Graphic novels for KS2: this list of books for children aged 7-11 in years 3-6 contains recommended graphic novels to appeal to all reading abilities. Graphic novels can appeal to reluctant readers and able readers alike and are also a great way to approach more challenging reading themes through an accessible and non-threatening medium. This list of reading suggestions is revised regularly and includes stories by Ben Clanton, Gary Northfield, Shannon Watters, Deborah Ellis, Jeanne DuPrau and Alastair Humphreys.
Our recommended graphic novels for Key Stage 2
Amulet: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibushi
This is the third in a series of classic graphic novels. Emily and her band of rebel fighters fly off in an airship in an unlikely mission to find a mythical lost city. Will they find it? Can they trust their new friends? Are they in mortal danger?
Derek The Sheep: Let’s Bee Friends by Gary Northfield
The first of a series of sheep-based adventures. Very popular with reluctant readers. Derek – a grumbling and moody sheep – is driven round the bend by the other farmyard animals in this laugh out loud comic strip.
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
More a novel with graphics than a graphic novel, this book has been a hit in every school I’ve visited. There’s an expanding series of these – ideal for children who want more and more of the same. Schools should consider buying hardbacks since paperbacks might not survive the sheer volume of page-turning! A must-read for any children who don’t like school.
The Witches Graphic Novel by Roald Dahl
A bright, colourful and contemporary treatment of the classic yet dark Roald Dahl children’s story. The accessible style will appeal to reluctant readers. The version could be particularly useful for ESL and SpLD pupils reading this text for whole-class reading in mixed ability classes.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
An adapted and accessible version of the classic sci-fi mystery. Ideal for children who like science and complex philosophical ideas, but who are less keen on reading. Ideal for a KS2 library.
The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King
A gripping mystery set in a sleepy fishing town with dark secrets. When bookish Miro and inquisitive Zia are thrown together they are quickly drawn into a world of seafaring drama. With stylish graphics and fast-moving dialogue, this is ideal for years 5&6.
Star Wars: Original Trilogy Graphic Novel by various
Perfect for children who enjoy Star Wars. The text is accessible, but not dumbed-down and the illustrations are vibrant. It’s also great for showing children how to develop plots, predict using inference and plan stories.
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer
Ideal for Y6 children who struggle with class texts but who wouldn’t be seen dead reading stories written for younger children. Eye-catching and vibrant illustrations. A good option for a targeted group reader.
The Adventure of John Blake by Philip Pullman
A stunning time travel adventure from the author of Northern Lights. The Mary Alice sails in and out of the mists of time, pursued at every turn by an evil and clever villain. A real page-turner and perfect for year 5 or 6.
El Deafo by Cece Bell
A startlingly candid story for children in years 5 or 6. This autobiographical account details the author’s hearing loss and experiences with a hearing aid that isn’t always something that improves her life. Different, memorable and ideal to provoke discussion in reading groups.
Anne of Green Gables by Mariah Marsden
A visually beautiful adaptation of the classic children’s story about an 11-year-old orphan who goes to live on a farm in the rolling countryside. A mesmerising book.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Jules Verne’s classic adventure is told at breakneck speed in this paired down comic strip version, which is a part of a series of adaptations of classic novels. Super-engaging and suitable for the most reluctant readers.
T-Minus: The Race to the Moon by Jim Ottaviani
This intricately illustrated graphic novel tells the story of the space race between the USA and the USSR from the late 1950s to the moon landing. Very detailed, this is a book which children interested in science and history will enjoy reading and rereading.
Tom’s Midnight Garden Graphic Novel by Philippa Pearce
A pictorially sumptuous presentation of the modern classic and prize winning children’s story. When Tom is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the country, he thinks it will be a dull summer. That’s until the grandfather clock strikes 13 and he find himself in another time and an adventure from which he doesn’t want to return.
Alastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers by Alastair Humphreys
20 amazing journeys by 20 amazing real-life heroes and heroines who explored the world (and beyond) for the first time. This would make a great addition to any primary class or school library.
Timmy on the Toilet by Peta Lemon
The cover, which includes a flying toilet, will be plenty enough to persuade most 7-9-year-olds to pick this book up; and the story contains cliffhangers, twists and visual zingers to keep the reader hooked. Probably your next literary hit with year 3s.
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
The first of an ever-expanding series. One of the most popular graphic novels for younger children I’ve seen in 20 years of teaching KS2. It’s always on loan! Ideal for both younger children in KS2 and reluctant readers in years 5&6.
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
A series, big on toilet humour, containing Captain Underpants – a hero and power for good with a superpower wedgie – who fights arch-villains such as Dr Diaper. Very useful with children who are bored with reading scheme books, struggling readers who want choice, or children who like to read more and more of the same type of material.
The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
Wildly popular in school libraries, this series of books inspires imaginations and continues to convert the most book averse children. The treehouse concept is also great to use as an impetus for creative writing and art ideas.
The Black Island (The Adventure of Tintin) by Herge
A classic full colour illustrated comic strip with wholesome stories and more traditional moral themes. Well-plotted, this series of evergreen books are are good addition to a KS2 library. And there are lots of them.
Asterix the Gaul: Omnibus by Rene Goscinny
Quirky, funny, slightly anarchic and classics in the world of graphic novels, the Asterix series engages children aged 7-11 and older and also imparts historical knowledge along the way. Ideal for children who want more and more of the same reading material.
Illegal by Eoin Colfer
A gripping quest story set across a vast distance from the Sahara, across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Highly compelling words and images – a must for year 5 and 6 class libraries.
The City of Ember: the Graphic Novel by Jeanne DuPrau
The dark and atmospheric illustrations bring this story of two children trying to escape a repressive city to life. A thought-provoking read for children in KS2.
Ancient Warriors by Iris Volant
A captivating non-fiction graphic book that charts a chronology of fighters, warriors, crusaders and soldiers through weaponry, combat and military strategy through the ages. Includes Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc.
The Breadwinner Graphic Novel by Deborah Ellis
This graphic novel adaptation is ideal for year 6 book groups – and also a useful option for using alongside Deborah Ellis’ prose novel. Parvana – 11 – must pretend to be a boy to help her family survive and evade the Taliban in dangerous Afghanistan.
Sector 7 by David Wiesner
A one-of-a-kind graphic story with very few words and highly imaginative illustrations. A boy on a school trip looks up at the sky and befriends a cloud who spirits him into a story where clouds are made in factories and only traditional shapes are allowed. But the boy has other ideas… A really good book to provoke discussion and imagination.
Daisy and the Trouble with School Trips by Kes Gray
When Daisy goes on a big school trip to an old country house with secret hiding places and unforeseen surprises, and the teachers aren’t watching all the children, what could possibly go wrong? The first of a series of funny illustrated stories.
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Dean Hale
Revenge, adventure and a long-haired heroine dominate this, the first of two graphic novel adventures, which rework the Rapunzel story and transport the characters to the Wild West.
Hilda and the Troll by Luke Pearson
Hilda is never still as she sets off on adventure after adventure in this fun fantasy world of magical creatures and fantastic living landscapes. Lively and interesting graphics.
Barry Loser: I am Not a Loser by Jim Smith
The first of a series of eight popular stories about Barry, a boy whose unfortunate surname is seized upon by a new pupil determined to make his life hell. Read about what he does next… Very funny, few words and laugh out loud illustrations.
Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd Stanton
Inspired illustrations add atmosphere to this, the first in a series of four graphic novels which chart the ancestors and history of Professor Brownstone’s family. This tale follows Arthur who is tasked with saving a Viking village from the legendary monster Fenrir. Great for guided reading groups in KS2.
Lumberjanes 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Shannon Watters
Sassy strong female characters dominate this series about a group of friends who are determined to have fun. In this graphic episode, creepy insects and annoying monsters will not get in the way of the best summer ever. This will appeal to more mature children in upper KS2 and KS3.
A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova
A moving and personal story about Dasha, a 12-year-old girl living in Moscow in the 1990s. When Dasha’s mother leaves and goes to America, Dasha must face school, home, life and a rapidly changing world, without her.
The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs! by Gary Northfield
A collection of madcap adventures involving a band of very small dinosaurs who question the way the world works in a series of funny and somewhat disgusting ways. This graphic novel is bound to appeal to younger readers in KS2.
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by Anne Frank
A poignant and accessible graphic novel version of the famous diary – which stays true to the original work. The convincing artwork allows Anne Frank’s voice to shine through. This would make a good book for discussion in upper KS2, or a useful topic book for WW2 cross-curricular writing.
Archie’s War by Marcia Williams
Archie keeps a scrapbook of his life before and during WW1. This different and personal viewpoint in this non-fiction graphic text will help to make a WW1 topic more accessible to children who struggle with a large amount of text or research. Packed with information and illustrations, this book is suitable for year 6 pupils.
Lost Tales by Adam Murphy
This lavishly illustrated graphic novel whisks the reader on a journey through fantastical and mythical lands and awe-inspiring tales of bravery and legend. Highly recommended.
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! by Ben Clanton
The first in a series of addictive and charming undersea stories featuring Narwhal, a narwhal, and Jelly, a jellyfish, in tales of friendship, adventure and discovery. This series is useful for younger reluctant readers who want to start ‘real books’, particularly those in the KS1-KS2 transition between year 2 and 3.
To order all the books in this list, or to bulk order class sets of books, click here.
For easier reads, try our Picture books to read before you are 5.
For more advanced titles, try our Graphic novels for teens in KS3 & KS4.
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