Kids LOVE graphic novels. They can’t get enough of them. In my 5th grade classroom, graphic novels were always the most popular books in the library. Many kids would reread their favorite ones over and over until they fell apart.
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Here are some great graphic novels starring kids of color, all of these books are written and illustrated by authors and artists of color. These stories range from everyday stories about friendship and school to fantastical stories about mermaids and superheroes.
Your kids will love these excellent graphic novels!
16 Multicultural Graphic Novels for Kids
Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright
Francine and Maureen Carter are twins and best friends, but when they start middle school Fran starts to have new interests. Maureen feels like they are growing apart and she decides to run against Fran for class president. Who will win and will their friendship be repaired?
Measuring Up by Lily Lamotte and Ann Xu
Cici just started at a new school in Seattle and she misses her grandma, A-má, back in Taiwan, but her family can’t afford a visit back for her birthday. Cici decided to enter a kids’ cooking contest to try to win a grand prize and pay for A-má to come visit Seattle. Cici only knows how to make Taiwanese food but she is determined to use her cooking skills to win the contest and maybe make some new friends.
Big Apple Diaries by Alyssa Bermudez
This is a diary style memoir about 12 year old Alyssa living in New York City in the year 2000. She is navigating middle school and new crushes, when everything changes on September 11th, 2001.
Stargazing by Jen Wang
A sweet graphic novel about unlikely friendships. Moon and Christine are very different but they form a bond when Moon moves in next door. They bond over nail polish and music videos. When Moon ends up in the hospital, Christine has to learn to support her friend.
Pawcasso by Remy Lai
When Jo discovers a cute dog with a basket and groceries, she decides to follow him. When she gets spotted by kids from school who assume the dog belongs to her, she goes along with the lie and next thing she knows, the dog becomes the model for an art class. This book is a must read for dog lovers.
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
Priyanka has always wondered why her mom left her home in India and who her father is. But her mom is not open to discussing these things. Then one day, Pri finds a mysterious pashmina that transports her to an amazing place. Is it really India or just a dream?
Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani
When Shaheen’s dad goes missing the only clues are a jukebox and some notes on music history. When her and her cousin, Tannaz, start to investigate, the jukebox transports them back in time! The girls begin to time travel through music history, but will they find Shaheen’s dad?
Miles Morales: Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds and Pablo Leon
Miles is your normal everyday kid, who happens to also be Spider-man. When an earthquake hits Puerto Rico, his mother’s birthplace, he sets up a fundraiser for relief efforts. Miles starts to notice strange connections when the new kid at school’s dad goes missing and a giant corporation sponsors the fundraiser. Will Miles be able to save the day again?
Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper and Raul the Third
Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love to fix cars, especially lowriders. When they learn about a car contest with a big grand prize, they are determined to win so they can open their own car shop. This book has super creative and original art, done in ballpoint pen and sharpie style.
The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor
Mei lives in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. She begins to retell Paul Bunyan stories about a Chinese heroine named Auntie Po to the other kids in camp. Mei and her father have to deal with racial prejudice in the lumber camp. Mei also realizes she has a crush on her friend Bee. This is a beautiful story about family, friends and tall tales.
Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
Willow loves the woods by her house, so when she has a fight with her mom, she decides to run away to the woods. There, she mets Pilu, a lost tree spirit. Willow decides to help Pilu get home, but a storm strikes. Will they make it there safely?
Chunky by Yehudi Mercado
Hudi’s parents push him to start playing a sport. Hudi would much rather work on his comedy, but when he meets his imaginary friend, Chunky, he finds his own personal mascot. Chunky cheers him on as he tries out several sports. Will Hudi find the activity that makes him happy?
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Jordan loves to draw, but his parents send him to a fancy private school in a different neighborhood instead of the art school he wants to attend. At the new school, Jordan is one of the only kids of color in his classes. Jordan feels torn between his home and his new school. This book is perfect for kids who like graphic novels about navigating friendships and school challenges.
Ms Marvel: Stretched Thin by Nadia Shammas and Nabi H. Ali
Kamala Khan is having a hard time balancing being a superhero (Ms. Marvel) and school, friendships and family. She’s going to have to figure it out and learn to ask for help to save Avengers Tower from a robot. A must read for all Marvel fans.
Green Lantern Legacy by Minh Le and Andie Tong
Tai Pham loves comic books and art. When he inherits his grandmother’s jade ring, he finds out that it connects him to a group of superheroes called the Green Lanterns. Tai will have to learn how to be a hero and uphold his ba’s legacy.
Sea Sirens by Amy Chu
Trot is a surfer girl, and with a cranky one-eyed cat. One day they get caught up in a wave and end up in a magical underwater kingdom. Trot and her cat get involved in a war between the Sea Siren mermaids and the Serpent King. This is a beautiful, fast paced, graphic novel inspired by Vietnamese mythology.
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