Looking for new comic recommendations? Try CCPL’s online media service, Hoopla, where you can check out books without having to wait. Below are ten titles to get you started.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
After experiencing some hearing loss around the age of four, Cece has somewhat grown used to being different. She cannot hear the music her friends play and people tend to yell at her, which only makes hearing harder. When she starts school with her new, powerful hearing device, the Phonic Ear, however, Cece is terrified. Will she ever fit in? This story, based on the author’s own life, chronicles Cece’s ups and downs as she tries to make friends, interact with her crush, and find her place. Both humorous and moving, El Deafo is sure to win over readers.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks dreams of attending art school. Instead, his parents have enrolled him in a fancy prep school. He not only has to make new friends, but also worries that he will no longer have anything in common with his old ones. Navigating middle school has never been easy, but Jordan approaches life with an eye for detail and a sense of humor. He chronicles his new adventures through comics, trying to make sense of it all. A compelling start to a new series, perfect for readers who enjoy character-driven stories focused on self-discovery. Winner of the Newbery Medal.
Batman: Overdrive by Shea Fontana
Fifteen-year-old Bruce Wayne is driven to discover the real culprit behind his parent’s deaths, and desperate to connect with them by restoring his dad’s old beloved muscle car. When his investigations lead him into trouble, however, he will need his friends to remind him that his life lies before him–not in the past. An action-packed story that still feels character-driven, focusing on how Bruce Wayne found himself before becoming Batman. Perfect for readers unfamiliar with DC’s Batverse.
DC Super Hero Girls: Finals Crisis by Shea Fontana
Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Katana, and Bumblebee are all attending school together and learning how to use their powers. Their struggles and triumphs teach them that friendship and teamwork are part of what it takes to become a true hero. A great way to introduce younger readers to DC characters.
The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale
Nathan Hale is known for his humorous takes on parts of history, many of them little known. The Underground Abductor focuses on the life of Harriet Tubman, both before and after her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Hale makes history come to life with his keen sense of comedic timing and his deep understanding of what makes middle school audiences connect with a story. Who knew history could be so fun?
Diana: Princess of the Amazons by Shannon and Dean Hale
Diana used to love being the only child on the island of Themyscira. The women adored her and she could do no wrong. Now that she is growing up, however, Diana feels like she can do nothing right. Feeling lonely, she creates a new friend out of sand–and her friend comes to life! When her friend starts causing mischief, however, Diana will have to decide whose side she is on. This is a twist on the popular middle school friendship story, featuring a superhero before she finds her powers. Readers who enjoy the works of Raina Telgemeier and Jennifer Holm will find a new heroine to root for in Diana.
Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn
Cassandra Cain was trained by her father to be an assassin, but is trying to escape. She thinks Batgirl could help her, but Batgirl has been missing for years. It is time for Cassandra to take up where Batgirl left off, if only she can let go of her self-doubt. This fast-paced adventure, written for young teens, serves as a perfect introduction to a new Batgirl for readers not entirely familiar with DC comics. However, fans of DC will also enjoy a new take on Batgirl’s origin story lead by a sympathetic heroine.
Positively Izzy by Terri Libenson
Izzy loves acting, but has trouble focusing in school. Bri gets good grades, but wishes her classmates could see her other talents. On the night of a school talent show, their lives intertwine–hopefully making middle school just a little bit easier. This coming-of-age tale about two girls trying to navigate friends and family will appeal to fans of Raina Telgemeier and Shannon Hale.
The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp
Barbara Gordon is at the Arkham Center for Independence, trying to put her life back together after being paralyzed by a bullet. She believes that her puzzle solving days are over. But, when children begin to go missing from the center, Barbara cannot help but try to solve the mystery. This dark graphic novel, marketed towards teens, focuses on Barbara’s self-discovery, before she becomes the superhero Oracle. Creepy stories told by another patient intertwine with the secrets of the center, creating a tale perfect for those looking for something for something just a little bit edgy.
Dewdrop by Katie O’Neill
Dewdrop the axolotl is excited for the annual pond sports fair, but his friends are getting worried. Mia the turtle knows she is not the best athlete, Neman the newt has writer’s block for his song, and three minnows think their regular cooking will not be good enough for the event. It is up to Dewdrop to remind his friends that they are already enough. This gentle story, told in calming pastels, is a feel-good read that celebrates the affirming power of friendship, and the triumphs that arise from simply doing one’s best. Perfect for readers looking for a short, uplifting read.