Best Graphic Novels in the Upper Elementary Classroom

Do you have reluctant readers in your classroom?  You know, those kiddos who pretend to read but never really finish a book.  Those kids who just don't love reading (YET)?  Graphic Novels may be the answer that turns those non-readers into the readers they're meant to be!!!!

When I call off our 'status of the class' check in - these kids always list off a different book. (For more about keeping track of your readers with 'status of the class' check out this blog post HERE.)

You know who they are.  They're in every classroom and by 5th grade they've gotten really good at NOT reading.  These kids become my ultimate challenge every year.  And I LOVE a good competition.  Reading is such a passion of mine and I just HAVE to spread that joy to my students. But finding each reluctant reader's 'perfect' book is definitely tough.  In the past, it would take me months and months and hundreds of books to get every reader in my class hooked.

Then the graphic novel made its debut.........

Last year I slowly began purchasing (through Scholastic and Amazon) a few graphic novels for our classroom library.  I noticed right away books like Smile and Sisters and El Deafo were 'hot commodities' and even my reluctant readers were picking them up - without my help!!!  Ding, ding ding!!!!! Can you feel my excitement?!?  So of course I had to purchase a few more, and a few more, until ALL of my reluctant readers were reading and reading and reading.  Goal accomplished!


What is it that makes the graphic novel so appealing to reluctant readers?  After reading several myself my predictions are: the ability to rely heavily on picture cues, less text per page, quicker reads, thickness (all reluctant readers want to read the thickest books right?!?), and great, relevant story lines!

It took me almost two years to build up our graphic novel collection and I want to share our favorite titles with you so you won't have to agonize over book orders and book stores like I did.  Who am I kidding? - book orders and book stores are two of my most favorite things in the world :)

Here are room 206's recommendations for the best graphic novels of 2015!


(Be careful with Drama - some mature content involved - better for middle school audiences and above.)




(We recommend ALL of the Nathan Hale Hazardous Tales graphic novel series.)

Enjoy!!  And I hope your readers fall in love with reading graphic novels as much as mine have!


  1. Thank you so much! I have been looking for a list like this and appreciate the time you spent finding all of these! ~Linda

  2. I love this post! My students have been LOVING graphic novels this year, so this list it helpful. The biggest hit so far has been El Deafo. I cannot keep my copies on the shelf! You've got your newest follower :)

    Maegan @ Elementary Brown-ies


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