Graphic Novels for High School

Two graphic novels have come out recently that have really grabbed me with their stories and artwork that I wanted to share them with you. I have also added an interior shot for the two works included that I feel really accurately portray the atmosphere of the stories. I hope the readers that choose to pick these up enjoy them as much as I did.

Mia is a special investigator sent down to a research station six miles below the the ocean’s surface to investigate what is being called an accident that claimed the life of her father.  Once she begins to investigate the accident it becomes clear that this was a murder and people that she has trusted are among the suspects, including her own brother. A mystery deep within the ocean adds a claustrophobic feeling and the mystery will have readers quickly turning the pages to find out the culprit. Mia’s investigation involves her own memories of her brother and her father’s coworkers, so the story switches between the past and what happened in her memories and the current mystery. While investigating it becomes clear to Mia that she needs to be aware of her own safety aboard the research station and also by the many mysterious ocean creatures. Sharlene Kindt’s watercolors make the water and the ocean life come alive in the pages. The Kindt’s have created a compelling story and readers will become invested in finding the murderer.

Dept. H. Volume 1 : Murder Six Miles Deep by Matt Kindt and Illustrations by Sharlene Kindt. 9781616559892. January 2017. Gr 7-12.

Westerfeld is a pretty recognizable name for teen readers and teens may gravitate towards this graphic novel just based on the name recognition alone. If they do grab this one off the shelf they are in for a wild dystopian ride featuring Addie, her camera, and the Spill Zone in her hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York. Three years ago there was a “Spill” event that caused Addie’s entire town to distort reality and caused the death of Addie and Lexa’s parents. As someone who grew up in Poughkeepsie Addie and her sister can live close to the border of the Spill Zone and Addie makes it her job to go into it and take pictures of the town and its anomalies and sell the photographs to whoever can pay, all of which is very illegal.

One her “collectors” reaches out to hear and offers her a large sum of money to break her rules in the Spill Zone and go into one of the buildings to find a piece of equipment. This graphic novel is action packed and a little creepy, but will have readers invested in what happens to Addie. While the Spill Zone isn’t a likely event readers will still feel action as Addie rides  through the streets of the Spill Zone and the cautiousness of walking through a Spill building and avoiding anomalies. I highly recommend this graphic novel for teen readers looking for their next read.

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld and Illustrations by Alex Puvilland. 9781596439368. January 2017. Gr 10-12.


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