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ALA: Core titles list

The Good Comics for Kids team was at the American Library Association meeting in Washington, DC, last weekend, and on Sunday, June 27, we presented a panel titled “Good Comics for Kids.” I’m happy to say that over 100 people attended the hour-and-a-half session and the vast majority stayed until the last question was answered. We handed out a list of core titles at the presentation, and at the request of several people, we are posting them here as well. We have added ISBNs for some titles for your convenience.


Grades K-2

Western Comics
The Adventures of Polo, by Regis Faller. 9781596431607 (Roaring Brook) $17.95
Benny and Penny series by Geoffrey Hayes. (Toon Books) $12.95/each
Benny and Penny in Just Pretend. 9780979923807
Benny and Penny in The Big No-No. 9780979923890
Benny and Penny in The Toy Breaker. 9781935179078
Binky the Space Cat series by Ashley Spires. (Kids Can Press) $16.95
Binky the Space Cat. 9781554533091
Binky to the Rescue. 9781554535026
Captain Raptor series by Kevin O’Malley and Patrick O’Brien. (Walker) $16.95/each
Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery. 9780802789358
Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates. 9780802795717
Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series by Colleen A.F. Venable and Stephanie Yue. (Lerner/Graphic Universe) $27.93/each
Hamster and Cheese. 9780761345985
Johnny Boo series by James Kochalka. (Top Shelf) $9.95/each
The Best Little Ghost in the World. 9781603090131
Twinkle Power. 9781603090155
Happy Apples. 9781603090414
The Mean Little Boy. 9781603090599
Korgi series by Christian Slade. (Top Shelf) $10.00/each
Sprouting Wings. 9781891830907
The Cosmic Collector. 9781603090100
Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith. 9781935179016 (Toon Books) $12.95
Long Tail Kitty by Lark Pien. 9781934706442 (Blue Apple) $14.99
Luke on the Loose by Harry Bliss. 9781935179009 (Toon Books) 12.95
Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox: The Meeting by Brigitte Luciani and Eve Tharlet. 9780761356257 (Lerner/Graphic Universe) $25.26
Owly series by Andy Runton. (Top Shelf) $10.00/each
The Way Home and the Bittersweet Summer. 9781891830624
Just a Little Blue. 9781891830648
Flying Lessons. 9781891830761
A Time to Be Brave. 9781891830891
Tiny Tales. 9781603090193
Sam & Friends Mystery series by Mary Labatt. (Kids Can Press) $16.95/each
Dracula Madness. 9781554534180
Lake Monster Mix-Up. 9781553378228
Mummy Mayhem. 9781554534708
Seadogs: An Epic Ocean Operetta by Lisa Wheeler and Mark Siegel. 9780689856891 (Aladdin) $17.95
Stinky by Eleanor Davis. 9780979923845 (Toon Books) $12.95
There’s a Wolf at the Door by Zoe Alley and R. W. Alley. 9781596432758 (Roaring Brook) $19.99
The Three Little Pigs by David Wiesner. 9780618007011 (Clarion) $16.00

The Big Adventures of Majoko by Tomomi Mizuna. Volumes 1-5 of 5 available in English. (Udon)
Fairy Idol Kanon by Mera Hakamada. Volumes 1-4 of 4 available in English. (Udon)
Ninja Baseball Kyuma by Shunshin Maeda. Volumes 1-3 of 3 available in English. (Udon)
Swans in Space by Lun Lun Yamamoto. Volumes 1-3 of 3 available in English. (Udon)


Grades 3-5

Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost. 9781596433694 (First Second) $12.99
Amazing Greek Myths of Wonders and Blunders by Michael Townsend. 9780803733084 (Dial) $14.99
Max Axiom, Super Scientist series. 22 volumes. (Capstone) $20.99/each
No Girls Allowed: tales of daring women dressed as men for love, freedom, and adventure by Susan Hughes and Willow Dawson. 9781554531783 (Kids Can Press) $8.95
Tail-End Charlie by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom. 9781845076511 (Frances Lincoln) $16.95
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis. 9780374347017 (Farrar Straus Giroux) $18.00

Western Comics
The Adventures of Daniel Boom aka Loud Boy series by D.J. Steinberg and Brian Smith. (Grosset & Dunlap) $6.99/each
Sound Off! 9780448446981
Mac Attack! 9780448446998
Game On! 9780448447001
Grow Up! 9780448447018
The Adventures of Tintin series by Herge. 22 volumes. (Little Brown)
Alison Dare series by J. Torres and J. Bone. (Tundra) $12.99/each
Little Miss Adventures. 9780887769344
Heart of the Maiden. 9780887769351
Amelia Rules series by Jimmy Gownley. (Simon and Schuster) $10.99/each
The Whole World’s Crazy. 9781416986041
What Makes You Happy. 9781416986058
Superheroes. 9781416986065
When the Past is a Present. 9781416986072
The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular. 9781416986089
Archie & Friends All Stars series. (Archie) $9.95/each
Veronica’s Passport. 9781879794436
The Best of Betty’s Diary. 9781879794467
The Cartoon Life of Chuck Clayton. 9781879794481
Betty & Veronica’s Beach Party. 9781879794504
Archie’s Haunted House. 9781879794528
Asterix series by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. 34 volumes. (Orion)
Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm. 12 volumes. (Random House)
Baby-sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier. (Scholastic)
Kristy’s Great Idea. 9780439871655
The Truth About Stacy. 9780439739368
Mary Anne Saves the Day. 9780439885164
Claudia and Mean Janine. 9780439885171
Big Fat Little Lit edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. 9780142407066 (Puffin) $14.99
Bone series by Jeff Smith. 9 volumes. (Scholastic)
The Clouds Above by Jordan Crane. 9781560979098 (Fantagraphics) $16.99
Donald Duck Classics: Quack Up by Carl Barks, et al. 9781608865406 (Boom Kids) $24.99
Ed’s Terrestrials by Scott Christian Sava and Diego Jourdan. 9781600103100 (IDW) $11.99
Elsewhere Chronicles series by Nykko and Bannister. (Lerner) $6.99/each
The Shadow Door. 9780761339632.
The Shadow Spies. 9780761344605.
The Master of Shadows. 9780761344612.
The Calling. 9780761360698.
Fashion Kitty series by Charise Mericle Harper. (Hyperion)
Fashion Kitty. 9780786851348. $6.99
Fashion Kitty versus the Fashion Queen. 9780786837267. $8.99
Fashion Kitty and the Unlikely Hero. 9780786837274. $8.99
G-Man: Learning to Fly by Chris Giarrusso. 9781607060871 (Image) $9.99
Geronimo Stilton graphic novel series. (Papercutz) $9.99/each
The Discovery of America. 9781597071581
The Secret of the Sphinx. 9781597071598
The Coliseum Con. 9781597071727
Following the Trail of Marco Polo. 9781597071888
The Great Ice Age. 9781597072021
Hardy Boys series by Scott Lobdell, Lea Hernandez and Daniel Rendon. 20 volumes. (Papercutz)
Kit Feeny series by Michael Townsend. (Knopf) $5.99/each
On the Move. 9780375856143
The Ugly Necklace. 9780375856150
Knights of the Lunch Table series by Frank Cammuso. (Scholastic) $9.99/each
The Dodgeball Chronicles. 9780439903226
The Dragon Players. 9780439903233
Little Adventures in Oz series by Eric Shanower. (IDW) $9.99/each **new edition**
–Book One. 9781600105890
–Book Two. 9781600106781
Little Lulu series by Marge Buell. 24 volumes. (Dark Horse)
Little Vampire by Joann Sfar. 9781596432338 (First Second) $13.99
Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka. (Knopf) $6.99/each
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. 9780375846830
Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians. 9780375846847
Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta. 9780375860942
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown. 9780375860959
Magic Pickle by Scott Morse. 9780439879958 (Scholastic) $9.99
Magic Trixie series by Jill Thompson. (Harpercollins) $7.99/each
Magic Trixie. 9780061170454
Magic Trixie Sleeps Over. 9780061170485
Magic Trixie and the Dragon. 9780061170508
Meanwhile: pick any path–3,856 story possibilities by Jason Shiga. 9780810984233 (Amulet) $15.95
Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker. 9780545117159 (Scholastic) $10.99
Nancy Drew series by Stephan Petrucha, Sarah Kinney, and Sho Murase. 20 volumes (Papercutz)
Power Pack: The Kids are All Right. 9780785129158 (Marvel) $24.99
Robot City Adventures series by Paul Collicut. (Templar) $8.99/each
City in Peril! 9780763641207
Rust Attack! 9780763645946
Salt Water Taffy series by Matthew Loux. (Oni Press) $5.95/each
The Legend of Old Salty. 9781932664942
–A Climb Up Mt. Barnabas. 9781934964033
The Truth about Dr. True. 9781934964040
Sardine in Outer Space series by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert. 6 volumes. (First Second)
Star Wars Adventures series. (Dark Horse) $7.95/each
Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya. 9781595821980
Princess Leia and the Royal Ransom. 9781595821478
Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes. 9781595823472
Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures series. 10 volumes. (Dark Horse)
Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade by Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones. 9781401225063 (DC Comics) $12.99
Tiny Titans series by Art Baltazar and Franco. (DC Comics) $12.99/each
Welcome to the Treehouse. 9781401220785
Adventures in Awesomeness. 9781401223281
Tiny Tyrant series by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme. (First Second) $9.99/each
The Ethelbertosaurus. 9781596435100
The Lucky Winner. 9781596435230
Transformers Animated series. 13 volumes (IDW) $7.99/each
Warriors graphic novel series by Erin Hunter, et al. (TOKYOPOP) $6.99/each
–Volume One. 9780061240614
–Volume Two. 9780061252310
–Volume Three. 9780061252334
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young. 9780785129219 (Marvel) $29.99
The World of Quest series by Jason Kruse. (Yen Press) $9.99/each
–Volume One. 9780759524026
–Volume Two. 9780759528895

Baron the Cat Returns by Aoi Hiiragi. Volume 1 of 1 available in English. (VIZ)
The Big Adventures of Majoko by Tomomi Mizuna. Volumes 1-5 of 5 available in English. (Udon)
COWA! by Akira Toriyama. Volume 1 of 1 available in English. (VIZ)
Dinosaur Hour by Hitoshi Shioya. Volume 1 of ongoing series available in English. (VIZ)
Dragon Drive by Ken-ichi Sakura. Volumes 1-14 of 14 available in English. (VIZ)
Fairy Idol Kanon by Mera Hakamada. Volumes 1-4 of 4 available in English. (Udon)
Happy Happy Clover by Sayuri Tatsuyama. Volumes 1-5 of 5 available in English. (VIZ)
Leave it to PET by Kenji Sonishi. Volumes 1-4 of 4 available in English. (VIZ)
Ninja Baseball Kyuma by Shunshin Maeda. Volumes 1-3 of 3 available in English. (Udon)
Pokemon Adventures by Hidenori Kusaka. Volumes 1-8 of 10 available in English. (VIZ)
Swans in Space by Lun Lun Yamamoto. Volumes 1-3 of 3 available in English. (Udon)
Yotsuba&! by Azuma Kiyohiko. Volumes 1-8 of ongoing series available in English. (Yen Press)

Amelia’s Notebook series by Marissa Moss. 23 volumes. (Simon and Schuster)
Big Nate in a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce. 9780061944345 (Harper Collins) $12.99
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. (Amulet) $13.95/each
Diary of a Wimpy Kid. 9780810993136
Rodrick Rules. 9780810994737
The Last Straw. 9780810970687
Dog Days. 9780810983915
Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon. (Dial) $12.99/each
Dragonbreath. 9780803733633
Attack of the Ninja Frogs. 9780803733657
Ellie McDoodle series by Ruth McNally Barshaw. (Bloomsbury)
Have Pen, Will Travel. 9781582347455. $11.95
New Kid in School. 9781599902388. $12.99
Frankie Pickle series by Eric Wight. (Simon and Schuster) $9.99/each
Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom. 9781416964841
Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000. 9781416964858
Max Disaster series by Marissa Moss. (Candlewick) $6.99/each
Alien Eraser to the Rescue. 9780763644079
Alien Eraser Unravels the Mystery of the Pyramids. 9780763644086
Alien Eraser Reveals the Secrets of Evolution. 9780763644192
The Popularity Papers: research for the social improvement and general betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow. 9780810984219 (Amulet) $15.95
Spring-Heeled Jack by Philip Pullman and David Mostyn. 9780440418818 (Yearling) $5.99

Grades 6-8

Houdini: the Handcuff King by Jason Lutes and Nick Bertozzi. 9780786839032 (Hyperion) $9.99
Kampung Boy by Lat. 9781596431218 (First Second) $17.95
Olympians series by George O’Connor. (First Second) $9.99/each
Zeus: King of the Gods. 9781596434318
Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess. 9781596434325
Satchel Paige : striking out Jim Crow 0786839007 (Hyperion) $16.99
Smile by Raina Telgemeier. 9780545132053 (Scholastic) $21.99
To Dance: a ballerina’s graphic novel by Siena Cherson Siegel and Mark Siegel. 9780689867477 (Atheneum) $17.95

Western Comics
Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean by Sarah Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle. 9781423113379 (Hyperion) $17.99 **historical fiction**
Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. (Scholastic) $10.99/each
The Stonekeeper. 9780439846813
The Stonekeeper’s Curse. 9780439846837
Artemis Fowl graphic novels by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano. (Hyperion) $9.99/each
Artemis Fowl. 9780786848812
The Arctic Incident. 9781423114079
The Arrival by Shaun Tan. 9780439895293 (Arthur A. Levine) $19.99
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! by Mike Kunkel and Art Baltazar. 9781401222482 (DC Comics) $12.99
City of Spies by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Pascal Dizin. 9781596432628 (First Second) $16.99
Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh. (Oni Press) $11.95/each
Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things. 9781929998609
Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics. 9781929998593
Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom. 9781932664010
Courtney’s Monstrous Holiday. 9781934964118
Crogan Adventure series by Chris Schweizer. (Oni Press) $14.95/each
Crogan’s Vengeance. 9781934964064
Crogan’s March. 9781934964248
A Family Secret by Eric Heuvel. 9780374322717 (Farrar Strauss Giroux) $18.99
Gunnerkrigg Court series by Tom Siddell. (Archaia) $26.95/each
Orientation. 9781932386349
Research. 9781932386776
Kaput & Zosky by Lewis Trondheim. 9781596431324 (First Second) $13.95
Laika by Nick Abadzis. 9781596431010 (First Second) $17.95
Little Rock Nine by Marshall Poe and Ellen Lindner. 9781416950660 (Aladdin) $7.99
Mouse Guard series by David Petersen. (Archaia) $24.95/each
Fall 1152. 9781932386578
Winter 1152. 9781932386745
Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood by Tony Lee and Sam Hart. 9780763643997 (Candlewick) $21.99
Polly and the Pirates by Ted Naifeh. 9781932664461 (Oni Press) $11.95
Rapunzel’s Revenge series by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale. (Bloomsbury)
Rapunzel’s Revenge. 9781599900704. $18.99
Calamity Jack. 9781599900766. $19.99
Resistance, book 1 by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis. 9781596432918 (First Second) $16.99
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon. 9781596431089 (First Second) $16.99
The Search by Eric Heuvel. 9780374365172 (Farrar Strauss Giroux) $18.99
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis. 9781599901428 (Bloomsbury) $18.99
Spiral-Bound by Aaron Renier. 9781891830501 (Top Shelf) $14.95
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. 9780763636180 (Candlewick) $24.99
Usagi Yojimbo series by Stan Sakai. Volumes 1-7 available from Fantagraphics. Volumes 8-24 available from Dark Horse.
The Wizard’s Tale by Kurt Busiek and David Wenzel. 9781600105951 (IDW) $24.99
Wonderland by Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew. 9781423104513 (Disney) $19.99

Beet the Vandel Buster by Riku Sanju. Volumes 1-12 of 12 available in English. (VIZ)
Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP. Volume 1 of 4 available in English. (Dark Horse)
DragonBall Z by Akira Toriyama. Volumes 1-26 of 26 available in English. (VIZ)
From Far Away by Kyoko Hikawa. Volumes 1-14 of 14 available in English. (VIZ)
Goong: The Royal Palace by Park So Hee Volumes 1-8 of 16 available in English (Yen Press)
Hikaru No Go by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata. Volumes 1-19 of 23 available in English. (VIZ)
The Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi. Volumes 1-38 of 42 available in English. (VIZ)
Sandland by Akira Toriyama. Volume 1 of 1 available in English. (VIZ)
Sugar Princess: Skating to Win by Hisaya Nakajo. Volumes 1-2 of 2 available in English. (VIZ)
Sugar Sugar Rune by Moyoco Anno. Volumes 1-8 of 8 available in English. (Del Rey)
Ultra Maniac by Wataru Yoshizumi. Volumes 1-5 of 5 available in English. (VIZ)
Whistle! by Daisuke Higuchi. Volumes 1-24 of 24 available in English. (VIZ)



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–Recommendation only: all titles reviewed in Booklist are recommended for library purchase
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Comics in the Classroom
–Has lesson plans, news, reviews, web comic links, podcasts, and more

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–Monthly email available by free subscription
–Has articles, lesson plans, reviews, news, etc.

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School Library Journal‘s comic book review blog
–Has reviews, roundtable discussions, news articles, links, and more
–Updated almost every day

The Graphic Classroom
–Review blog with extensive and easy to follow information on each title reviewed
–Staff is made up of teachers and librarians

Graphic Novel Reporter
–Website that has reviews, articles, interviews, recommended lists, etc.
–Reviews are broken down by level: kids, teens, adult fiction, adult nonfiction, reference
–Also has email newsletter that comes out every two weeks containing latest information

New York Times Bestseller List
–Three lists: Hardcover Graphic Books, Paperback Graphic Books, and Manga
–Indicates sales from a variety of sources, including bookstores, online stores, and more
–NOT divided by level or reviewed

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–Also contains articles, news, and more
–Print subscriptions start at $136.99/year
–Website includes blogs, articles, and news

VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates
–Review journal for librarians and teachers who work with teens (ages 12-18)
–Has reviews, articles, booklists, and more
–Print subscriptions start at $36.95/year
–Website includes articles, booklists, and information about magazine’s contents

Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.


  1. […] Comics for Kids” at the 2010 American Library Association conference, and handed out a list of core comics now posted at the SLJ website. collection development […]

  2. […] the American Library Association’s “Core Titles” list of good comics for kids. Intimidatingly comprehensive but indispensable. Love how it pays attention to Western and manga […]

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