Here in the Ossining Public Library Children’s Room, we know graphic novels are a great medium of expression, and that their combination of text and sequential art is capable of presenting stories in a way other formats can’t. Historically, comics haven’t gotten the same respect as other forms of art, with critics often considering them to be trivial and mindless, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Over the past 100 years comics have grown both in the depth of their content and the width of the topics they cover. A graphic novel won the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award for children’s literature, for the first time in 2020, showing that this excellent storytelling medium is finally starting to get the respect it deserves.
We love our graphic novel section in the Ossining Public Library, and want you to love it, too. Here are some popular titles from our collection that show off the breadth of what these expressive books have to offer.
Dav Pilkey’s Dogman is probably the most popular graphic series we have at the Ossining Public Library. It’s a light-hearted romp with lots of one-liners and puns. Silly to the extreme, Dogman gets kids who might otherwise stay away from books excited about reading.
All of Raina Telgemeier’s books are incredibly well-loved here, but Smile edges out the rest in terms of popularity. This completely relatable story about life, school, and dental procedures will take you through the full spectrum of emotions.
For more stories of school age drama try Awkward by Svetlana Chamkova, Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson, and Best Friends by Shanon Hale.
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales brings American History to life with illustration, personification, and humor. Often a difficult topic to make interesting, Hale’s books, beginning with One Dead Spy, make the heroics and tragedies of the past feel more real and important than textbooks do.
Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi, is a surreal fantasy epic that has had hundreds of circulations here in the OPL Children’s Room. Set in an alien world with its own rich history and cultures, Amulet is a chaotic adventure story filled with mystery and held together by a family’s love.
If comic strips are more to your liking, Phoebe and Her Unicorn might be just what you’re looking for. Filled with the hilarious jokes you expect, author Dana Simpson also has a way of making you think about the important things.
In that same vein, the classic strips of Calvin and Hobbes are timeless, both for their irreverent humor and explorations of imagination.
As mentioned earlier, Jerry Craft’s New Kid broke boundaries when it won the Newbery Medal. This school story about a child of color at an elite and overwhelmingly white school shows off one of the many diverse voices found in the graphic novel medium.
There are some great graphic novel adaptations of prose novels as well, like Rick Riodran’s The Lightning Thief and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
If you’re interested in manga and looking for a place to begin, Yotsuba&! is a great place to start. The main character’s limitless energy and hilarious naivete have a way of putting a smile on your face, no matter your mood.
This is only a small sample of the huge range of graphic novels we have waiting for you in the Ossining Public Library. Feel free to come during our browsing hours to check out our full collection! If you want some recommendations, try out our Book Bundle service or stop by and ask a librarian.