Have you ever read a graphic novel? You might have noticed a greater number of them on display in the library in recent years. If you’ve never read one, maybe you dismissed them as “just for kids” or just “comic books”. They’re not!  I’d invite you to take another look. While some graphic fiction selections do look like the more traditional comic books and even have superhero themes, there are many more with fully fleshed out stories with engaging dialogue and compelling artistic renderings. While they do use sequential art to tell their stories, they are not the serial comics of old. They are typically longer, more substantial, and convey a complete narrative.

Graphic novels have a unique ability to blend a complex narrative with visual aesthetics. They can cover mature themes and convey emotions in a unique way offering the reader a multi-dimensional experience that appeals to a wide range of ages. And, the accessibility of graphic novels makes them a great medium for adults to engage with literature in a format that is both immersive as well as intellectually stimulating. Ultimately, this fosters a deeper appreciation for the art of storytelling in all its forms.

There are graphic novels of all fictional genres including everything from action and adventure to mystery, romance, and science fiction. However, graphic novels are not just fictional. You’ll find nonfiction works including biographies, memoirs, and true historical accounts. There are even cookbooks… truly something for everyone! Take a fresh look at graphic novels the next time you’re in the library. Here are some titles to get you started. Hope you enjoy checking some of these out!

Some of the Graphic Novel standouts in the last year or so are:


Roaming by Mariko Tamaki
The Human Target by Tom King
Shubeik Lubeik by Dīnā Muḥammad
A Guest in the House by Emily Carroll
Majnun and Layla : Songs from beyond the grave by Yann Damezin

Or, you might like to experience a Classic book in a new way with one of these retellings in graphic form:


To Kill a Mockingbird : a graphic novel by Fred Fordham
Dune : the graphic novel by Brian Herbert
The Great Gatsby : the graphic novel by Fred Fordham
A Wrinkle in Time : the graphic novel by Hope Larson
Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred : a graphic novel adaptation by Damian Duffy
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 : the authorized adaptation by Tim Hamilton

Here are some Non-Fiction titles to try:


The Middle Ages : a graphic guide by Eleanor Janega
Billie Holiday : the graphic novel by Ebony Gilbert
Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars : a graphic memoir by Rick Louis
Run for It : stories of slaves who fought for their freedom by Marcelo D’Salete
Cook Korean! : a comic book with recipes by Robin Ha

And for those of you who prefer the more traditional Comic Book themes, here are some of our newer selections:

Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky
Captain America by J. Michael Straczynski
Batman One Bad Day. Catwoman : No Small Scores by G. Willow Wilson
The Amazing Spider-Man. Beyond by Zeb Wells

The Book Was Better

This year there have been a lot of fantastic books adapted to the big screen: Twelve Years a Slave, Catching Fire (The Hunger Games trilogy), The Great Gatsby, Warm Bodies, Admission, World War Z and The Book Thief  — just to name a few!  Right before an adapted movie comes out, many scramble to read the book first. In that rush it becomes difficult to find a copy that isn’t checked out.  To prepare for the new year and start planning your reading, here are some of the books that you may want to read before you watch (who doesn’t want to get to yell, “The book was better!” in a crowded theater?)

Following successful film adaptations of Twilight and The Hunger Games series, movie studios are continuing to bank on YA dystopian sci-fi and paranormal romance series. With planned releases of  Divergent by Veronica Roth, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, The Giver by Lois Lowry (finally!),  and The Maze Runner by James Dashner (the first part of the third book in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay is also due to be released in November) fans of speculative teen fiction have plenty to read in preparation.

Realistic fiction and a stand alone, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is another popular YA book set to debut next year (if you want updates, John Green has been pretty open about the process on twitter), and will star Shailene Woodley  (who is also staring in Divergent).

Not all of the books adapted for the big screen next year will be targeted at young adults. In August, Helen Mirren is set to star in what has been described in the New York Times as Slumdog Millionaire meets Ratatouille, The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais.  Gillian Flynn’s massively popular Gone Girl  is due for an October release, starring Ben Affleck and directed by David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club).  And if you really want to get a head start, the release of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is planned for February of 2015.