Graphic Novel Recommendations for 3rd -5th: 12 Must-Reads

Do you know what the coolest thing about graphic novels is? They weave captivating tales with eye-catching illustrations, ensuring that your readers will be hooked! These books are more than just stories – they’re a gateway to far-off lands and new dimensions. I have something special lined up just for you. I’ve gathered the most popular graphic novels, both fiction and nonfiction, that are absolutely perfect for your 3rd – 5th graders. They have everything from epic quests that’ll keep everyone on the edge of their seats to heartwarming stories. These graphic novel recommendations will take your young learners on incredible adventures they’ll cherish forever.

Why Should I Include Graphic Novels in My Collection?

Graphic novels are the ultimate blend of storytelling and illustrations. They’re a magical mashup of words and art that creates an exciting reading experience like no other! It’s like reading a comic book but with deeper stories and character development that’ll leave your readers in awe.

These visual wonders unleash creativity and spark the imagination of your students!

As they dive into colorful worlds and follow brave heroes on epic quests, they’re not just reading. They’re living those adventures in their minds!

Plus, graphic novels are fantastic confidence boosters for reluctant readers.

Some kids might feel overwhelmed by mountains of text, but graphic novels come to the rescue! With their eye-catching artwork and bite-sized chunks of text, they’ll feel like reading champs in no time.

Not to mention, these gems promote critical thinking and visual literacy skills. As your students follow the story through images, they’re decoding visual cues, understanding emotions, and connecting the dots.

Lastly, graphic novels are a power-packed combo of fun, learning, and imagination! They’ll captivate your students’ hearts, nurture their love for books, and make reading an adventure.

I explain all about the benefits of graphic novels in my post, Benefits of Graphic Novels: Explore the Power of Visual Storytelling.

Fiction Graphic Novel Recommendations – Stand Alones

Fiction graphic novels are an absolute goldmine for young readers! These visual wonders immerse kids in thrilling adventures and fantastical worlds that fuel their imaginations. Fiction graphic novels stealthily nurture critical thinking and comprehension skills. Embracing these gems unlocks a world of wonder, excitement, and a lifelong love for reading.

1. Clementine Fox and the Great Island Adventure

Get ready for the enchanting “Clementine Fox and the Great Island Adventure” by Leigh Luna! Follow clever Clementine as she discovers a mysterious map. She sets off on an epic quest to the Great Island with her diverse group of animal friends.

This heartwarming graphic novel is packed with bravery, teamwork, and life lessons. All beautifully brought to life by Leigh Luna’s magical illustrations. Join Clementine and her friends in facing challenges and learn the value of friendship and individual strengths.

2. Squished

You’re in for a treat with “Squished: A Graphic Novel” by Megan Wagner Lloyd! The story is all about a quirky and imaginative girl named Willow. She’s on a mission to save her favorite tree from being chopped down!

But hold on; there’s a twist – the treehouse community where she lives is in danger too! Armed with her trusty notebook, Willow embarks on an adventure that’s packed with creativity, friendship, and some serious problem-solving skills. With its delightful illustrations and heartwarming storytelling, “Squished” is full of emotions. Not only is it a celebration of the power of community, but also for standing up for your beliefs.

3. Mighty Jack

Our next graphic novel recommendation is “Mighty Jack” by Ben Hatke. Follow Jack, a kid who gets roped into a crazy adventure when he trades his mom’s car for mysterious seeds.

But guess what? Those seeds are no ordinary beans – they’re magical! When they sprout into a crazy garden filled with incredible creatures, Jack’s world is turned upside down!

With the help of his spunky sister and a quirky dragon, they dive into a world of danger and friendship.

They find themselves in epic battles against giants and other foes! Ben Hatke’s awesome illustrations and storytelling make “Mighty Jack” a real page-turner that’ll leave you wanting more!

4. Real Friends

Time to dive into the heartfelt and relatable world of “Real Friends” by Shannon Hale! We all know how crazy those elementary years can be.

This graphic novel follows Shannon’s journey through the ups and downs of friendship. From navigating the complexities of social circles to dealing with mean girls and finding her true squad, Shannon’s story will hit you right in the feels.

With Shannon’s witty and honest storytelling and charming illustrations, you’ll laugh, cry, and cheer for her.

“Real Friends” is a touching and powerful reminder of the value of true friendship. It reminds us that being yourself is the best thing you can ever be.

Fiction Graphic Novel Recommendations – Series

1. The Bad Guys Series

Let me introduce you to the hilarious and action-packed world of “The Bad Guys” series by Aaron Blabey! These graphic novels are about a bunch of not-so-bad bad guys – Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Piranha.

They are on a mission to turn their bad reputation around and do good deeds instead! From rescuing kittens to saving the day, this motley crew embarks on wild adventures.

You’ll be laughing out loud and cheering for their unconventional heroics. With quirky characters, witty humor, and fantastic illustrations, “The Bad Guys” is an absolute blast!

2. Dog Man Series

Oh boy, get ready to meet the most pawsome hero in town – it’s “Dog Man” by Dav Pilkey! This graphic novel series is about a half-dog, half-human officer with a nose for justice and a heart of gold. Dog Man is here to save the day and make you giggle along the way!

Joined by his friends, Li’l Petey and Chief, they tackle villains, solve mysteries, and spread a whole lot of laughter. With Dav Pilkey’s signature humor and illustrations, “Dog Man” is a total page-turner that’ll have you howling with joy!

3. Amulet Series

Look no further; the “Amulet” series by Kazu Kibuishi is an epic graphic novel series that is mesmerizing! Brace yourself for an extraordinary adventure filled with magic, mystery, and illustrations that’ll leave you spellbound.

Follow siblings Emily and Navin as they embark on a breathtaking journey through a fantastical world.

They’ll encounter strange creatures and uncover ancient secrets along the way. With each book in the series, the stakes get higher and the plot thickens.

4. I Survived Graphic Novel Series

Get ready to revisit the familiar thrilling adventures we know with the “I Survived” graphic novel series by Lauren Tarshis! It’s a ride through some of history’s most gripping and harrowing moments.

Join brave young characters as they face real-life disasters like the Titanic sinking and the eruption of Mount St. Helens!

As Lauren Tarshis weaves history and fiction together, readers will be on the edge of their seats. Pages will continuously be flipping to see how these resilient kids overcome unimaginable challenges.

With powerful storytelling and illustrations, “I Survived” is a must-read series that’ll transport you back in time. It makes history come alive in the most exhilarating way!

Nonfiction Graphic Novel Recommendations

1. When Stars Are Scattered

“When Stars Are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed is one of our more eye-opening graphic novel recommendations!

In this heartwarming graphic novel, we learn about the true story of Omar and his younger brother, Hassan.

As they navigate life in a refugee camp in Kenya, they learn resilience, love, and hope in the face of challenges.

As they dream of a better future, they find strength in their bond as brothers.

With authentic storytelling, “When Stars Are Scattered” is a powerful reminder of the resilience that shines even in the darkest of times.

2. Human Body Theater

As you read “Human Body Theater” by Maris Wicks, you will go on an incredible, educational, and downright fun-filled journey.

This extraordinary graphic novel is like a backstage pass to your own body. While you journey, you’ll meet a lively cast of characters – organs, cells, and systems. In order to keep you ticking, they all need to work together in harmony! While Maris Wicks is your guide, you’ll be taken on an interactive tour of the human body. You’ll learn fascinating facts and secrets along the way.

3. History Comics Series

Time travel truly exists with this graphic novel recommendation! “History Comics” is an epic graphic novel series that makes history super exciting and engaging!

Each installment takes you on a wild ride through historical events, from ancient civilizations to modern revolutions.

With talented writers and illustrators, “History Comics” brings historical figures to life. Each one paints a vivid picture of the past like never before!

4. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales Series

To make history more entertaining, check out the thrilling and hilarious ride with “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales.”

During this epic graphic novel series, the reader follows Nathan Hale, the famous American spy. While he recounts captivating historical events, he adds a dash of humor and adventure.

From the Revolutionary War to the Wild West, each tale has fascinating facts, quirky characters, and daring escapades!

With witty storytelling and dynamic illustrations, “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales” makes learning history an absolute joy for kids and adults!

Open the World of Reading to All Readers with Graphic Novels

While this list is just the beginning, know that tons of incredible graphic novels are out there. They are ready to be explored by our adventurous young readers! We’ve journeyed through some epic graphic novel recommendations that’ll have 3rd – 5th graders hooked from cover to cover! Whether they’re diving into fantastical fiction or exploring the real-world wonders of nonfiction, these graphic novels are portals to learning and imagination! Graphic novels are truly a powerful tool for captivating all of our readers.

Have younger readers you’d like to introduce graphic novels to? For graphic novel recommendations for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade, make sure to take a look at my post, Graphic Novels for Elementary Readers – Picture Perfect Picks.

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Remember to pin this to your favorite teacher Pinterest board when you need graphic novel recommendations to add to your library!

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