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The Big All-Ages List

A List of Comics and Graphic Novels Suitable for Younger Readers

By Tracy Edmunds

NOTE: This list is a work in progress. If you know of a great all-ages title that isn't here yet, it probably will be soon! Feel free to send recommendations to allagescomics@hotmail.com .

Also,

These are the opinions of Tracy Edmunds, and are not necessarilly shared by the administrator of this site (Scott Tingley) - mostly since he has not read all of the books on this list. These are recommendations, but please read them yourself before handing them off to a child in your life.

Abadazad , by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog

In the tradition of Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz , this is a fantasy tale about a young girl who travels to a magical world to save her younger brother. These books are a hybrid of comics and traditional text with illustrations.

Great for adult-child co-reading. The independent reading level is about third grade or higher.

Adventures in Oz , by Eric Shanower

Five original tales set in Oz, featuring stunningly beautiful, full-color art. This is wonderful literature for kids and adults alike.

There are some scary bits in the last story featuring trolls and dragons, but otherwise this is truly all-ages.

Alison Dare , by J Torres and J Bone

Adventure tales starring a plucky heroine and her two best friends. The feel is similar to Indiana Jones but written for kids.

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 to 12.


Archie Comics has been publishing “Wholesome Family Oriented Products” for
65 years. I can't think of another company that has managed to have so much success publishing nothing but all-ages comics, so cheers to Archie and the Riverdale Gang! You can find various Archie comics in comic shops,
bookstores, and even at the supermarket.

Astronauts of the Future by Lewis Tronheim and Manu Larcenet

Martina believes that everyone around her is a robot, and Gilbert thinks that they're all aliens… could they both be right? Quirky, sci-fi fun from one of Europe 's best-loved comic authors.

There is low-level swearing, so this is best for middle school and up.

The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin, adapted by Raina Telgemeier

Graphic novel adaptations of the popular series, lovingly illustrated by a lifelong fan of the books. This is wonderful reading for all ages but will especially appeal to girls. From Graphix/Scholastic

 

A Bit Haywire by Courtney Huddleston and Scott Zirkel ( Viper ) Young Owen begins to get his superpowers but they are, well, a little bit haywire. He has superspeed, but only when he holds his breath, he can fly, but only with his eyes closed, and just wait until you see what happens when he sneezes!  This is everything all-ages comics should be –colorful, funny, and highly entertaining. There's nothing inappropriate for kids in this book because it just isn't needed – the story will entertain everyone, regardless of age or affinity (or lack thereof) for superheroes.
Great fun for all ages.

The Black Belt Club series by Dawn Barnes and Bernard Chang (Scholastic)

The blending of text and comic is seamless and used effectively – action in comics and exposition in text and illustration. Judging by Sarah's reaction, the writing could use some work, but The Black Belt Club will certainly find an audience in the second and third grade crowd and will draw in reluctant readers, so the series is definitely recommended for elementary libraries and classrooms. Recommended for reluctant readers ages 7 to 9.


Bone , by Jeff Smith

The epic tale of the Bone brothers, who find themselves lost in a mysterious valley where they meet a young girl and her grandmother who races cows, a talking leafhopper, a dragon, and some very funny evil rat creatures. Bone is one of the first and best graphic novels for all ages. It is available in a whopping single volume with black and white illustrations published by the author or smaller serialized volumes in color from Scholastic Graphix.

Due to some scary stuff toward the end of the story, Bone is recommended for ages 8 and up.

BumperBoy Loses His Marbles and Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud, Mountain, by Debbie Huey

Bumperboy and his dog, Bumperpup, search for lost marbles, compete in a marble tournament, and meet some unusual new friends. Sweet, fun, and absolutely adorable.

Recommended for all ages.

Castle Waiting , by Linda Medley

A thick, juicy graphic novel featuring wonderful castles, magical creatures, and bearded nuns. The storytelling is wonderful, but because of the complicated storylines and multiple flashbacks, which can get confusing, this is probably best for upper elementary and older – adults love it, too.

Courtney Crumrin , by Ted Naifeh

Creepy stories about a misfit girl who moves in with her uncle and discovers many things that go bump in the night. The artwork is eerie and beautiful.

Because of some very frightening characters and scenes, this is recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Clouds Above by Jordan Crane ( Fantagraphics )

Simon and his talking cat, Jack, are late to class again, so rather than chance it with the teacher, they head for the roof. There they find a stairway that leads up into the sky and adventure among the clouds. Beautiful art and a lovely story for all readers.

Recommended for all ages.

Death Jr. by Gary Whitta and Ted Naifeh

The son of the Grim Reaper tries to follow in his father's footsteps and hangs out with a group of misfit kids at school, including Pandora, who has a thing about locks; a pair of mad scientist conjoined twins; Stigmartha, whose hands bleed when she's nervous; and Seep, who is limbless and lives in a jar of fluid.

Volume 1 is actually quite cute in many ways and my 7-year-old really enjoys it, but the content makes it more appropriate for ages 10 and up. Volume 2 gets quite a bit darker and is best for ages 14 and older.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

The “diary” of Greg Heffley details all the trials and tribulations of middle school popularity, nasty older brothers, and unwanted parental attention.  Kinney does a good job of showing the world from a kid's perspective, but the adults are not all completely useless and stupid, which is usually what you get in this genre.  He also manages to keep things pretty tame and appropriate for ages 9 and up while still giving it a realistic feel and a lot of laughs. Kids who start out loving Captain Underpants will easily move “up” to these books.  They're kind of the boys' version of the Dear Dumb Diary series, though most girls will enjoy the Wimpy Kid books as well.

Disney / Gemstone publishing puts out several Disney titles, including Walt Disney's
Comics and Stories, Donald Duck Adventures, Donald Duck and Friends, Uncle
Scrooge, Mickey Mouse Adventures, Mickey Mouse and Friends, and several
seasonal specials.  These are just as good as they've always been and
perfect for kids of all ages.

Drawing Comics is Easy (Except When It's Hard) by Alexa Kitchen A how-to book for kids on drawing comics written by a seven-year old, this is a must-have for anyone interested in doing comics themselves.  Alexa is not only a great cartoonist, she's a great teacher! Highly recommended for all ages!

 

Dreamland Chronicles, by Scott Sava

This fantasy story, featuring gorgeous computer-generated artwork, is about a dreamland full of elves, rock giants, fairies, and pirates. Only one trade is available so far, but further adventures are available as a webcomic.

Appropriate for all ages, but will be most enjoyed by ages 8 and older.

Emily and the Intergalactic Lemonade Stand, by Ian and Tyson Smith

Eleven-year-old Emily, with the help of her friends and her giant robot, sells lemonade to earn money for a pony and saves the Earth from alien invasion.

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

Fashion Kitty by Charise Mericle Harper (Hyperion)

omewhat of a hybrid, the prose in this book is mostly in the form of captions and sometimes sentences actually continue from a balloon into a caption. It's an interesting mix and quite easy to read. Fashion Kitty is definitely a kids' book, rather than all-ages, but it was quite entertaining and funny. I recommend it for elementary classrooms and libraries, and it would make a great gift for any little girl

Franklin Richards Son of a Genius by Chris Eliopoulos and Marc Sumerak

Silly, action-packed stories starring the son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Just think about all the trouble a little boy and his guardian robot can get into in the most advanced laboratory in the world!

Recommended for all ages.

G-Man, by Chris Giarruso

A young boy living in a town full of superheroes, young and old, deals with his obnoxious older brother and the general difficulties of being a kid. Giarruso really captures sibling dynamics in these stories.

Recommended for all ages.

The Ghouly Boys , by Christopher

The touching tales of Zombie Boy and his friend Fat Bat and Puppy who is a wolf by day and a little boy by night. These stories are very emotional and sweet. Only two issues so far, but well worth reading.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Grampa and Julie, Shark Hunters , by Jef Czekaj

A laugh-out-loud story about a girl and her grandparents hunting for Stephen the shark all over the world and into outer space.

Appropriate for all ages; recommended for ages 8 and up.

Grumpy Old Monsters , by Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson

Frankenstein, Dracula, the Werewolf, and all the old classic movie monsters are now the residents of an old-age home. They must bust out to help Tiffany Frankenstein (Doc's granddaughter) save the family castle. Great spooky fun!

Recommended for all ages.

Gon , by Masashi Tanaka

Wordless sequential art about a small, fierce dinosaur who travels to many different environments. While often depicting the violence of nature (there is predatory killing), these stories can be cute and touching as well.

Due to the level of violence, I have to say this is best for ages 10 and up, but some younger children would really dig it.

Goosebumps Graphix/Scholastic by R. L. Stine

Adaptations of R.L. Stine's popular Goosebumps stories. There are three stories per book, each adapted and illustrated by a different artist. This is definitely in the horror genre, but meant for kids, and the first book is eerily delightful. Great for reading under the covers with a flashlight.

Recommended for ages 10 and up, or for younger kids who love to be scared.

Gus Beezer --- The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer by Gail Simone

When you were little, you made up stories about superheroes, right? Either you met Spiderman or you got to see Spiderman in action or you were Spiderman. Well, that's what Gus does. Each comic has two stories – the top two-thirds of each page tells the story of Gus interacting with a Marvel superhero, and the bottom third is Gus's comic, in crayon. Great fun for everyone!

Highly recommended for superheroes of all ages.

Houdini, The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes and Nick Bertozzi, presented by The Center for Cartoon Studies

Houdini, the Handcuff King is not a biography, but a fictionalized graphic depiction of Houdini's handcuffed jump from the Harvard Bridge in 1908. We see Houdini's entire day; his preparations and lock-picking practice, his morning jog, his press conference in a hotel lobby, tender moments with his wife, Bess, his swearing-in of a new employee, meeting his throngs of fans on the street, and finally the daring and highly-publicized stunt. Be sure to read (and encourage kids to read) the introduction and the notes at the back – they're full of fascinating historical information.  Houdini will probably be of interest to readers ages 12 and older, but there's nothing to keep younger readers away. Houdini's new hire, Mr. Beatty, roughs up a nosy reporter, but it's not too violent. There are a few kissing scenes, which elicited some eeeeewwws from Sarah, but they are integral to the story. Though this is being sold as a children's book labeled “ages 12 and up”, I highly recommend Houdini, The Handcuff King for adults as well – it would certainly be a wonderful addition to any collection.

Inverloch by Sarah Ellerton

A beautiful, full-color fantasy tale of elves, magic, and friendship. The art is stunning and the story will really appeal to fantasy readers.

Mild violence makes this best for ages 10 and up.

 

Jellaby by Kean Soo (Hyperion)

Jellaby , first a webcomic, then appearing in Flight 3 , is a sweet story of a girl, a boy, and their monster friend.  Jellaby is the most loveable monster since Cookie, and the heroine, Portia, and her little friend Jason are cute as the dickens as well.  It's all very cute and snuggly, until the flashback where little Portia is sitting on a bench in a police station, waiting for her mom, when the rather scruffy man next to her tries to strike up a conversation.  I don't want to give away any more, but I must tell you that this scene really made my skin crawl.  The man shows up again toward the end of the story briefly as well.  Personally, I think this juxtaposition of sweet and evil makes the book more interesting, but parents should be aware that it might scare very young or easily frightened kids.  Oh, and there is one use of the word “friggin” by a bully, just so you know.  I'd say Jellaby is best for 8 and up because of the fright factor.  You could certainly read the book to your very little ones and surreptitiously skip those pages and they'd still enjoy the story.


Journey into Mohawk Country by George O'Connor

This is an ambitious and fascinating project in which O'Connor uses as his text the 1634 journal of a Dutch trader in North America , creating all the visuals based on research and a creative interpretation of the trader's own words. This is definitely a book that should be used in classrooms studying early American history. Journey into Mohawk Country is also a must for classes studying Native American culture, as there is a wealth of information about Mohawk life. This book could also provide the basis for a study on the interpretation of historical documents. Students can read the actual words written by Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert (albeit translated into English) and discuss O'Connor's interpretations as well as the comedic additions he made via the illustrations, most likely in the name of making the story more interesting. Anyone with even a passing interest in history will enjoy it, and kids are certainly going be more interested in Journey into Mohawk Country than a textbook.

Note: Some content to be aware if you intend to use it in a classroom HERE, and two of the characters get intoxicated. Ages 10 and up.

Justice League Unlimited written by J Torres, from DC Comics

This book and its precursor, Justice League Adventures , are excellent. Justice League Unlimited is the best superhero book out for kids that features the iconic heroes. This is all about the stories – the scripts are interesting and well-crafted and it's tons of fun to see a less serious take on the DC heroes and villains. Not that it's all silly – there is plenty of well-written drama and action as well. The trade of the JLU precursor, Justice League Adventures , makes a great gift for any kid or kid-at-heart who loves tights and capes.

Recommended for ages 8 and up

Kat & Mouse by Alex de Campi and Federica Manfredi (Tokyopop)

Two seventh-grade girls at a private school navigate the waters of preteen social status and team up to solve mysteries. This will appeal to girls, but boys will enjoy it if you can get them to read it.

reat reading for ages 8 and up.

Kid Gravity , by Landry Walker and Eric Jones

Science-based comedy about the future featuring Kid Gravity and his friends and enemies at the Hawking School . Great for kids but the reading level is a bit difficult at times. Perfect for kids who like science and science fiction.

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

Korgi by Christian Slade (Top Shelf) A wordless story told in stunningly beautiful illustrations, Korgi is a fantasy story that everyone will enjoy.  There is a big, mean troll who tries to eat the girl and her dog, which may frighten some little ones, but it ends well.  Highly recommended for all ages!

Krypto the Superdog from DC Comics

Based on the cartoon show and written expressly for kids, this will be a hit with Superman and Krypto fans. The stories feature Krypto the Superdog (Superman's pet), Ace the Bathound (Batmans's pet), and other superpowered pets fighting the pets of supervillains, like the Joker's hyenas. Nothing particularly special here, but young superfans will enjoy it.

Ages 6 and up

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, by Mike Bullock

Beloved stuffed animals come to life and defend their young owners from the evil Beasties. Wonderful color artwork and a compelling story with great characters make this a great read for all ages.

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 and up. Might not be good for kids with bedtime fears as the Beasties are pretty scary.

Little Gloomy and Super Scary Monster Show by Landry Walker and Eric Jones, from Slave Labor Graphics

Little Gloomy is the only “normal” person living in a world of monsters. She's constantly getting into trouble and her friends, Larry (a werewolf), Carl (a chthulhu), and Frank (can you guess?), are always helping her out. There's a friendly mummy who owns a bar and speaks in hieroglyphics, an unfriendly witch named Evey who has evil robot kitties, Gloomy's spurned mad scientist boyfriend, Simon, and Shelley, the supposed-to-be-bride of Frank, who didn't turn out as planned.

Little Lit series , edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly

Collections of quirky, fun, and sometimes odd stories from some of comics' greatest writers. Creativity at its finest!

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

Little Vampire Goes to School and Little Vampire Does Kung Fu by Joann Sfar

Little Vampire lives with his mom, dad (The Captain of the Dead), and assorted haunts and spooks in an old mansion on a hill. In Little Vampire Goes to School , his fondest wish is to go to school like other kids, and his parents reluctantly agree. Of course, there's no one at school in the middle of the night, so Little Vampire strikes up a pen pal conversation with one of the daytime students, Michael, and a great friendship is soon formed. In Little Vampire Does Kung Fu , Michael and Little Vampire deal with a school bully – but not in the usual way!

The main characters, Little Vampire and Michael, are sweet and lovable, but they are also “real” kids. There's none of the sugar-coating you get in most kids' books – Sfar takes on weighty topics such as honesty, friendship, death, the existence of God, and the value of doing your own homework. The monsters act as sort of a Greek anti-chorus, voicing (and acting out) Michael's emotions and impulses. There are morals to be learned and questions to be pondered, but they are embedded in such imaginative and unexpected stories that kids won't notice that they're learning and growing while they read.

While Little Vampire Goes to School is truly all ages, Little Vampire Does Kung Fu is probably just a shade too dark for the youngest or most fragile kids (“Ages 10 up” is printed on the back cover). There is a scene in Kung Fu where the monsters have eaten a little boy, then they spit out the pieces and sew them back together (don't worry – it turns out okay in the end!). Much of the lettering is in cursive, so younger kids might not be able to read it alone, but this just means you have to share the reading, and these stories are best when shared.

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Mail Order Ninja by Joshua Elder

A small town boy named Timmy enters in a contest and wins a ninja. Timmy takes on bullies, deals with his bratty little sister, battles the most evil of villainesses and her ninja army, and saves the town – with Jiro's help of course. Mail Order Ninja puts a ninja clan battle in the middle of an elementary school, manages not to kill anyone, and makes you laugh.

Library safe – recommended for ages 8 and up.

Miki Falls : Spring , Summer , Autumn , and Winter by Mark Crilley (Harper Teen)

The four Miki Falls volumes, Spring , Summer , Autumn , and Winter , tell the story of Miki, a Japanese high school student, who falls for the mysterious Hiro – Crilley's own version of a romance manga with a fantasy twist.  I'd recommend Miki Falls for teen and tween girls (ages 10 and up).  There's nothing inappropriate at all – the romance is confined to kissing.  Miki Falls will pull in not only manga readers but all girls in the age group.  Put these volumes in your classroom or library and I'll bet they won't spend long on the shelf.

The Mighty Skullboy Army by Jacob Chabot ( Dark Horse )
Skullboy is the world's most evil elementary student, who, assisted by robot Unit 1 and monkey Unit 2, attempts to rule the world. Throw in a bunch of other fun characters – Mod Dog, Booger Ralph, Kevin the intern, Brutus the bully, Decoy Double #17 – and you get fun for everyone.
Appropriate for ages 8 and up.

Mouse Guard, by David Peterson

An absolutely beautiful story of heroism, treachery, and honor featuring mice as the main characters. This is great literature with an epic feel, told through stunning art.

Recommended for ages 10 and up as some of the fight scenes are necessarily a bit violent.

Oddly Normal, by Otis Frampton

A young girl with a human father and a witch mother must go to her mother's homeland of Fignation to investigate her parents' disappearance. These stories address bullying, peer pressure, and trying to fit in, but are also great fun.

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

Owly, by Andy Runton

Sweet, wordless stories about a little owl and his friends. This is a great teaching tool. Stimulate reluctant writers by having them provide the text to accompany the panels or use the panels to work on sequencing with pre-readers. Eisner Award winner for Best Publication for a Younger Audience

Recommended for all ages!

Oz the Manga by David Hutchison

A manga adaptation of the Wizard of Oz – wonderful art and great pacing tell the classic story based on the books, not the movie. See a preview here .

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Patrick the Wolfboy , by Art Baltazar and Franco

Collections of short stories about the misadventures of a little boy who
turns into a cute werewolf. This has a comic-strip feel and is tons of fun.
Be aware, however, that the lady who lives next door to Patrick likes to say
"crap."

Best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

Polly and the Pirates , by Ted Naifeh

Young, prissy Polly is kidnapped from her boarding school by pirates. Will
she defend her honor? What is the big secret the pirates aren't telling her?
Pirate fun with a plucky heroine.

Polly really isn't for little ones -- there are veiled references to
prostitution and pirate swearing (“soddin' ‘ell!”), though most of it went
right over my girls' heads.   Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Power Pack , by Marc Sumerak and Gurihiru

Kids love Power Pack because the kids are heroes, not sidekicks, and the stories and art appeal to girls as well as boys.  The art is clean and colorful, with a bit of an animation feel to it, which I know old-school comics fan lament, but I think it's a smart choice in the effort to get kids to read these comics.  Power Pack always has the right balance of humor and adventure and, unlike some of Marvel's other “all-ages” comics, Power Pack is always appropriate for younger kids.  Even when Venom took over little Katie Power, it all managed to be good fun.  It's a superhero comic so fighting is a big part of the story, but they keep it down to a kid-friendly level – it's about stopping the bad guys, not hurting them.  You get a bonus in the back of each comic with Chris Giarrusso's awesome Mini Marvels.  However, with the comics you also get several pages of ads, some of which are not very kid-friendly.  I'd say buy the trades for libraries and classrooms (available in library bound editions) to avoid the advertising, but then you don't get the Mini Marvels, which is a bummer. 

PS 238 by Aaron Williams

Tyler, the son of two famous superheroes, attends a secret underground school for kids with superpowers. The only problem is that Tyler doesn't have any superpowers! Great writing and wonderful characters make this the best superhero book for all ages, hands down.

The time travel plot lines can get complicated, so this is best for strong upper elementary and older readers.

Sardine in Outer Space , Volumes 1 , 2 , and 3 by Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar

Plenty of jokes about bodily functions and a whole bunch of rambunctious pirate kids who, guided by Uncle Yellow Shoulder, repeatedly defeat the evil Supermuscleman. I imagine this is probably the European version of Captain Underpants – it's goofy and silly and all kinds of fun. You can read excerpts from each at the links above.

As Sarah says, “ this is for anyone as long as they're old enough to know that they shouldn't talk about poo and pee in public.

Scary Godmother , by Jill Thompson

Spooky fun with little Hannah Marie and her Scary Godmother on the Fright Side. Lots of fun characters like Skelly (the skeleton in the closet), Bug-a-Boo (the monster under the bed), Harry (the overly dramatic werewolf), and Max, Ruby, and Orson (the royal Vampire family). More cute than scary!

Appropriate for all ages.

Super Scary Monster Show is sort of a fresher, hipper version of Little Gloomy . Eric Jones has given all the characters balloon heads and little bodies, which seems to make them cuter, and has loosened up his lines which gives it a bit of an edge. The stories are just as much fun as before, so Gloomy fans need not despair.

The characters are absolutely adorable and the stories are fun. Invisible men, a trip to mummy land, and lots of laughs – what's not to like? There are some semi-scary zombies and a soul-stealing pumpkin-head guy, so these books probably aren't for tiny tots who are prone to nightmares, but otherwise Little Gloomy and SSMS are great all-ages fun.

Recommended for ages 8 and up

Spiderman Loves Mary Jane by Sean McKeever

A Spiderman story told from the point of view of his love-interest, Mary Jane. More like a teen romance novel than a superhero book, this will appeal to girls as well as boys.

Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Spiralbound by Aaron Renier

Take one intrepid girl rabbit reporter, a reluctant elephant sculptor, and a blue whale teacher in a big glass ball, add a wicked-cool underground monorail and a mysterious swamp monster and you get one heck of a tale that proves you don't have to dumb it down to create a great story that kids will enjoy. The storyline may be a bit complicated for the littlest tykes (I doubt a three-year old will understand some of the social implications) but they will still love the characters and the action.

A great book for all ages – highly recommended.

Teen Titans Go! by J Torres

Based on the popular animated television show, TTG! is about a group of teenaged superheroes. Kids really love these characters.

Appropriate for all ages; best enjoyed by ages 8 and up.

 

Texas Strangers by Antony Johnston, Dan Evans III, and Mario Boon (Image)

This is  not exactly the Old West you might be used to, what with the native elves, Scottish orcs, and brawls fought with spells as well as guns. The story revolves around red-headed brother and sister Wyatt and Madera (I think they're twins) and a mysterious knife which must be returned to its place of origin. This quest is complicated, however, by Black Bart and his gang of outlaws. The seeds of the tale are fairly standard western fare, complete with saloon poker games, a gang of mustachioed bad guys, and a wonderfully prototypical lawman named Rick Blackwood, but when magic is mixed in the story rises to another level. The intertwining of the two genres is done so seamlessly that a native elf casting a Wild Tornado spell in a saloon brawl seems like the most natural thing in the world. Texas Strangers is most definitely a western, so there is gun play and someone is very clearly shot (though I seriously doubt he will die). The magical knife, which plays a central role in the story, seems to turn Madera into a vicious killer when it touches blood, though the short, four-panel sequence depicting this is handled in such a way that it isn't frightening, even with a close-up on the bloody knife. There are also references to whiskey and poker. I'd say it's appropriate for ages eight and up, as long as the violence isn't a problem for the adults. Kids will love Texas Strangers , but you never know how parents are going to react.

Thief of Always by Clive Barker

A graphic novel adaptation of Clive Barker's book for young adults. A great story and beautiful art, but definitely a horror novel.

Best for middle school, but older elementary kids who like Goosebumps will like this.

Tiny Tyrant by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme

A series of short stories about King Ethelbert, the nasty little six-year-old king of Portocristo. Ethelbert is the funniest spoiled rotten brat ever and is definitely an anti-role model. Very funny and will appeal to everyone.

Mild violence – recommended for ages 8 and up.

 

Travels of Thelonius (Fog Mound) by Susan Schade and Jon Buller (Simon & Schuster Children's)

Thelonius is a chipmunk living in a post-apocalyptic, humanless world. When he is swept away from his woodland home by a rainstorm and finds himself in a crumbling human city, adventure abounds. Buller's illustrations/comics are cute and sweet, and it's never frightening. The rather dire environmental warning is made palatable by the cute animals and everything seems to be alright for them in the end. The art, while it is definitely cartoony, is marvelously expressive and detailed, and the blue tones are a great compliment to the nice line work. The story is incredibly original. Travels of Thelonius is highly recommended for libraries and classrooms. There is a miniature naked man near the end (it kind of makes sense in the story) but he's only shown from behind and it's not offensive at all. With Travels of Thelonius Schade and Buller have managed to pull off an almost impossible feat – it will be enjoyed by kids who don't like to read as much as by those who do.

 


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