Graphic Novels -ALSC Core Collection for Grades 3-5

Let's give the Association for Library Service to Children three claps and a whoosh for creating the Children's Graphic Novel Core Collection. According to the press release:

This core list will guide librarians in selecting the best graphic novels to meet children’s needs,” said Mary Fellows, board president. “Graphic novels are wildly popular with kids, positively impact children’s visual literacy skill development and are an essential part of 21st century library collections.
Most of the books featured on the list are loved in my school library and have been featured on this blog. I compiled book trailers, videos, and resources for the books recommended for grades 3-5. Happy watching and downloading!

Grades 3-5

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future

by Dav Pilkey. Scholastic/Blue Sky, 2010.

Learn how to draw Ook and Gluk and check out Ook's Kung Fu kick.

Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2009.

Download an Adventures in Cartooning bookplate.

Download an Adventures in Cartooning activity kit.

Wow, here's one more! Download the Doodle-It-Yourself Activity Kit!

The Secret of the Unicorn by Hergé. Little, Brown, 1974.

Art Panels, BAM! Speech Bubbles, POW! Writing Your Own Graphic Novel by Trisha Speed Shaskan. illus. by Stephen Shaskan. Picture Window, 2011.

Use the "Check Correlations" tool to see which standards this book meets.

Bake Sale by Sara Varon. Roaring Book/First Second, 2011.

Explore Sara Varon's website.

Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith. Scholastic/Graphix, 2005.

Visit Scholastic's Bone site to play Maze Masters and Smiley Bone's Balloon Bust.

Question: "What is Bone about?"

Question: "Where did you get the idea for the Bone series?"

Question: "What inspired the setting of Bone?"

The Boxcar Children by Shannon Eric Denton. illus. by Mike Dubisch. Magic Wagon, 2009.

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman. illus. by Ross MacDonald. Knopf, 2008.

Marc Tyler Nobleman discusses how Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman came about.

Marc Tyler Nobleman talks about Bill Finger and Batman.

Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds. illus. by Neil Numberman. Holt, 2009. I

Knights of the Lunch Table: The Dodgeball Chronicles by Frank Cammuso. Scholastic/Graphix, 2008.

Fashion Kitty and the Unlikely Hero by Charise Mericle Harper. Hyperion, 2008.

Hyperactive by Scott Christian Sava. illus. by Joseph Bergin III. IDW/Worthwhile, 2008.

Into the Volcano by Don Wood. Scholastic/Blue Sky, 2008.

A scholastic booktalk for Into the Volcano.

Take a peek inside Into the Volcano. Prepare yourself for some scary sounds.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Knopf, 2009.

Magic Pickle by Scott Morse. Scholastic/Graphix, 2008.

Scott Morse teaches you how to draw characters from the Magic Pickle series.

A Scholastic booktalk for Magic Pickle.

Mal and Chad: The Biggest Bestest Time Ever by Stephen McCranie. Philomel, 2011.

Explore Mal and Chad's world.

Travis Jonker reviewed Mal and Chad on Brain Burps About Books.

The Purple Smurfs by Yvan Delporte.. illus. by Peyo. Papercutz, 2010.

The Smurfs opening takes me back to my childhood. All I need is a plate of fries with extra ketchup.

Babymouse: Queen of the World! By Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. Random, 2005.

Jennifer was having a "Babymouse Day" when an irritable mouse popped into her head. She drew her on a napkin and gave it to Matt (which he lost).

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2007.

Download a Robot Dreams lesson plan.

Sardine in Outer Space by Emmanuel Guibert. illus. by Joann Sfar. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2006.

Download "Teaching Art with Sardine in Outer Space."

Download Salt Water Taffy avatars and wallpapers.

Matt Loux answers six very simple questions about comics.

Scratch 9: The Pet Project by Rob M. Worley. illus. by Jason T. Kruse. Ape Entertainment. 2010.

Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest by John Lechner. Candlewick, 2007.

Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. Random, 2011.

The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi. Scholastic/Graphix, 2008.

Super Chicken Nugget Boy and the Furious Fry by Josh Lewis. illus. by Douglas Holgate. Hyperion, 2010.

To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by Sienna Cherson Siegel. illus. by Mark Siegel. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2006.

The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2010.

Download a Walter Bean activity guide.

The Whole World's Crazy by Jimmy Gownley. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2011.

Jimmy Gownley shares how he created Amelia.

Jimmy Gownley teaches you how to draw Amelia in her superhero clothes.

Jimmy Gownley shares some of his favorite books.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower and L. Frank Baum. illus. by Skottie Young. Marvel, 2009.

Zeus: King of the Gods by George O'Connor. First Second, 2010.

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2010.


  1. There are some great choices and I have many of them.

  2. Wow! So many more must-haves for my classroom library! This is awesome! I have been looking into using graphic novels in my classroom, and this is a great resource for me. "Chocolate Air" recommended I follow you and I am SO glad she did!
    ~Mrs. P @ The Polka Dot Owl Blog


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