As a parent, you want to feel comfortable and confident of the books that you are offering your kids. The books should interest him and the content should be age-appropriate. It’s understandable that many parents have questions around books that are formatted as graphic novels and it’s easy to make sweeping generalizations about them. However, they’re just like any type of book. After reading this post, you will learn about the scientific benefits of graphic novels for both advanced readers and reluctant readers, and you will be able to choose from a great list of options that will allow you to share graphic novel adaptations of classic books with your kids.

I understand that most parents are too busy to browse through the endless options of kids’ books to find one that will interest their child. I help you quickly and easily choose the perfect book so you will have more time to read, building a lasting and loving relationship with your child.

*I use affiliate links to share products with you. If you use the link to make a purchase, the cost of the book doesn’t go up for you. However, I will receive a commission and I do appreciate your support.

What is a Graphic Novel?

Graphic novel is a format, not a genre. There are graphic novels available in nonfiction, fantasy, sci-fi, realistic fiction, history, and any other reading genre. The format is similar to a comic book because the story or information is shared through images, as well as text. However, the books typically stand-alone and are not part of a series like a comic book. You’ll also find that the stories are more complex.

As a side note, if your child does enjoy book series (they are another great way to help reluctant readers fall in love with books), take a minute to learn about the reasons to read books in a series and also see my list of favorites for different ages.

Check Content For Age Appropriateness

Many graphic novels deal with complex subjects and there are some available with topics for older, more mature readers. Just because your child has chosen a graphic novel, I would still recommend finding one that has appropriate content for her. Graphic novels are truly written for all ages and all types of readers!

Graphic novels have become hugely popular in the past ten years. Their appeal to kids is that they are faster to read than a regular chapter book, plus there are a lot of pictures! I can understand why this initially might be a reason parents don’t support letting their own child read them, but hear me out regarding some of the benefits shared below.

The name graphic can be misleading because the stories do not have to be “graphic” in content. Did you know that PaperPie has a series of graphic novels that retells classic stories like Robin Hood, Hamlet, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Wizard of Oz? Formatting these classic stories into great literature that is exciting to read makes them accessible to all types of readers!

Benefits of Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers

Graphic novels are an excellent transition from picture books to chapter books for kids. They especially have a great appeal to kids who are reluctant readers because their length, with few words and many pictures, allow kids to grow in confidence of their reading abilities.

Benefits of Graphic Novels for Advanced Readers

They also have benefits for advanced readers according to Leslie Morrison from Northwestern University. She has found that “a growing body of research, focused on how the brain processes the combination of images and text, indicates that graphic novels are also excellent resources for advanced learners.” The skill of observing and using images in a story is often thought to be very simple, but it is actually much more complex.

Graphic Novel Art

The art in graphic novels, just like in any illustrated book, will vary depending on the illustrator.

In elementary and middle school reading standards, it is common to see a standard that focuses on pictures and illustrations adding meaning to a text. It’s a skill many states require their students to learn. Plus, focusing on illustrations to understand the story requires them to slow down as they read. Inevitably, many readers will grow in their appreciation of the artwork; some wanting to practice drawing this type of art on their own.

If you are a fan of beautifully illustrated books, be sure to check out my post listing the best children’s book illustrators.

Graphic Novels for Kids

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Adapted by Russell Punter & Illustrated by Xavier Bonet

for ages 5+

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Adapted by Mariah Marsden & Illustrated by Brenna Thumler

ages 7+

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Adapted by Charles Dixon & Illustrated by David Wenzel

for ages 8+

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Adaped & Illustrated by Hope Larson

for ages 8-11

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Adapted by Mariah Marsden & Illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld

for ages 8-12

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Adapted & Illustrated by Penelope Bagieu

for ages 8-12

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy based on the story by Louis May Alcott
Adapted by Rey Terciero & Illustrated Bre Indigo

Part of graphic novel remix.

for ages 9-12

Graphic Novels for Teens & Tweens

The Odyssey by Homer
Adapted & Illustrated by Russell Punter

for ages 10+

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Adapted & Illustrated by Russell Punter

for ages 10+

Anne Frank’s Diary by Anne Frank
Adapted by Ari Folman & Illustrated by David Polonsky

for ages 11+

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Adapted & illustrated by Fred Fordham

for ages 12+

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Adapted & Illustrated by P. Craig Russell

for ages 12+

Jane based on the story by Charlotte Brontë
Adapted by Aline McKenna & Illustrated by Ramon K. Perez

for ages 13+

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Adapted by Fred Fordham & Illustrated by Aya Morton

for ages 14+

Looking to the Future

As the popularity of the graphic novel continues to grow, you will begin to find more and more classics added to this list. The stories we grew up loving have become more accessible to our young readers. It’s exciting to be able to share a small part of a classic story to prepare them for reading the whole thing one day.
The rich benefits that graphic novels have to offer is great for both reluctant and voracious readers. I love that they both support and challenge a child’s mind. This list has so much to offer and I hope that it has helped to simplify the choices that are available for you.
Sharing this type of book with your child might be new to you, but I hope it’s something you are willing to do. If not, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to respond in the comments below.
Also, take a minute and check out my free guide: