I invited my upper elementary school kid to write this week’s blog post. She loves to read graphic novels and has racked up a collection of favorites. I thought it would be fun to have her share a few of her favorites by POC authors or about disabilities. I limited her to five of her favorite graphic novels, otherwise, this blog post would be three times as long. Stay tuned for future posts with updated recommendations from her.
The below text is from my kid with light editing for clarity. She handwrote the post and I typed it up for her. My notes are in italics to round out her writing.
This book is about a girl named Maggie who loves RPG [role playing games] and figures out she has OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder].
This book is about a group of kids who help a little kid and her mom.
The book also explores the diversity within the Latino/Latinx community. A diverse group of Latino middle school students are sent to the cafeteria to fulfill community service hours. Through their time together they learn about each other and learn how to help others.
This book is about two kids name Kita and Kanna who are mages but the king banned magic so they have to do it secret.
This is one of her favorite books. A bit of fantasy and science fiction, but not too much to keep it relatable. My kid hopes this book becomes a series.
This book is about a girl named Sophie who is awesome at magic and goes to live with her grandma to help her get better.
This book is good. It is about a prince named Sebastian who likes to wear dresses in secret.
My kid’s teacher loves graphic novels as much as my kid. Her teacher handed her this book during independent reading time and it became a favorite. This is a good book to introduce gender fluidity and acceptance.
Erin’s Bonus Recommendations
I’ll throw in a few of my favorite middle grade graphic novels.
My kid would probably argue this isn’t a graphic novel, but more of a reading book with pictures. In any case, the story is thoughtful, delightful, and funny as you follow Portico Reeves through several adventures. It also introduces what it is like to live with anxiety (mental health/disability) and working through ‘the frets.’
This is an oldie but goodie recommendation. Superman Smashes the Klan was one of the first graphic novels I read that sucked me back into graphic novels for middle grades. Gene Yuen weaves historical fiction (WWII anti-Japanese sentiment) with superhero charisma. My older kid enjoyed this too and introduced his middle school friends to the book.
I hope you find a few fun books to share with middle-grade readers or maybe for yourself. If you liked these recommendations hit the like button and we’ll see about bringing back my kid to share more of her recommendations.
Why I wrote this: To share diverse books for middle grade readers. There are many book lists out there but middle-grade lists are sometimes a little harder to find.
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I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawai’i; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice-based relations.