Banned Books Week 2014 : Comics and Graphic Novels

Every year the last week of September is designated as Banned Books Week, and this year the focus is on graphic novels and comics.

An excellent resource for librarians and teachers who want to use graphic novels and comics in their schools is the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, or CBLDF. Check out their website for information on why comics are banned, the history of comics censorship, tools for librarians, and more.

To celebrate the theme of this year’s Banned Books Week, check out these new graphic novels and comics for K-12 students.


Cast Away on the Letter A Comics Squad Recess El Deafo Graveyard Book 1 Graveyard Book 2 Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth

Cast Away on the Letter A : A Philemon Adventure by Fred. 9781935179634. Gr 3-5.

A young farm boy falls into a well and ends up on an A-shaped island—the “A” of Atlantic Ocean.

Comics Squad : Recess! edited by Jennifer L. & Matt Holm. 9780385370042. Gr 2-5.

Includes eight comics about recess by various artists, including some popular characters and introducing some new ones.

El Deafo by Cece Bell. 9781419710209. Gr. 4-6.

As a result of an illness when she was four, Bell lost much of her hearing. This graphic novel is her funny and touching memoir of the difficulties of making friends in school while she needed to wear a large hearing aid on her chest.

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel : 1 (9780062194817); The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel : 2 (9780062194831) by Neil Gaiman. Gr 4-7.

The two-volume series based on Gaiman’s book about a boy who lives in a graveyard.

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Zack Giallongo. 9781626721012. Gr 2-5.

After the zoo closes its gates at night, the animals come out to stage elaborate productions. Tonight’s show is Shakespeare’s Macbeth!


Barbarian Lord Hansel and Gretel Lost Hero Graphic Novel Shackleton Antarctic Odyssey Sisters

Barbarian Lord by Matt Smith. 9780547859064. Gr 7-10.

Barbarian Lord has been cheated out of his lands by trickery. He plots revenge and is determined to regain his home…if he can beat the ghouls, monsters, and bad poets that stand in his way.

Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman. 9781935179627. Gr 5-8.

Gaiman’s dark version of this fairy tale, with art by Lorenzo Mattotti.

The Lost Hero : The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan. 9781423162797. Gr 5-8.

A graphic novel of the first book of Riordan’s popular Heroes of Olympus series.

Shackleton : Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi. 9781596434516. Gr 7-10.

An excellent graphic treatment of Shackleton’s famous voyage to Antarctica, the destruction of his ship, and the miraculous survival of the entire crew.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. 9780545540599. Gr 5-8.

Raina and her mother and siblings drive from California to Colorado for a family reunion in this graphic examination of the relationship between her and her sister.


Above the Dreamless Dead I Remember Beirut Shadow Hero Through the woods Tomy a Graphic Memoir

Above the Dreamless Dead : World War I Poetry and Comics by Chris Duffy. 9781626720657. Gr 9-12.

During the bloodbath known as World War I, certain soldier-poets began writing poetry about the senselessness of war. This collection of Trench Poetry, as it is known now, has been combined with illustrations by contemporary cartoonists, who have interpreted these eloquent poems in a dramatic tribute to the soldiers.

I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached. 9781467738224. Gr 7-12.

A graphic memoir of the author’s childhood in Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war, with memories ranging from Kit Kat candy bars to the growing number of bullet holes in the windshield of her mother’s car.

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang. 9781596436978. Gr 8-12.

Gene Luen Yang provides the back story for the first Asian superhero.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. 9781442465954. Gr 9-12.

Includes five horror stories that take place in the woods.

Tomboy : A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince. 9781936976553. Gr 9-12.

Even when she was small, Liz did not like pink or dresses. She did not want to be a princess. She liked comics and other things that were typically liked by boys. But she did not want to be a boy either. Tomboy illustrates her struggle to be comfortable in herself, despite the fact that she didn’t fit in gender stereotypes.


Benny and Penny in Lost and Found (#5) by Geoffrey Hayes. 9781935179641. Gr PK-1.

Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox : 5 : The Carnival by Brigitte Luciani. 9781467742030. Gr 1-3.

Flying Beaver Brothers and the Hot-Air Baboons (#5) by Maxwell Eaton. 9780385754668. Gr 1-4.

The Sound of Thunder (Bigfoot Boy : 3) by J. Torres. 9781894786584. Gr 2-5.

Squish : 6 : Fear the Amoeba by Jennifer L. & Matt Holm. 9780307983039. Gr 2-5.

Amulet : 6 : Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi. 9780545433150. Gr 4-7.

Explorer : 3 : The Hidden Doors by Kazu Kibuishi. 9781419708824. Gr 4-7.

Artemis Fowl : The Opal Deception Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer. 9781423145288. Gr 5-7.

The Rise of Aurora West (Battling Boy : 2) by Paul Pope, J.T. Petty, & David Rubin. 9781626722682. Gr 6-9.