Universal Mentors Association

20 Graphic Novels To Hook Readers of Every Age


Graphic novels are not only an amazing way to engage reluctant readers, they’re a great way to help developing readers gain confidence in their skills. In particular, graphic chapter books serve as a fantastic gateway to graphic novels and longer chapter books. If you’re looking to add some color to your classroom library, check out these 20 graphic novels from our friends at Random House Children’s Books. At turns hilarious, exciting, heartwarming, diverse, and compelling, there’s something for your readers from pre-K to high school.

Graphic Novel for Ages 4–8

1. Lemon Bird Can Help! by Paulina Ganucheau

Lemon Bird book cover

From the author of Narwhal and Jelly comes this charming tale of friendship and kindness. As Lemon Bird and her sidekick, Pupkin, make their way home after becoming lost, they lend a hand and make new friends along the way.

Buy it: Lemon Bird Can Help! at Penguin Random House

Graphic Novels for Ages 5–8

2. Pizza and Taco: Too Cool for School by Stephen Shaskan

Pizza and Taco book cover

This is going to be the best school ever for Pizza and Taco! That is until they get into a little trouble trying to be as cool as the new kid, B.L.T.

Buy it: Pizza and Taco: Too Cool for School at Penguin Random House

3. Marshmallow Martians: Show and Smell by Deanna Kent

Marshmallows and Martians book cover

Follow along with the lovable Marshmallow Martians (along with their cat, dog, and robot assistant) as they go on a hunt for Earth’s smelliest smells to bring back to their home planet.

Buy it: Marshmallow Martians: Show and Smell at Penguin Random House

Graphic Novels for Ages 6–9

4. Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark adapted by Jenny Laird

Magic Treehouse Graphic Novel book cover

Recapture the magic of the very first, best-selling Magic Tree House story in graphic novel form. When Jack and Annie travel back in time, they find themselves in a prehistoric pickle and must figure out how to get home.

Buy it: Dinosaurs Before Dark Graphic Novel at Penguin Random House

Graphic Novels for Ages 7–10

5. Super Pancake by Megan Wagner Lloyd

Super Pancake book cover

After an accidental mix-up, Peggy Pancake suddenly finds herself with astounding superpowers. Will she be able to harness her newfound skills to save her friends and family in Breakfast Town?

Buy it: Super Pancake at Penguin Random House

6. Max Meow Book 4: Taco Time Machine by John Gallagher

Max Meow Taco Time Machine book cover

Best friends Max and Mindy are on a mission to save Mindy’s father, Professor Microbe, who is lost in the time-space continuum. But once they enter the taco time machine to go back in time, will they succeed or just make things worse?

Buy it: Max Meow: Taco Time Machine at Penguin Random House

7. Mayor Good Boy Goes Hollywood by Dave Scheidt and Miranda Harmon

Mayor Good Boy Goes Hollywood book cover

First, Good Boy becomes mayor of Greenwood and saves the town. Now, it’s lights, camera, action and he’s starring in his own movie! That is until he gets sidetracked by some sneaky crooks. He will come through once again?

Buy it: Mayor Good Boy Goes Hollywood at Penguin Random House

8. The First Helping (Lunch Lady Books 1 and 2) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

The First Helping Lunch Lady book cover

Lunch Lady is not your average mild-mannered school sloppy joe slinger—she’s a warrior for justice! Follow along as she battles the Cyborg Substitute and the League of Librarians in this special 2-for-1 graphic novel.

Buy it: The First Helping: Lunch Lady Books 1 & 2 at Penguin Random House

9. Jurassic Jeff: Space Invader by Royden Lepp

Jurassic Jeff Space Invader book cover

When Jeff crash-lands on planet Earth, his intention is world domination. A hilarious alien invasion story.

Buy it: Jurassic Jeff Space Invader at Penguin Random House

Graphic Novels for Ages 8–12

10. The Moth Keeper by K. O’Neill

The Moth Keeper book cover

Anya takes a vow to become a Moth Keeper, guardian of the lunar moths essential to her people’s Night-Lily flower. The job is important, but it’s lonely and tedious. Will she succeed or become distracted, putting her whole village’s future at risk?

Buy it: The Moth Keeper at Penguin Random House

11. Hilo Book 9: Gina and the Last City on Earth by Judd Winick

Hilo and the Last City on Earth

It all started in book 1, when Hilo fell from the sky and met friends Gina and D.J. Now on their ninth adventure together, the spotlight is on Gina as the whole world cheers for her to save the world. Filled with travel and adventure, twists and turns, magic and monsters, and, of course, best friends, Gina meets her destiny head-on.

Buy it: Hilo: Gina and the Last City on Earth at Penguin Random House

12. Sweet Valley Twins: Best Friends by Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley Twins book cover

Middle schoolers Jessica and Elizabeth are not only identical twins, they’re best friends. But when they enter middle school and find their interests taking them in different directions, will their close bond survive?

Buy it: Sweet Valley Twins: Best Friends at Penguin Random House

13. Katie the Catsitter #3: Secrets and Sidekicks by Colleen AF Venable

Katie the Catsitter book cover

Spunky catsitter Katie is dealing with seventh grade, friendship dramas, and 217 super-unusual cats. Can she pull it together to save the city from the giant robots that are attacking?

Buy it: Katie the Catsitter: Secrets and Sidekicks at Penguin Random House

14. Doodleville #2: Art Attacks! by Chad Sell

Doodleville Art Attacks book cover

Talented artist Drew’s doodles have a mind of their own. Not only are they mischievous, they’re causing chaos at the Art Institute of Chicago. Will she and her loyal art club friends be able to save centuries worth of masterpieces before they are destroyed forever?

Buy it: Doodleville: Art Attacks! at Penguin Random House

15. My Aunt Is a Monster by Reimena Yee

My Aunt is a Monster book cover

Safia may be visually impaired, but she’s not about to miss out on a journey of a lifetime with her mysterious aunt, Lady Whimsy. When things go sideways and they find themselves being pursued by threatening agents, Safia will find out if she has what it takes to save the day.

Buy it: My Aunt Is a Monster at Penguin Random House

16. Twin Cities by Jose Pimienta

Twin Cities book cover

Twins Luis Fernando and Luisa Teresa have always had each other’s backs, but when they start middle school on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, they find themselves facing challenges on their own as they begin to discover who they are—individually and together.

Buy it: Twin Cities at Penguin Random House

17. White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

White Bird book cover

The author of the bestselling novel Wonder travels back in time to World War II. This tale features a young Jewish girl who’s hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village, and the boy who becomes her best friend and savior.

Buy it: White Bird: A Wonder Story at Penguin Random House

Graphic Novels for Ages 9–12

18. Hidden Systems by Dan Nott

Book cover for Hidden Systems


This nonfiction graphic novel provides a guided tour through the science of the past—and reveals how the decisions people made while inventing and constructing early technology still affect the way people use it today.

Buy it: Hidden Systems at Penguin Random House

19. The Cardboard Kingdom #2: Roar of the Beast by Chad Sell

Cardboard Kingdom book cover

When an unknown monster is spotted roaming the Kingdom after dark, the friends who call themselves the Monster Mashers will go to any lengths to protect the Kingdom and uncover the mystery.

Buy it: The Cardboard Kingdom: Roar of the Beast at Penguin Random House

Graphic Novels for Ages 12 and up

20. Every Day: The Graphic Novel by David Levithan

Every Day book cover

Every day, main character A wakes up in the body of a different person. But when they finally meet the love of their life, will there be a way to find the love that has eluded them?

Buy it: Every Day: The Graphic Novel at Penguin Random House

Looking for more graphic novel recommendations? Check out even more ideas from our friends at Random House Children’s Books.


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