Graphic Novels for Teens

Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Graphic Violence
Kind of an odd question but here goes. My wife is a teacher for teens with challenges - mostly emotional ones. She helps them keep up with studies while they are getting help for these needs. One of her students asked about reading Watchmen - he had seen the movie. I hesitated to say that was a good idea, she's going to read it more herself to get a better idea - but part of me remembers reading Stephen King in high school and they are certainly close in content.

She thought that graphic novels might be nice for them to have since they do a fair amount of free reading and they are usually fairly quick reads and are a nice escape from the setting they are in. I did give her my copy of Runaways vol 1 and may give her a few others I have after read them over again for content. But in the meantime what would be some good books to pick up to keep in a classroom setting like that - where teens need a bit of escapism, nothing heavy handed or hugely emotional, and that generally avoid touchy things like rape, suicide, heavy drug use, etc.

Lindsay Lohan on

Posts

  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Ultimate Spider-Man.

    Antimatter on
  • TexiKenTexiKen talk about a hole in one Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    All-Star Superman would be perfect, as it has one scene that is really touching and should get through to those at that age with emotional problems.

    Ultimate Spider-Man is good as well.

    TexiKen on
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'd suggest Superman: Birthright, too

    Antimatter on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    How old are the teens? 13-18 covers a rather wide range. Also, are there any hard "no's" in terms of what's allowed on their reading list such as prohibitions against swearing, nudity, and so on?

    If everything was fair game, and I doubt it is, I'd use League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as a means of getting them interested in characters from Victorian literature.

    Also, it'd probably be rather easy to get Maus approved. Serious subject matter, but presented with non-graphic imagery that allows you to focus on the events on a deeper emotional and intellectual level rather than a purely visceral level.

    I also feel they'd be able to relate to the themes of alienation and frustration found in Ghost World, Summer Blonde, or Black Hole.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yup - between 13 - 18 - not every book for every kid obviously - more a library of available stuff to go with the normal free reading books. I wouldn't say anything is off limits for content like brief nudity, language or violence - but I would just avoid some of the topics I listed out of respect of what some of them have been through. This is in a psych hospital so she's not bound strictly by a classroom setting.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • TexiKenTexiKen talk about a hole in one Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The Justice League International trades from the 80's, that would be good for them. Humor with superheroes, with some action mixed in.

    X-Men First Class is another good series that is action packed but lighthearted, the same with Marvel Adventures Avengers and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man. All three of those series have lots of trades readily available.

    TexiKen on
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Oh, Bone would be fantastic
    why didn't I think of that sooner?

    Antimatter on
  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    DC: The New Frontier
    Blue Beetle (current series) v.1-4
    Young Avengers
    Superman: Birthright
    Superman: Secret Identity
    Superman: For All Seasons

    Garlic Bread on
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Oh yeah, I Kill Giants (a fantasy meets reality story about a young girl who's more equipped to handle giants than social difficulties and a family tragedy) and Local (slice of life stories that, in varying degrees, follow a teenage girl as she drifts from town to town trying to find a comfortable place in the world) are also good.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    why not Runaways... would that be bad for kids with problems

    Quoth on
  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Quoth wrote: »
    why not Runaways... would that be bad for kids with problems

    he said he gave her Runaways vol. 1!

    Garlic Bread on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Many of the Minx books are actually really good, and would probably be well-received by teen girls; most notably New York Four, The PLAIN Janes, Janes in Love, Emiko Superstar, and Water Baby. They all deal with relationships between parents and their children, romance, and growing up to find your place in the world.

    The Hopeless Savages series might be suitable. It deals with the children of two aging rockstars, and while it's been a while since I read them, I don't think there are any really any terribly overt references to sensitive subjects.

    Banana Sunday's a ton of fun, and again would probably be something young girls would really like, as it stars a teen girl and takes place largely in a high school setting.

    Gunnerkrigg Court's really good. While often called Harry Potter for girls, there's quite a bit more to it than that. You can read it for free online too, so you can see what you get before you buy it.

    Amulet by Kazu Kibishi's good for boys and girls, and has kind of a Disney feel to it. It's kind of the old kids-fall-into-a-magical-world story, but it's really well told and beautifully drawn.

    The Artemis Fowl comics, which are comic adaptations of the novels, are really well done, and would probably appeal equally to boys and girls, as it features both fairies and magic, and tanks and heavy armament.

    Usagi Yojimbo's a great all-ages comic, has won numerous awards, and contains a lot of historically accurate information about Japan.

    Hope that helps.

    Munch on
  • Chomp-ChompChomp-Chomp Shonen Princess Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I throw in Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston-Major. It's set in high school and focuses on a group of friends, with good female leads. No super-powers or anything, but neat idealized art and interesting relationships. Oh, and every couple of pages there is a note on what music fits the scene. Neat idea, and decent music from what I recall.

    Spiderman Loves Mary Jane is pretty awesome too, since everybody is familiar with Spidey. It's got a manga-like art style, which might be a bonus.

    If all this cutesy relationship stuff doesn't fit the bill; Sandman. It's the kind of crazy-go-nuts book that might appeal to somebody who feels a bit out of normal social circles.

    It's wild, and has some questionable material... but they've already seen Watchmen and somebody recommended League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [in which a man is eaten and raped... or raped and eaten, If forget the order].

    Chomp-Chomp on
  • MastaPMastaP Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    If these kids are around 16, then yeah, Sandman

    MastaP on
  • NogsNogs Crap, crap, mega crap. Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    if she wants a way to present classic literature in a graphic novel medium she should check out Marvel's Illustrated line.

    I admit, they aren't as fun as some other things, but it should be a breeze to get approved because these are just graphic novel takes on already literary classics that most everyone agrees are good for people to read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Illustrated

    Nogs on
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  • KyleWPetersonKyleWPeterson Registered User
    edited March 2010
    If it's kids with problems I would really suggest American Born Chinese. You really can't go wrong there as it discusses all kinds of growing pains.

    KyleWPeterson on
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I would second Ultimate Spider-Man and All-Star Superman. Both are pretty bright and show the characters at their best.

    Solar on
  • Corporal CarlCorporal Carl Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Fables? The fairytale world definitely provides escapism; it is nicely drawn; sometimes violent, but very endearing in other places.

    Corporal Carl on
    PSN (PS4-Europe): Carolus-Billius
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Thanks for all the advice - I'll have to throw together an amazon order. I seem to remember a shop around here selling used graphic novels too - I'll have to look into that to save some cash. I actually do have Fables vol 1 and Sandman v 1 too - I forgot about that.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • NogsNogs Crap, crap, mega crap. Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Fables can get

    well

    kinda graphic and sexual. i dunno if its best for a school.


    also Bone

    Bone a million times over

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  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Kids gotta learn about cocksmanship sometime.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • TexiKenTexiKen talk about a hole in one Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, Fables also has characters dying but coming back to life, and sometimes dying in pretty disturbing ways (I'm thinking of Goldilocks off the top of my head, ha!).

    TexiKen on
  • NFNTRobinNFNTRobin Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Hello all!

    I just wanted to point out the many, many resources for getting graphic novels for school settings and for collections like this. I review comics, graphic novel, and manga as a Teen Librarian, so I do a lot of work with this stuff. To point out a few great resources for starting lists:

    The Great Graphic Novels for Teens List, compiled annually, and for teens 13-18 (so the maturity range is all over that range)
    http://www.ala.org/yalsa/ggnt

    I also often write for a group blog on School Library Journal called Good Comics for Kids, but we create lists for everyone from toddlers up through teens. There are many reviews up there, and many recommended reading lists:
    http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/540000654.html

    FYI, on the previous suggestions, just from my own work with teens:
    Minx titles are often good, but they haven't been terribly popular in my library, even with teenage girls. You might check out some manga titles to appeal to girls (after all, they have a whole category devoted to titles for teen girls) and some recent suggestions would include Sand Chronicles, Translucent, and the more teen romance centric High School Debut. For guys, have them check out Slam Dunk, or even better Real by Takehiko Inoue, Kekkaishi, and Matt Loux's many great titles (Sidescrollers and Salt Water Taffy for the younger teens).

    I heartily second the recommendations for Bone, Ultimate Spider-Man, Blue Beetle, Banana Sunday, Gunnerkrigg Court, I Kill Giants, American Born Chinese, and Young Avengers. These all go out pretty much nonstop in my collection. Our most popular titles, and that I would recommend, include: Naruto (of course), Bleach, Case Closed (a mystery manga series that's been a surprise hit, actually), various Batman titles, Daredevil, Batgirl, Death Jr., Japan Ai, Creature Tech and Monster Zoo, and Chris Schweizer's Crogan's Adventure series.

    As for Fables and Watchmen and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -- all of them have content that make it debatable that they're appropriate for teen collections. Teens will of course find them and read them, and should when they're ready, but it's a tough sell for any of these to be in a teen collection and especially in a school (where content can cause a lot more concerns than it might in a public library collection.) And if they're being given to the students by a teacher, rather than just being available in a school collection, that is often cause for more scrutiny and potentially more problems (although certainly one hopes that will never happen.) We have all of those titles in my library, but in our adult collection, and I think that's where they best belong. They were all, after all, written for adults and star adult characters, so while they're great, they may not be the best selections for a teen school collection. Feel free to argue, of course. :)

    Hope this helps!

    Robin B.

    NFNTRobin on
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