Rad Reads

Graphic novels you need to add to your summer reading list


Looking for your next beach read? Look no further—GL has rounded up all the best graphic novels to add to your reading list this summer. With engaging plots, relatable characters and some *amazing* art, these are the books you won’t want to put down all summer.

For the girl that's dealing with drama:

Clash by Kayla Miller

We've all been the new kid at some point, and probably all had to deal with some friendship drama. That's what makes Kayla Miller's newest entry in her best-selling Click series refreshingly relatable. Clash follows popular sixth-grader Olive as she tries to befriend new girl Natasha—only to find out that Nat wants to exclude Olive from her own friend group. There to help Olive with the sticky sitch are her mom and her Aunt Molly, who give advice that could be helpful IRL. Another reason to pick up Clash: it's this month's Bestie Book Club pick.

For the girl that needs a confidence boost: 
Beautiful: A girl’s trip through the looking glass by Marie D'Abreo

Marie D’Abreo’s Beautiful is a touching story about a girl named Lily who realizes true beauty comes from being yourself. It’s easy to feel pressure to change your appearance, especially if you’re not what society tells you is ‘beautiful.’ But this graphic novel is the reminder we all need that being beautiful means being our authentic, unique selves. If you end up loving this summer read, there are two sequels that continue Lily’s story.

For the girl who’s starting high school:
Alexis vs. Summer Vacation by Sarah Jamila Stevenson and Veronica Agarwal

Changing schools can be tough, especially when you’re expected to start planning the rest of your life. Alexis vs. Summer Vacation perfectly captures the struggle to reinvent yourself before high school. Relatable main character Alexis struggles to work up the nerve to speak to cute lifeguard Hayley, eventually enlisting the help of new friends Luke and Jason. As the trio try to level up their lives, they learn important lessons about friendship and change.

For the girl who loves a laugh:
I Funny by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Nothing makes a long car ride go by faster like a good laugh—and you’ll get plenty of those while reading I Funny. The story of Jamie, a boy who just wants to become a comedian despite being bullied at every turn for using a wheelchair, is one that’s equal parts sweet and heartbreaking. Readers will love Jamie’s tenacity as much as his jokes. Plus, there are several sequels packed with even more hilarious moments. 

For the girl who wants a serious read:
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Winner of a Caldecott award and a Printz honor, This One Summer follows tweens Rose and Windy as they grapple with various challenges during a summer in Awago Beach. Meant for older readers, this graphic novel uses beautiful monochromatic blue art and stellar writing to convey the tougher parts of growing up. It might even be a chance for you to start a convo with your parents about some of the issues explored in the book.

For the girl who loves superheroes:
Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn and Nicole Goux

Shadow of the Batgirl protag Cassandra Cain isn’t sure she’s cut out to be a hero. Her journey to taking up the mantle for Gotham involves finding new mentors—and new reasons to believe in herself. Superhero and comic fans alike will enjoy author Sarah Kuhn’s fresh take on Gotham city, as well as Cassandra’s growth from an uncertain teen to a certified superhero.

For the girl that can’t wait for Fall:
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

We get it: some people prefer pumpkin spice latte season to summertime. If you can’t wait for Fall to roll around, Emma Steinkellner’s The Okay Witch series will give you *all* the autumn vibes. The book follows Moth Hush, a thirteen-year-old who’s got enough on her plate before she finds out that her family is connected to a secret witch world. With a talking cat, magic, and the everyday struggles of middle school, The Okay Witch is sure to hold your attention.

Read any of these graphic novels? Let us know your thoughts by tagging @girlslifemag on Twitter!

Title image: Shutterstock


by Bailey Bujnosek | 7/15/2021