a. bug) domination. Then Fluffy discovers P.U.R.S.T. headquarters itself is under alien attack! Warding off this invasion will require cunning, skill and ingenuity. But Fluffy’s been out of the field for some time now — is he up to the challenge? You bet he is!

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If Found… Please Return to Elise Gravel
Written and Illustrated by Elise Gravel
Drawn & Quarterly, 2017
ISBN 978-1-77046-278-6
IL: Ages 6-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Elise Gravel offers readers a sneak peek into her sketchbook, where colourful monsters, imaginary friends and grumpy things reign supreme. Filled with vibrant felt-marker illustrations, this book challenges young artists to keep a sketchbook and to stop worrying about what makes a drawing good or bad — Elise draws anything and everything and you can, too! This title is also available in French as N’importe quoi! Le petit cahier noir d’Élise Gravel.

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Junior & Intermediate Fiction

Secret Path
Written by Gord Downie
Illustrated by Jeff Lemire
Simon & Schuster Canada, 2016
ISBN 978-1-5011-5594-9
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grade 7

Twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, died on October 22, 1966, trying to escape residential school and return to his family. Acknowledging a dark part of Canada’s history — the mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system — the story of Chanie Wenjack’s tragic death compels all Canadians to make peace with the truth of the past. Chanie’s story is Canada’s story.

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Dog Night at the Story Zoo
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Vicki Nerino
Tundra Books, 2017
ISBN 978-1-1019-1839-5
IL: Ages 7-10 RL: Grades 2-5

It’s Open Mic Night at the Story Zoo and the dogs are up to tell their tales in this hilarious graphic novel for young readers. At the Story Zoo, you get to tell any story you want in front of the live audience, as long as it’s about you. And tonight is dog night. So sit back, relax, and let these dogs tell their tales. These stories will make you laugh, make you cry and maybe even make you howl at the moon.

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The Nameless City
Written and Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
First Second, 2016
ISBN 978-1-62672-157-9
IL: Ages 9-13 RL: Grade 3

Built on an ancient mountain pass, the City is forever being invaded by one nation or another, and every new master gives it a new name.
Dreamy, sheltered Kaidu is one such outsider. He’s a Dao born and bred–a son of the latest nation to occupy the Nameless City. Cynical, street-smart Rat is a native, and at first she hates Kai for everything he stands for. But Kai’s love of his new home may be the one thing that can unite these two unlikely friends. And they will need to stand together at all costs.

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Super Agent Jon Le Bon! The Brain of the Apocalypse
Written and Illustrated by Alex A.
Translated by Rhonda Mullins
Adventure Press, 2015
ISBN 978-2-89751-166-1
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 3-4

Amidst a world filled with danger stands the Agency — an ultra-secret organization whose mission is to safeguard the World. It uses the most talented agents and cutting-edge technologies. However, a new recruit is about to join the Agency — and he will forever change the balance between good and evil. His name? Jon Le Bon! This title is also available in French as L’Agent Jean! Le cerveau de l’apocalypse.

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Young Adult Fiction

This One Summer
Written by Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Groundwood Books, 2014
ISBN 978-1-5549-8152-6
IL: Ages 13-16 RL: Grades 7-10

Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults. This is a stunning and authentic story of friendship, illustrated with subtly heart-breaking moments and pure summer joy.

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Through the Woods
Written and Illustrated by Emily Carroll
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4424-6596-1
IL: Ages 14 and up RL: Grades 9-10

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection featuring five hauntingly beautiful, spine-tingling graphic stories, including webcomic sensation “His Face All Red.” These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll. Come, take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you.

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Non-Fiction

Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War
Written by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys
Illustrated by Claudia Davila
Kids Can Press, 2015
ISBN 978-1-77138-126-0
IL: Ages 11 and up RL: Grades 6-7

In 1993, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, five-year-old Michel and his friends were kidnapped by rebel militants and thrust into a terrifying and violent world — forced to become child soldiers. A compelling story of resilience and courage, this book is Michel Chikwanine’s account of his time in a rebel militia, his escape and his family’s new life in Canada.

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Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me
Written and Illustrated by Lorina Mapa
Conundrum Press, 2017
ISBN 978-1-77262-011-5
IL: Ages 13 and up RL: Grades 7-8

When she learns of her beloved father’s fatal car accident, Mapa flies to Manila to attend his funeral. His sudden death sparks childhood memories. Weaving the past with the present, Mapa entertains with stories about religion, pop culture, adolescence, social class and politics, including her experiences of the 1986 People Power Revolution that made headlines around the world.

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Long Red Hair: A Graphic Memoir
Written and Illustrated by Meags Fitzgerald
Conundrum Press, 2015
ISBN 978-1-894994-95-8
IL: Ages 15 and up RL: Grades 10-11

In this graphic memoir, Fitzgerald paints a lively childhood full of sleepovers, amateur fortune-telling and watching scary movies. Yet Fitzgerald suspects that she is unlike her friends. She intimately takes us from her first kiss to a life sworn off romance — alluringly delving into the mystique of red hair, sisterhood and the beguiling nature of alternative romantic relationships.

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Hostage
Written and Illustrated by Guy Delisle
Drawn & Quarterly, 2017
ISBN 978-1-77046-279-3
IL: Ages 15 and up RL: Grade 8

This is the extraordinary story of Christophe André, a volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières, who, in 1997, was kidnapped and held captive in the Caucasus region. Handcuffed and in solitary confinement, André had almost no contact with the outside world for 111 days. Thoughtful and intense, this graphic novel examines our will to survive in the darkest of moments. This title is also available in French as S’enfuir.

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Do you have a favourite graphic novel for kids and teens? Let us know!