young adult graphic novels

Young adult graphic novels I recommend you to read

These are some of the choices I’d recommend for every teenager to read since they’ve really marked my own late childhood and early adolescence. I wanted for quite a while to write a list of young adult graphic novels, but since my last post, I was busy. The list is not long, it consists of only three entries. But believe me, once you set on the path of reading them, you’ll realize how exhaustive and draining these adolescent problems can be. So, read these young adult graphic novels with caution and good luck!

YA graphic novel 1: Blankets by Craig Thompson

The coming of age story of a young man burdened with small-town life and finding the confidence to express his creative voice. The graphic novel with more than 580 pages published by Faber in 2003. A story of a rigorous childhood marked with fundamentalist Christianity with the lonely, and emotionally unclear adolescence.

Blankets by Craig Thompson young adult graphic novels
Blankets by Craig Thompson

The name of the book that won two Eisner and three Harvey Awards, you guessed it, is Blankets. But for the author blankets express a fundamental part of growing up and accepting change. Time magazine ranked the young adult graphic novel as #1 in its 2003 Best Comics list and #8 in its Best Comics of the Decade.

Major life events happen under blankets, including an event that’s so important for this story – first love and first heartbreak.

Thompson gives a fantastic look into the lives of adolescents we may have forgotten about, and shows us the first temptations, first crises and the process of learning form mistakes and moving on. Thompson’ memoirs create an atmosphere of confusion, emotional pain and isolation that gets eased up for a moment with love. I’d recommend to everyone to get a glimpse into the lives presented in this autobiographic graphic novel.

YA graphic novel 2: Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Another coming of age story, this time following the lives of two best girlfriends in a small town America. Written by Daniel Clowes, the graphic novel was based on his earlier comics. Today we can talk about it as a cult classic, but in 1993 when the first serialized issue came it was a quirky graphic novel with quirky characters. Published in 1997 by Fantagraphics Books in book form. I don’t need to tell you it was a commercial success.

The the young adult graphic novel follows the daily lives of friends Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer. Two high school students marked by their intelligence, cynicism, and commentary on popular and political culture. And their day is aimless, wandering around an unnamed American town. They interact with people while wondering what they will do for the rest of their lives.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes young adult graphic novels
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

It’s a memorable graphic novel, surprisingly honest. In 2001 the novel was adapted into a movie that won a nomination for the for the Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay, written by Clowes and Terry Zwigoff.

YA graphic novel 3: Skim by Mariko Tamaki

A Canadian novel set in the 90s , by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, is just like the previous example. I guess there’s something about the nineties that have yielded such great and memorable books.

Skim by Mariko Tamaki young adult graphic novels
Skim by Mariko Tamaki

The title of the young adult graphic novel describes (not) the main character, a girl that’s not slim, a would-be Wiccan goth that goes to a private Catholic girls’ school. The girls’ name is Kimberly Keiko Cameron aka ‘Skim’.

The event that shakes the equilibrium is told from the perspective of the girl Skim. She hronicles the fall semester in all-girls Catholic school fixated on the suicide of a local boy. The story explores suicide, depression, love, homosexuality, crushes, and cliques of popular, manipulative peers.

It reminds us of the painful adolescence that’s sometimes painful and lonely but ultimately passing.

All in all, these young adult graphic novels are my favorites. If you have some other recommendation please share.

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