Graphic novels continue to gain in popularity with boys AND girls. Many graphic novels for girls address the challenges of friendships, popularity, and social blunders. Everyone’s favorite is Raina Telgemeier with her fun, colorful illustrations. Once all of her books are exhausted, give a few of these others a try.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Telgemeier is the queen of graphic novels. Smile is semi-autobiographical. At age 12 Raina gets braces to correct her overbite then trips and knocks out her two front teeth. Over the next four years Raina’s smile is at the mercy of surgeons and orthodontists. Through it all she must face the social challenges of adolescence. Other books include Drama, Sisters, Ghosts and The Baby-sitters Club.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
When Astrid joined the junior roller derby team, she had no idea it would be so hard. She had no idea her best friend would find a new friend. Though she thinks about quitting, she sticks it out and soon makes a new friend on the team. Before she knows it, she’s dying her hair and fitting in. Great coming of age story about the trials and tribulations of junior high and trying to figure out who you are.
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
11-year-old Imogene and her family are actors at the Florida Renaissance Fesitival. Imogene has decided to forego homeschooling in favor of middle school. Fitting in is harder than she thought it would be. She gets noticed by the popular group, but holding that status means changing who she is, keeping her family’s job a secret, and shunning the unpopular girl. What would a knight do?
Real Friends by Shannon Hale
Real Friends is semi-autobiographical. When Shannon starts Kindergarten she becomes best friends with Adrienne. By 2nd grade it’s clear that Jen is the girl everyone wants to be friends with, including Adrienne. Shannon manages to stay on the fringe. By 5th grade it’s clear that the other Jen wants her out. Maybe it’s time to form her own group.
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm
It’s 1976 and 10-year-old Sunny is spending the summer in Florida at her grandfather’s retirement community while her parent’s deal with her brother’s addictions. She finds a friend in the groundskeeper’s son and together they try to defeat boredom. On the side, she accompanies her grandfather to early bird dinners and sleeps on a hide-a bed.
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
On her first day of school, Penelope unwittingly gets noticed when she stumbles and a science club geek picks up her books. She shoves him to recover her pride, then immediately regrets it. She finds her niche in the art club, then learns that the art club and science club are in competition for the last table at the club fair. As if she didn’t feel bad enough about pushing Jamie, now she has to defeat him in the competition.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
While skipping rocks, Phoebe accidentally knocks a unicorn out of a trance as it stands captivated by its reflection. In gratitude, the unicorn grants a wish. Phoebe wishes for the unicorn to be her best friend. Unfortunately, no one else can see the unicorn because of its shield of boringness, so instead of making her popular, the kids think she’s weirder than ever.
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatka
When Zita and her friend Joseph discover a hole in the ground with a meteoroid inside, things are about to get crazy. Inside the meteoroid is a device with a button. Zita pushes it and Joseph gets yanked through a portal to another world. Zita follows and with the help of some friendly alien creatures, sets out to rescue Joseph.
The Babysitters’ Club by Raina Telgemeier and Others
This is an adaptation of the popular Ann Martin books from the 1980s. A group of girls decide to join together to form a babysitting business. They not only tackle kids, but the challenges of being a teenager. Dealing with parents, siblings, school and health issues.