I love graphic novel adaptations for kids and adults because they make otherwise thick (and intimidating) books more accessible. This is especially true for non-fiction titles but also for classic fiction, whose yellowed pages or unappealing font could put off younger readers.
If you’ve been wanting to introduce your kids to your favorite classic literature or put your class onto informative non-fiction titles, then you’ll appreciate these graphic novel adaptations for kids.
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20 Great Graphic Novel Adaptations for Kids
Here are 20 awesome graphic novel adaptations for kids:
Spy School (The Graphic Novel)
Published: March 6, 2012
This popular funny middle grade book about an awkward kid recruited for his dream CIA agent job is now available as a graphic novel! The illustrations by Anjan Sarkar retain the action & adventure feel of the story and now readers can put a face to Ben! If your kids love this book or funny spy books in general, they’ll enjoy this one.
Bomb (Graphic Novel)
Published: January 24, 2023
This riveting non-fiction book about the discovery/creation of the atomic bomb is so good! But the graphic novel format makes it even better. Hand to kids who aren’t crazy about non-fiction but can’t resist a good graphic novel — this one will suck them right in.
Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior Graphic Novel (Volume 1)
Published: March 2, 2021
Runt is not a village boy like all the others. Growing carrots doesn’t really interest him and selling them interests him even less. All he wants is to be a warrior! One day, he gathers up all his courage and decides to head off on a journey. He meets a zombie who dreams of being a human, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey. Follow these two unlikely friends as they trek across the Minecraft universe in search of excitement and a little bit of danger—now in graphic novel format.
The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel
Published: June 15, 2021
This classic about a 10-year-old girl who discovers a secret garden is fantastic in graphic novel format. If you enjoyed it as a kid and want to introduce it to your kids, this is the way to go. It’s also one of the great middle grade books on Kindle Unlimited. You can learn more about how Kindle Unlimited works in this post.
The Hobbit (Graphic Novel): An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic
Published: May 29, 2001
While I haven’t read this popular classic, I know many readers who are fans. If you’re in that club, this illustrated format is well worth a look.
Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel
Published: October 24, 2017
This beloved classic is excellent as a graphic novel and has also been made into a TV show (see more books made into movies here). There are so many ways to get kids today into this story about a charming redheaded girl with a big imagination.
Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels: The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, and The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Volume 1)
Published: May 24, 2022
I loved the Enola Holmes movies and this graphic novel packs four of the first stories into one book! 14-year-old Enola Holmes wakes on her birthday to discover that her mother has disappeared from the family’s country manor, leaving only a collection of flowers and a coded message book. With Sherlock and Mycroft determined to ship her off to a boarding school, Enola escapes, displaying a cleverness that even impresses the elder Holmes. But nothing prepares her for what lies ahead…
The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel
Published: January 3, 2023
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.
To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel
Published: October 30, 2018
A haunting portrait of race and class, innocence and injustice, hypocrisy and heroism, tradition and transformation in the Deep South of the 1930s, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird remains as important today as it was upon its initial publication in 1960, during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement.
Now, this most beloved and acclaimed novel is reborn for a new age as a gorgeous graphic novel. Scout, Jem, Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, are all captured in vivid and moving illustrations by artist Fred Fordham.
I Survived Graphic Novels
Published: February 4, 2020
If your kids loved the I Survived books or other middle grade survival stories, they’ll be all over these graphic novels. George Calder must be the luckiest kid alive – he and his little sister, Phoebe, are sailing with their aunt on the Titanic, the greatest ship ever built! George can’t resist exploring every inch of the incredible boat, even if it gets him into trouble.
But one night while George is off exploring, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Soon the impossible is happening: The Titanic is sinking.
George has always gotten out of trouble before. Can he survive this nightmare?
The Giver Graphic Novel (Giver Quartet, 1)
Published: February 5, 2019
Placed on countless reading lists, translated into more than forty languages, and made into a feature film, The Giver is the first book in The Giver Quartet that also includes Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
In this new graphic novel edition, readers experience the haunting story of twelve-year-old Jonas and his seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment, through the brilliant art of P. Craig Russell that truly brings The Giver to life.
Witness Jonas’s assignment as the Receiver of Memory, watch as he begins to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community, and follow the explosion of color into his world like never before.
Animal Farm: The Graphic Novel
Published: September 3, 2019
In 1945, George Orwell, called “the conscience of his generation,” created an enduring, devastating story of new tyranny replacing old, and power corrupting even the noblest of causes. Today it is all too clear that Orwell’s masterpiece is still fiercely relevant wherever cults of personality thrive, truths are twisted by those in power, and freedom is under attack. In this fully authorized edition, the artist Odyr translates the world and message of Animal Farm into a gorgeously imagined graphic novel.
Published: March 12, 2019
More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each other in an epic battle that rewrote history and came to be known as the Trojan War. The Iliad, Homer’s legendary account of this nine-year ordeal, is considered the greatest war story of all time and one of the most important works of Western literature. In this stunning graphic novel adaptation — a thoroughly researched and artfully rendered masterwork — renowned illustrator Gareth Hinds captures all the grim glory of Homer’s epic. Dynamic illustrations take readers directly to the plains of Troy, into the battle itself, and lay bare the complex emotions of the men, women, and gods whose struggles fueled the war and determined its outcome. This companion volume to Hinds’s award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey features notes, maps, a cast of characters, and other tools to help readers understand all the action and drama of Homer’s epic.
Published: October 12, 2010
Fresh from his triumphs in the Trojan War, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, wants nothing more than to return home to his family. Instead, he offends the sea god, Poseidon, who dooms him to years of shipwreck and wandering. Battling man-eating monsters, violent storms, and the supernatural seductions of sirens and sorceresses, Odysseus will need all his strength and cunning—and a little help from Mount Olympus—to make his way home and seize his kingdom from the schemers who seek to wed his queen and usurp his throne. Award-winning graphic artist Gareth Hinds masterfully reinterprets a story of heroism, adventure, and high action that has been told and retold for more than 2,500 years—though never quite like this.
The Tale of Despereaux: The Graphic Novel
Published: October 14, 2008
The Tale of Despereaux tells the story of several unlikely heroes: Despereaux, a brave mouse banished to the dungeon for speaking with a human; Roscuro, a good-hearted rat who loves light and soup, but is exiled to darkness; Pea, a Princess in a gloomy castle who is prisoner to her father’s grief; and Mig, a servant girl who longs to be a Princess, but is forced to serve the jailer. Refusing to live his life cowering, Despereaux befriends Princess Pea and learns to read (rather than eat) books – reveling in stories of knights, dragons and fair maidens. Banished from Mouse World for being more man than mouse, Despereaux is rescued by another outcast, Roscuro, who wants to hear the tales. But when the Princess dismisses Roscuro’s friendship, he becomes the ultimate rat and plots revenge with fellow outsider Mig. After Pea is kidnapped, Despereaux discovers he is the only one who can rescue her.
Creepy Creatures (Goosebumps Graphix)
Published: June 25, 2013
Three of Goosebumps’ creepiest creature books ever!*Now in a cool, new GB Graphix anthology adapted and illustrated by acclaimed comic artists Scott Morse, Greg Ruth, and Gabriel Hernandez.Creepy creatures are howling, growling, and stalking through the artwork of the first Goosebumps Graphix anthology when three hot, talented comic artists adapt these bestselling Goosebumps books into a cool, new graphic novel format:SCOTT MORSE, creator of the popular comic, “The Magic Pickle,” brings his quirky sense of humor and madcap illustrations to “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena,” where two kids encounter an unlikely monster in sunny California.
Jacky Ha-Ha: A Graphic Novel
Published: October 30, 2017
Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she’s a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer — but her parents have other plans for her. Jacky reluctantly signs up for a summer job in her resort town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where tourists come to enjoy the beach and fun carnival atmosphere.
Now she has serious responsibilities like her job and babysitting her younger sisters, but Jacky longs to perform in the summer stock performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Can she handle all of her important commitments and still have fun with her friends — or will she learn that juggling isn’t one of her many talents?
Sweet Valley Twins Graphic Novel
Published: November 1, 2022
I loved the Sweet Valley Twins as a kid and was beyond delighted to hear of this graphic novel adaptation. If you loved the original books, it may not live up to the hype for you, but it will delight a new generation who are big on graphic novels and meeting the girls for the first time.
The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix
Published: April 28, 2015
Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up — cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls — you can count on them to save the day. Baby-sitting isn’t always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.
If your kids can’t get enough of the BSC, here are some Babysitters Club readalikes they can try, besides the graphic novels.
Join Karen on her adventures in Stoneybrook. Whether she’s spying on a neighbor who she thinks is a witch, having roller-skating mishaps, or starting a kittycat club, life with Karen is always exciting! This series is a great graphic novel choice for younger elementary readers ages 6-9.
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There they are: 20 of the best graphic novel adaptations for kids! Which ones have you read and loved? What did I miss?
What do you think? Leave a comment