By now, you’ve probably noticed the awesome illustrations that accompany our features, such as this one or this one. They’re the work of one Seth T. Hahne, a master illustrator who also happens to run his own excellent site, Good Ok Bad, where he regularly reviews comics, graphic novels, and manga. He’s recently published “Great Graphic Novels for Kids”, which, as the title implies, contains recommendations from pre-kindergarden all the way through junior high:

More than any other request, I have people ask what graphic novels would be suitable for their children. And this is one of the questions I most want to answer. After all, if you spark a child’s interest in the medium with good, solid storytelling and non-exploitative narrative, what better chance of converting them to the medium when they’re older, right?

However, he does provide one bit of caution and exhortation:

Don’t treat graphic novels as a gateway drug to get kids to read “real books.” Comics are a medium of their own and while there’s some crossover appeal, your goal should be to inculcate in your children an appreciation for quality in our cultural artifacts. If they get the bug for good comics, they may well begin pursuing the most literary and worthwhile of the medium — just as if they caught the bug for good novels, they’d be likely to pursue the literary giants of eras past and present.

Graphic novels have their own things to say and their own way of saying those things. Enjoy them for what they are and seek out the stuff that challenges you and your children to grow in empathy, understanding, and knowledge.

The graphic novel recommendations themselves span a number of genres, from fantasy and sci-fi to adventure, humor, and romance.


  1. That’s kind of like asking “How about dance performances?” and a bit outside my wheelhouse, but I’ll give it a shot.

    Lower Elementary
    Just So Stories
    Encylcopedia Brown
    The Girl Who Owned a City
    The Little Prince

    Upper Elementary
    The Jungle Book
    The Hobbit
    The White Mountains
    Harry Potter
    Father Brown Mysteries

    Junior High
    Ender’s Game
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    War of the Worlds
    Hunger Games
    Lord of the Rings
    Magician: Apprentice / Magician: Master

  2. Oh man, I don’t know. I just tried to take the comment in the best possible light. The former interpretation seems a bit off-topic, but the latter would just be bizarre for two reasons: 1) Good Ok Bad’s entire raison d’etre is to promote good and worthwhile comics and graphic novels and 2) graphic novels can be rad—just like books, music, movies, and every other cultural expression through which we communicate story and meaning.

  3. Just thought I’d bump this in the comments in case anyone’s watching and thinking about getting a kid they know a graphic novel as a Graduation or Promotion gift. I’ve added several additional book in the Pre-K, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary sections of the page.

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