The official titles of YALSA’s 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list have been announced.
The list consists of 103 titles selected from 178 official nominations – view the full list here.
The YALSA blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten – click the title to put on hold and pick up at a library near you!
Bloom. By Kevin Panetta. Art by Savanna Ganucheau. A recent high school graduate, Ari, works in his family-owned bakery and plays in an indie band with 4 of his best friends in a small coastal town. When an accident occurs at the bakery, Ari has to rethink what he wants to do with his life and what will bring him happiness.
Cosmoknights: Book One. By Hanna Templer. Art by the author. Pan lives a very ordinary world on a planet called Verdian. She spends most of her time working in her father’s shop and hanging out with her friend, Tara, who is a princess. But when Tara’s life takes a very different turn, Pan gets a chance to bring down an archaic medieval-type jousting tradition.
I Was Their American Dream: a Graphic Memoir. By Malaka Gharib. Art by the author. Malaka tells her story of being Filipino, Egyptian and American growing up in Cerritos, California. She details her life of being the “perfect Filipino kid” during the year with her mom while also trying to navigate the customs of her father’s home in Egypt during the summer.
Kiss Number 8. By Colleen AF Venable. Art by Ellen T. Crenshaw. The first seven kisses 16-year-old Amanda has experienced were less than exceptional. But after finding out that her father, her ultimate best friend, is keeping a secret from her, and realizing she may have a crush on Cat, her best friend from her conservative Catholic school, everything in Amanda’s life starts to shift. Which leads to her 8th kiss—the one that changes everything.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Laura Dean has broken up with Freddy three times. Laura Dean keeps coming back and Freddy keeps taking her back despite Laura Dean’s blatant cheating. After visiting a medium, Freddy finds herself questioning whether or not Laura Dean can be monogamous and how she can get on with her life without Laura Dean.
The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of a Slave’s Journey from Bondage to Freedom. By David F. Walker. Art by Damon Smyth, Marissa Louise. The story of Frederick Douglass from his birth into slavery to his celebration by dignitaries is brought to readers in this spectacular graphic novel.
Pumpkinheads. By Rainbow Rowell. Art by Faith Erin Hicks. On their final night of work at DeKnock’s Pumpkin Patch, high school seniors and “Patch” friends Josiah and Deja decide to make their final shift an adventurous one as they explore the park’s many sights and tasty treats in search of the Fudge Girl, Josiah’s long-time, unrequited crush.
Simon & Louise. By Max de Radiguès. Art by the author. The school year is over and it’s time for Louise to leave on her family vacation for two months, leaving boyfriend Simon on his own. Within a day, Louise has changed her Facebook status to “single” and Simon has no idea why. Louise tells him her Dad forbids the relationship, but Simon refuses to accept that and leaves home to hitchhike to the beach town to win Louise back.
They Called Us Enemy. By George Takei and Justin Eisinger. Art by Harmony Becker. Before he was Sulu on the starship Enterprise, boldly going where no one has gone before, actor George Takei was a little boy struggling to understand why his family was packing up and going to live in a horse stable. Readers see history in a clear, concise, compelling context and follow Takei on his journey from childhood ignorance to righteous teenage anger and finally to a life of dedicated activism.
Witch Hat Atelier. By Kamome Shirahama. Art by the author. Coco dreams of being a magician. In her world, the only way to learn magic is to already be a witch and Coco is not. One day a band of traveling witches comes to town, and Coco meets the enigmatic Qifrey. Her world is turned upside down when she accidentally performs a spell that traps her mother in stone. To rescue her, she must leave with Qifrey and become his magical apprentice in a land far from home.