8 YA Graphic Novels to Start Your Summer!

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Graphic novels are a new love of mine. I never read them but after being gifted two by my husband I quickly fell in love. This means that my collection is small but quickly growing. I love graphic novels because I can usually read them in one sitting. These 8 graphic novels are new to my collection - within the last 6 months- and a great way for you to kick off the summer!


What's the difference between a graphic novel and a comic book?


The main difference is that graphic novels are longer and usually more complex, telling a story in a small number of volumes. Comic books are shorter and tell a story over many issues. Sometimes you can purchase comic book graphic novels. These are many comic books that have been compiled into a graphic novel.

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1) Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir

Author: Maggie Thrash

Instagram: @maggiethrash

Twitter: None Found


Purchase your copy here!


A word from tOBC: Who doesn't love a coming of age tale that is beautifully illustrated? I sure do! Maggie Thrash does an amazing job at keeping the reader captivating when sharing her own journey of self-discovery while away at a summer camp.


Synopsis from Goodreads: Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment.


A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


2) Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey

Author: Ngozi Ukazu

Instagram: @ngozi

Twitter: @zgozi


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: I absolutely love this graphic novel! It speaks to the young gay man inside of me that wished he could bake and had spent time in a fraternity, that was welcoming, when I was in college. The story is captivating and well-written and the art is great. When you're finished reading you will crave for Book two in the series to be released.


Synopsis from Goodreads: Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!

Y’all... I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


3) On a Sunbeam

Author: Tillie Walden

Instagram: @tilliewalden

Twitter: @tilliewalden


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: O.M.G. if you love amazing illustrations then this book is for you! Tillie is an absolutely breathtaking artist. To be completely honest the art in this graphic novel is what made me buy the book. Usually I read a couple of pages before buying a book but not with On a Sunbeam. I flipped through the book, was struck by the art, and bought it assuming the story would be just as good. Guess what? It really is!


Synopsis from Good Reads: An epic graphic novel about a girl who travels to the ends of the universe to find a long lost love, from acclaimed author Tillie Walden.

Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As Mia, the newest member, gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. When Mia grows close to her new friends, she reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down her long-lost love.

An inventive world, a breathtaking love story, and stunning art come together in this new work by award-winning artist Tillie Walden.


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


4) Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Author: Mariko Tamaki

Illustrator: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

Instagram: @marikotamaki

Twitter: @marikotamki

@hirosemaryhello


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: This graphic novel is the newest addition to my bookshelf. The story that Mariko tells is paired with Rosemary's beautiful art creates a masterpiece.


Synopsis from Goodreads: Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.

Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem. Maybe it's Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


5) The Prince and The Dressmaker

Author: Jen Wang

Instagram: @wangstagram

Twitter: @alooghobi


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: As a little boy who used to sneak on dresses this story speaks to me. It's an amazing tale of friendship and discovering the confidence and power in yourself. The story and art are beautifully paired together and I challenge anyone to reach its final pages with a dry eye.


Synopsis from Goodreads: Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


6) Bloom

Author: Kevin Panetta

Illustrator: Savanna Ganucheau

Instagram: @kevinpanetta

@savi_bunny

Twitter: @kevinpanetta

@Srganuch


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: This is another graphic novel centered on baking and love. I'm sensing a theme in the graphic novels that I read. Bloom is the brainchild of Kevin and Savanna, both amazingly talented artist and authors. This is coming-of-age tell about a son trying to find his identity away from his family owned bakery. AND it comes with recipes!


Synopsis from Goodreads: Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


7) A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

Author: Mady G & J.R. Zuckerberg

Instagram: @madygcomics & @jrzuckerberg

Twitter: @MadyGComics


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: Beautiful, fun, and educational. This is the best combination for a graphic novel and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. Mady G and J.R. did an amazing job at introducing a topic in a way that makes it easy to conceptualize. You will not be disappointed with this book!


Synopsis from Goodreads: In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


8) A Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns

Author: Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson

Instagram: @babywrist

Twitter: @grease_bat & @_greasetrap_


Purchase your copy here!*


A word from tOBC: This is one of my most used resources I recommend to parents and other adults. Archie and Tristan are spectacular at introducing a topic that many people over complicate. Read my blog for this book!


Synopsis from Goodreads: Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, is tired of people not understanding gender neutral pronouns. Tristan, a cisgender dude, is looking for an easy way to introduce gender neutral pronouns to his increasingly diverse workplace. The longtime best friends team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them. They also include what to do if you make a mistake, and some tips-and-tricks for those who identify outside of the binary to keep themselves safe in this binary-centric world. A quick and easy resource for people who use they/them pronouns, and people who want to learn more!


Borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free with your library card with OverDrive or Hoopla!


Thanks for reading!


Do you have some favorite YA graphic novels? Let me know what they are!


-The Open Book Chat



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Credentials: Ryan Dillon, LPC

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