5 Gorgeous Graphic Novels for Middle-Grade Readers

Graphic novels do all the literary heavy lifting of a novel, with the added bonus of dynamic illustrations that breathe life onto the pages.

But graphic novels don’t belong on the same shelf as your kid’s old favorite picture books.

Graphic novels are as challenging, engaging, and creative as text-only novels. They can have intense plots, profound moments, thoughtful insights about the world, and educational adventures that any reader can enjoy. To that end, read on to discover five amazing graphic novels that will completely captivate your middle grade reader.

Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders: Michael Townsend, Michael  Townsend: 9780147510693: Amazon.com: Books

Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders

If your kid loves mythology, this book will entice them immediately. If they’re unfamiliar, then prepare for their newfound affinity. The novel stays faithful to original Greek myths while retelling them in a fresh, funny, modern way. Humans wonder, gods blunder, and life is regularly ridiculous. Bold colors and contemporary narratives modernize ancient Greece for all audiences. This graphic novel is the definition of laugh and learn. 


Your middle grader will love this graphic novel if they love…

  • Myths and mythology
  • The Percy Jackson series and similar books
  • Off-the-wall humor

Catstronauts: Mission Moon

One day, a global energy shortage thrusts the world into unending darkness. The only solution? A power plant on the moon, of course! The heroes for the job? Four felines with talent to spare.

Major Meowster, Waffles, Blanket, and Pom Pom make up the crew of furry astronauts that go into space to save the world. Will our heroes survive this cat-astrophe? 

Full of science, charisma, and jokes, this graphic novel is a blast to read, and a joy for sci-fi and cat lovers alike.


Your middle grader will love this graphic novel if they love…

  • Astronauts and outer space
  • Feline fun
  • Saving the world

El Deafo

It’s intimidating being the new kid at a new school—doubly intimidating when you’re sure everyone you meet is only staring at your hearing aid. In this part-graphic-novel, part-memoir book, Cece Bell recounts her own experience with deafness. 

Cece the bunny knows she’s different—she’s the only deaf student at her new school. But she soon realizes another way she’s different. With her hearing aid, she has super hearing, and can listen to the teacher in any room in the entire school!

Although this graphic novel is populated by bunnies, the core message is unfailingly human: embracing what makes you different can open up a whole world of wonder.


Your middle grader will love this graphic novel if they love…

  • Stories about being wonderfully different
  • Superpowers
  • Delightful illustration 

Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx

One insanely brave girl plus one very tricky sphinx equals a graphic novel that will whisk away your little adventurer to the mysteries of ancient Egypt. 

This graphic novel follows Marcy, the daughter of a world-famous adventurer who treks into Egypt to bring back the Book of Thoth. When he doesn’t reemerge, it’s up to Marcy to follow in her father’s footsteps and save him from the grasp of the Sphinx. 

Will she overcome her fears, Egyptian gods, and the almighty Sphinx to save her father? Your middle-grade reader will race through this gorgeously-illustrated graphic novel to find out. 


Your middle grader will love this graphic novel if they love…

  • Ancient Egypt and archaeology
  • Stories about family and adventure
  • Puzzle-solving and mystery

The City of Ember

As your child reaches the middle-grade reading level, they tend to read stories that are more complex and slightly darker than their colorful elementary school fairy tales. And in these richer texts, light, hope, and love shine brighter. That’s especially true for Jeanne DuPrau’s graphic novel edition of City of Ember. 

This classic story has sold over 1.7 million copies since its initial release in 2003. Now, your middle grader can experience this post-apocalyptic best seller as a stunning graphic novel, illustrated in all the eerie light and darkness it depicts.

The City of Ember is a gripping tale of kids vs. the world, of light vs. darkness, of future vs. the past. Start your middle-grade reader on a graphic novel adventure they’ll never forget.


Your middle grader will love this graphic novel if they love…

  • Apocalyptic stories 
  • Spooky, cinematic illustration
  • Deliciously dark tales with hopeful endings

Literati’s Handpicked Graphic Novels

Your middle grader has read all your book recommendations, and then some. So how do you continue to foster a love of reading for your child, both modern and classic? 

(Trick question.) We can do that for you with monthly book boxes.

A Literati Kids subscription sends five awesome books to your door every month for your middle grader to binge-read (bye-bye, screens!). Our book clubs for kids deliver books that are carefully curated to be beautiful, entertaining, educational, and endlessly diverse. Best of all, you only keep the books your child wants to keep.

Ready to continue the adventure? Sign up your middle grade reader for Literati’s Club Phoenix!

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