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There is no doubt Graphic Novels are here to stay and fill our middle school shelves. At least for a few minutes as every librarian watches them fly off the shelves. They are powerful get-our-kids-reading magnets and motivators we need to keep coming like they are a twelve-course meal. 

If you are ending the school year, wondering what Graphic Novels to purchase next, here's our list of ten must-haves for middle schoolers. Today's graphic novels shelves in libraries are the emptiest. Today's readers have been raised with tech and photo-text images and understand the complex interplay or richer glance into the landscape of storytelling when writers use the full power of art and words. Today's readers will love these:



by Breena Bard 

Grades 3-9 • (Little, Brown, Sept 5, 2023)

This graphic novel, Wildfire, follows climate change through the eyes of one middle-school girl, who’s eager to turn her anger into action. 

Julianna loves life in rural Oregon, loves taking care of farm animals and being part of 4H, but when a wildfire destroys her family’s home, she joins their school’s conservation club and learns that maybe she spin her anger into something powerful. This middle school read is a nice book club selection that could inspire research on the impact of climate change studying wildfires nationwide. 


Keeper of the Lost Cities

by Shannon Messenger 

Grades 3-9 • (Alladin, Nov. 2023)

This graphic novel, Keeper of the Lost Citiies, is an adaptation of the award-winning series in graphic novel format. When Telepath, Sophie meets Fitz, who can also read minds and it changes her life as she knows it.

When Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns he’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.



Blue Stars: Mission One: The Vice Principal Problem

by Kekla Magoon & Cynthia Leitich Smith

Grades 3-7 • (Candlewick, Mar. 2024)

New middle-grade graphic series from two award-winning authors and a debut illustrator: Two everyday superheroes set out to save the world—starting with their school.

When cousins Riley Halfmoon and Maya Dawn move to Urbanopolis to live with their activist grandma, they get off to a rocky start. Outgoing Riley misses her Muscogee cousins but is sure that she and Maya will be instant BFFs. Meanwhile, introvert Maya misses her parents, who are on active duty in Japan, and just wants some space to herself. At school, Maya joins Robotics Club and Riley bonds with fellow gymnasts. Just when they start to feel at home, their school culture is threatened by an influential foe in disguise. Joining student council feels like a way to help. But when both cousins toss their hats in the ring for class president, they realize what they’re up against (money, power, and lies) and quickly join forces as superheroes, who will save the day! 



by Pedro Martín

Grades 5-9 • (Dial Books, Aug. 2023)

NEWBERY HONOR AWARD WINNER, WINNER OF THE PURA BELPRÉ AUTHOR AWARD AND ILLUSTRATOR AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times BookReview, NPR, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library. 

Pedro Martín has grown up hearing stories about his abuelito, his legendary crime-fighting grandfather, who was once a part of the Mexican Revolution! But when Pedro learns Abuelito is coming to live with the family, he feels 8 brothers and sisters in the house is crowded enough! Still, he piles into the Winnebago for a road trip to Mexico to bring Abuelito home, a trip that fills him with laughs and heartache and a renewed connection to his family and his abuelito.


The ExPets

by Mark Tatulli

Grades 2-7 • (Candlewick, Apr. 2024)

This first book in this new graphic novel series follows a stinky dog who has been recruited by a team of super-pets to rescue missing kittens!

Bosco the dog loves being a house pet. He loves his comfy dog bed and his nice big house and, of course, his favorite toy kitty. However, when two burglars break in, Bosco defends his home with all his might. He releases some well-timed—and near supersonic—stink that repels the would-be thieves sending his foes off. But when Bosco thinks it’s all over, a robot descends from the sky... and there's more defending to be done.


Wires Crossed

by Beth Fantaskey

Grades 3-7 • (Clarion Books, Apr. 2024)

From navigating first crushes to crushing science camp competition: Mia feels cross wired.

It's what middle school is all about, right? Well, twelve-year-old Mia feels like everything and everyone is changing and she is caught in the middle and stuck between friends and feeling like a kid and growing up feels more about school dances than treehouse playdates. That is, until she finds out that her favorite science camp friend, Tariq, is moving to town and will be going to school with her. She's excited, can't wait, will help. But he arrives the next big soccer star, and it takes science to make life feel normal.


Shiny Misfits

by Maysoon Zayid & Shadia Amid

Grades 3-7 • (Graphix, Apr. 2024)

Kirkus Star: Bay Ann doesn't think she's a star--she knows it! So how will she prove it to the rest of the world in this hilarious graphic novel about friendship, fame, and fighting for control of your own story. 

Bay Ann wants to shine. No matter what. So when the moment in the spotlight arrived and she wins with a showstopping tap routine and a classmate and crush, Alyee Maq, causes her to wobble and almost fall, the video goes viral, and he becomes an overnight sensation for "helping her." Bay Ann is reduced to her disability and her talent is ignored—and she is NOT satisfied being anything but the best. She, with the help of her two best friends, Michelle and Davey Matt, find the thing that really makes her stand out, but this goes disastrously wrong. What if the only way to beat her enemy . . . is to join him?


Fake Chinese Sounds

by Jing Jing Tsong

Grades 4-7 • (Kokila, Mar. 2024)

In this middle-grade graphic novel a Taiwanese American Měi Yīng navigates identity, bullying, and the messy process of learning to be comfortable in her own skin.

Měi Yīng’s summer is shaping up to be boring. Her only bright spot? Practice with her soccer team, the Divas, and the time spent with her năi nai, who is visiting from Taiwan. They find other ways to connect, like cooking guōtiē together and doing tai chi in the mornings.

When her Năi Nai leaves and fifth grade begins, she confronts her lack of English skills and meets Sid, who starts making her the butt of racist jokes. Her best friend, Kirra, tells her to ignore him, but she soon wonders if everyone else’s silence means they’re also ignoring her. The bullying fuels Měi Yīng's feelings of invisibility, and she must reclaim her identity and her voice.


Monkey King & the World of Myths

by Maple Lam

Grades 3-7 • (G.P. Putnam's Sons, Apr. 2024)

Kirkus Star that's every ELA Mythology teacher's dream book: This first book of an action-packed graphic series follows the legendary Monkey King, who tries to save the world from a mysterious new threat—and smashes his way through the world of ancient Greek mythology in the process!

A long-forgotten evil has reemerged, determined to transform everyone—humans, beasts, and gods alike—into monsters. And there’s only one being who can stop it (or at least that’s what Sun Wukong, aka the Monkey King, thinks). Said to be the mightiest of all beasts, he’s made a deal with the gods. They will grant him his greatest wish and make him a god. He only needs to battle these monsters, defeat this evil, and save the world. What could possibly go wrong?


Next Stop

by Debbie Fong

Grades 3-7 • (Random House, Mar. 2024)

Kirkus Star & inspired by a real life road trip: Middle schooler, Pia, finds herself dealing with grief while on a big adventure—a bus tour stopping at weird and wacky roadside attractions. 

Pia is a soft-spoken girl whose whole life flips upside down after the loss of her younger brother and her parents’ decision to move to a new town. In an effort to get her mind off of the troubles at home, Pia and a family friend go on a bus tour that stopping at weird and wacky roadside attractions. The final destination: a mysterious underground lake. The locals say it has magical powers, but Pia won’t admit she believes in it and also hopes that the waters may hold the answer to mending her broken family.


DnDoggos: Get the Party Started

by Scout Underhill

Grades 4-6 • (Feiwel & Friends, Feb. 2024)

Four adorable dogs meet a furry gamer-challenge and play their favorite role-playing game in DnDoggos: Get the Party Started.

Characters chosen. Dice rolled and ready. They set off on the adventure their game master Magnus has created for them: Pickles, a rough and tumble fighter; Tonka, a playful and fun-loving bard; and Zoey, a wise and caring cleric, are given a quest to fetch a magical dog collar from a nearby swamp. But when they triumphantly return, they soon find that the collar isn't the only thing that has gone missing from Tail's Bend. All the squeaky toys in town have disappeared and Squish, the mayor's young son, has set off on his own to find them. It's up to the Doggos to rescue Squish, track down the missing toys, and save the day!


Eowulf: Of Monsters & Middle School

by Mike Cavallaro

Grades 4-6 • (First Second, Feb. 2024)

Beowulf fans unite to read this story set in the Nico Bravo universe that spotlights an unforgettable new heroine!

Eowulf Wegmund just had the most amazing summer ever! She traveled to a magical supply shop at the crossroads of all realities, rescued unicorn soldiers from a pocket dimension, and fought an evil god with the help of her new friend Nico Bravo. 

Now Eowulf finds herself back home in her boring New Jersey suburb, where the only monsters are the ones in her D&D game and the weirdest creature around is her middle school classmate Amadeus Hornburg―and he’s just an angry little jerk that nobody likes. But when a mysterious supervillain returns to wreak havoc on their quiet town, Eowulf and Amadeus must join forces to unearth a dark past that wants to stay buried.

These graphic novels will keep those graphic shelves empty because readers crave them. Raised with tech and photo-text images, these beauties use the full power of art and words to share great stories. There's no doubt these books will be great picks for any library... and they will likely not remain on any shelf for very long.

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