Please note that while these books are suitable for young adults, that may not be the case for everything reached by following the creator links.
Anya’s Ghost – As a second generation US immigrant Anya doesn’t have an easy life adapting. And that’s before she falls down a pit and emerges with the ghost of a fellow victim, from 1921. Cue further problems. Charming, with well timed surprises. Vera Brosgol and First Second.
Drama – Sensitive and acutely observed drama about teenage romance developing during the staging of the school play. A broad and varied hooks the intended audience and keeps them hooked until the end of a story promoting acceptance and understanding. Raina Telgemeier and Scholastic Books.
I Kill Giants – An outstandingly sympathetic, affecting and heartwarming work from a writer better known for superheroes. Barbara is a square peg in a round hole, likeably eccentirc and damaged. We eventually discover why. Joe Kelly, JM Ken Nimura and Image Comics.
Northern Lights – If the opening portion adapating Philip Pullman’s complex adventure and treatise on structured religion represents the remainder, fans of the original are in safe hands. Dense ideas are concisely conveyed, and the cast sparkle. Stéphane Melchior, Clément Oubrerie and Doubleday.
The Complete Runaways Vol. 1 – There’s a great surprise early that you should discover yourself. Teenage superhero drama done differently, and strikingly well as a bunch of kids with powers are left to fend for themselves. Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona and Marvel.
Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow– Paige was a remarkable man, a superlative black baseball pitcher in the 1930s when the colour bar applied, yet oozing self-confidence and homespun philosophy. He and his times are vividly recreated. James Sturm, Rich Tommaso and Jump at the Sun.
This One Summer – Perfectly capturing the final flush of innocence before puberty, in what’s an excellent emotional study. Sensitive and poignant, drift with Rose and Windy as they survey a world slightly out of reach. Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki and First Second.
Thornhill – Don’t bother troubling yourself over whether this is illustrated novel or graphic novel and absorb yourself in the disturbing events that occurred at the Thornhill Institute for Children during the 1980s. Skillful, atmospheric and most unsettling. Pam Smy and David Fickling Books.
The War at Ellsmere – Juniper is the sassy new scholarship kid at an exclusive public school and Cassie the set-upon dreamer already there. Confident, with emotional depth, and the plot bombs will continually wrong foot any reader. Faith Erin Hicks and SLG Publishing.
Zombillenium – Stylish art from an animation specialist, yet also a great premise: a horror theme park where the monsters can hide in plain site. Funny, and surprisingly touching. Start with the opener, then hoover up two sequels and hope the French movie is given a US release. Arthur de Pins and NBM.