Great Graphic Novels for Teens Announced

The American Library Association chose its annual list of great graphic novels for teens.

The list of 73 titles … recommended for those ages 12-18, meet[s] the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.

Looking at the top ten list, I note a couple of interesting things:

The books fall into the following categories:

  • Manga (3), all Viz Signature titles and all outstanding.
  • Webcomic collections (2), both weird mystery
  • Non-standard superheroes (2), one humor/parody, the other slice-of-life anti-hero
  • Genre twists (2)
  • Non-fiction (1), about a real-life modern-day tragedy

That’s pretty diverse and should provide something for almost any reader. I have only read the ones in the manga category, but I have a couple of the others on the review stack, so I think I’ll try to get to them sooner.

4 Responses to “Great Graphic Novels for Teens Announced”

  1. Hal Shipman Says:

    Hmmm. My mother is actually on one of the YALSA committees (Best Books for Young Adults), just ending her term (they’re 3-year appointments).

    One kind of unfortunate thing is that YALSA is, as of this ALA, moving all graphic narratives into the Graphic Novels category, which in my (and my mom’s opinion) which segregates them out of the other categories. i.e. a graphic novel now can’t be a best book on its own merits. They didn’t get a lot of GN submissions for best book, but they tended to be pretty damned good (the first of the Louvre series comes to mind). However, the intention is good – they’re pushing it more as a legit category.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Do they have a best graphic novels for adults as well, or just the teens list?

  3. Kat Kan Says:

    Unfortunately, there’s no such critter as a best gn list for adults. I had to fight hard for a couple of years, along with a fantastic task force, to get the Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. Booklist, the review journal for ALA, covers a lot of graphic novels and the March 15 issue will be the Spotlight issue, and Library Journal has some great articles on graphic novels for adults; Martha Cornog writes about graphic novels for LJ. She and Steve Raiteri just published their list of “LJ Best Graphic Novels 2009″ in the online newsletter called Booksmack (go to

    Hal, don’t get me started on what happened to BBYA this year; I served on BBYA in 1990-92 (when they had 2-year terms), and I hate the move.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Ah. So it sounds like that, while graphic novels are accepted, they’re still considered literature for younger people. One more hurdle to cross.




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