They say that “not all heroes wear capes.”

But when they do, there’s a good chance that they could have been found at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from October 5–8 right here in New York!

Over the past few years, New York Comic Con (NYCC) has established itself as one of the hottest tickets in town during the fall season, and this year was no exception, as hundreds of thousands of comic book lovers, otaku, science fiction buffs, cinephiles, gamers, cosplayers, and pop culture fans made their way through the Javits Center throughout the four-day event.

In celebration of this year’s convention, we asked the DOE’s Division of Teaching & Learning to put together the following age-appropriate list of graphic novels that students, families, and educators alike can use to get into the NYCC spirit. Today’s graphic novels are much more than just superheroes and tight costumes, as they have emerged as a powerful method of storytelling for a wide variety of topics and genres. In fact, today’s graphic novels offer a great deal of instructional and academic value for students of all ages, reading levels, and backgrounds. It is our hope that many of you will find this list to be incredibly useful, as there are some great titles in here that are sure to excite and challenge readers of all ages!


Elementary Grades:

  • 41v58xl9-llBone (series) by Jeff Smith
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Giants Beware & Dragons Beware by Jorge Aguire, art by Rafael Rosado
  • Hidden by Loïc Dauvillier, art by Marc Lizano
  • Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green
  • Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks
  • Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman, art by Sergio García Sánchez
  • The Nameless City (Book 1 and 2) by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Nathan Hales’ Hazardous Tales (series) by Nathan Hale
  • Robot Dreams by Sara Varon


Middle Grades:

  • 61gix2h9iyl-_sx340_bo1204203200_American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  • Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War by Ari Kellerman, art by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
  • Compass South by Hope Larson, art by Rebecca Mock
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Last Kids on Earth (Series) by Max Brallier, art by Douglas Holgate
  • Lewis and Clark by Nick Bertozzi
  • Magneto Testament by Greg Pak, art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
  • March (Book 1 and 2) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, art by Nate Powell
  • Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  • Resistance (Books 1–3) by Carla Jablonski, art by Leland Purvis
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale
  • The United States Constitution by Jonathan Hennessey


High School Grades:

  • 41uwbpfsi6l-_sx344_bo1204203200_Abina and the Important Men by Trevor Getz, art by Liz Clarke
  • Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of An American Founding Father by Jonathan Hennessey, art by Justin Greenwood
  • The Black Panther (Vol. 1-3) by Ta-Nehisi Coates, art by Brian Stelfreeze
  • March (Book 3) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, art by Nate Powell
  • Marzi: A Memoir by Marzena Sowa, art by Sylvian Savoia
  • Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers, Adapted by Guy Sims, art by Dawud Anyabwile
  • Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, art by Adrian Alphona
  • Muhammad Ali by Sybille Titeux de la Croix, art by Amazing Améziane
  • Palestine by Joe Sacco
  • Paper Girls (1–3) by Brian K. Vaughn, art by Cliff Chaing
  • Prez, Vol. 1 by Mark Russell, art by Ben Caldwell
  • Stitches by David Small
  • This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, art by Jillian Tamaki
  • Tomboy by Liz Prince
  • Unflattening by Nick Sousanis

Have suggestions for other graphic novels? Let us know in the comments below.



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