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Bookshop's Favorite Graphic Novels for Kids

Whether your kid is a reluctant or a voracious reader, graphic novels are a perfect fit! Get ready for a visual feast with this collection of Bookshop Santa Cruz's favorite graphic novels for kids. They feature stunning artwork and engaging stories that will keep kids entertained for hours. From superheroes to everyday heroes, these graphic novels feature a diverse range of characters and themes that kids can relate to. These are a great way to introduce your child to the exciting world of graphic novels!

Mamo by Sas Milledge

Mamo weaves together magic, nature, grief, romance, adventure, and complex family relationships all in one beautiful story. It follows Orla, a witch who must return home after her grandmother passes, and Jo, who quickly bond with Orla after enlisting her help. This book captures all the magic of a Studio Ghibli film with its own unique style. I immediately fell in love with it! 


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Mamo By Sas Milledge Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684158171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOOM! Box - April 19th, 2022

Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan by Jason Shiga

Shiga's newest offering to the comics world, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style medieval fantasy graphic novel, allows for hours of absorbing fun as the reader navigates puzzles, mazes, and clever design to defeat the legendary Leviathan. Shiga has created a panacea for all those harried parents of video-game addicted children. This comic plays just like an RPG and is bound to feel as satisfying when completed. — Yves

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Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan (Book 1): An Interactive Graphic Novel By Jason Shiga Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419757792
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Fanfare - September 13th, 2022

Kariba written by Daniel & James Clarke

After a fearful encounter with an elephant, Suki untaps a power that she didn’t know she had. While her father, Tongai, leaves for the Kariba Dam in hopes of finding a cure to remove this newfound ability, Suki is pulled into a surprisingly personal battle. This beautifully illustrated graphic novel reads like an animated adventure and is a great fit for fans of Avatar, The Last Airbender

—Andrea C.

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Kariba By Daniel Clarke (Created by), James Clarke (Created by), Daniel Snaddon (Created by) Cover Image
By Daniel Clarke (Created by), James Clarke (Created by), Daniel Snaddon (Created by)
ISBN: 9781946395825
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catalyst Press - September 5th, 2023

Junior High written by Tegan Quin & Sara Quin

Before they became a queer indie star duo, twin sisters Tegan and Sara were just like any other middle-schoolers navigating life in Calgary. Growing up is hard enough, but fighting for your individuality with a twin sister in the picture makes it that much harder. Illustrated by the Eisner Award–winner Tillie Walden, this graphic novel is one that I am eagerly anticipating at the end of May! 

—Andera C.

Don’t miss our event with Tegan & Sara on June 2nd!

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Tegan and Sara: Junior High By Tegan Quin, Sara Quin, Tillie Walden (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tegan Quin, Sara Quin, Tillie Walden (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780374313029
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - May 30th, 2023

A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

Here’s the school trip to Europe that I dreamt about, complete with a visit to the Louvre, a home stay in Germany, and a free day in London. That’s the backdrop anyway, but this story is really about all the firsts for young Dan in the summer before high school, when he ventures away from home and tries on the best version of himself. The postcard-perfect illustrations simultaneously capture the sights and the full-range of emotions from all the kids.


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A First Time for Everything By Dan Santat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250851048
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - February 28th, 2023

Bea Wolf written by Zach Weinersmith

Towering Treeheart has been the seat of power for kid kings of legend, but none have faced such a ferocious foe as grim Mr. Grindle. Determined to be the downfall of all fun, he wields a powerful pointer able to adultify a child with one tenacious touch. Enter brave Bea Wolf, who may just be a match for the nefarious neighbor. Told in alliterative language and highlighted with excellent line drawings, this retelling of Beowulf is sure to delight even the uninitiated. A terrific triumph! 


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Bea Wolf By Zach Weinersmith, Boulet (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Zach Weinersmith, Boulet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250776297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - March 21st, 2023

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

Kindness and courage. In this compelling sequel to the book Wonder, eleven-year-old Julien listens to his grandmother Sara’s story of surviving the Holocaust. Sara tells Julien how she contributed to the bullying of a boy in school, and how this boy ended up saving her from the Nazis during the French occupation. A moving introduction to the Holocaust for grades 5-8. The movie version comes out this year starring Helen Mirren as Grandmére! -Noreen

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White Bird: A Wonder Story (A Graphic Novel) By R. J. Palacio Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593487785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - March 1st, 2022

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The world's most beautiful graphic novel about the world's most relatable need: belonging. Shaun Tan's classic work follows an immigrant in a new country, unlike any the reader will ever have seen before, as he learns its inscrutable language and confusing rules in order to navigate the workforce and feed his family back home. My go-to for a feel good, gorgeously illustrated, and deeply human book where any reader can find their home. -Yves


The Arrival By Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780439895293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 1st, 2007

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez

I was transfixed by both the art and story in this beautifully unique graphic novel. Sandy spends every night turning the nightlights in her room into drawings, but things take a turn when a strange new girl shows up at school with an intense and sinister interest in them… With gorgeous art and a spine-chilling story, this graphic novel has stuck with me long after I finished it.


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Nightlights By Lorena Alvarez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781910620571
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nobrow - March 5th, 2019

The Flamingo by Guojing

During a vacation with her beloved Lao Lao (maternal grandmother), a young child finds a flamingo feather, sparking a magical story from her grandmother about a little girl who raised a flamingo. After she returns home, the girl is inspired to create a gift for her grandmother. Told mostly through beautiful illustrations, this intergenerational story feels like a hug from a loved one. Read it with a child who is missing someone dear and motivated to renew their connection.


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The Flamingo: A Graphic Novel Chapter Book By Guojing Cover Image
By Guojing
ISBN: 9780593127315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Studio - September 27th, 2022


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