April 17, 2021

7 Best Graphic Novels for Elementary Students

Reading high-quality graphic novels can make great literacy contributions to the lives of elementary school students. In fact, graphic novels would be ingress for helping children who are difficult to reach through traditional print text. There are a variety of different and complex skills that occur in the meaning-making process between text and image in graphic novels. The skills used in making meaning from the combination of images and pictures in graphic novels may help equip students to be able to read critically.

When it comes to the reading process, reading a graphic novel is different from reading either a chapter book or even a picture book. Thus, it may be necessary to help children learn how to understand the grammar of the panels in a graphic novel. As a source of independent reading that will help children develop word recognition, fluency, and comprehension skills in a playful way.

Best Graphic Novels for Elementary Students

Novel Name & Author Image Rating Price
Zita the Spacegirl

Ben Hatke

4.8 See on Amazon
CatStronauts: Mission Moon

Drew Brockington

4.8 See on Amazon
Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut!

Anu D. Misa

4.6 See on Amazon
Attack of the Furball

Amy Ignatow & Jarrett J. Krosoczka

4.8 See on Amazon
Queen of the Nile

Mike Maihack

4.9 See on Amazon
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Graphic Novel Adaptation

Alessandro Ferrari

4.7 See on Amazon
Supernova (Amulet #8)

Kazu Kibuishi

4.8 See on Amazon

1. Zita the Spacegirl

Zita and Joseph are playing on a field and they see a large crater and find a red button. When Zita presses the button and she and Joseph are accidentally sucked through a portal to another world that takes them to a galaxy far away. Joseph is kidnapped by a screed.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. She teams up with a mysterious inventor and a large, sentient mouse, as well as a few robots and aliens along the way.

The planet is going to be destroyed by an asteroid in the next three days. Can Zita save Joseph in time?

Zita the Spacegirl is a science fiction graphic novel series following Zita a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke.

Although the recommended reading age for this graphic novel is 8-12 years old it would be great reading for elementary students for sure.

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2. CatStronauts: Mission Moon

The world is running out of energy and it is up to the four CatStronauts to build a power plant on the moon.

When threatened with an energy crisis, the president (a cat) calls the world’s best scientist (also a cat) who then assembles his top CatStronaut team the fearless commander Major Meowser, brave but hungry pilot Waffles, genius technician and inventor Blanket, and quick thinking science officer Pom Pom on their most important mission yet.

The world’s best scientist comes up with a bold plan to set up a solar power plant on the moon. But someone has to go up there to set it up, and that adventure falls to the CatStronauts, the best space cats on the planet. The story made it one of the best graphic novels for elementary students indeed.

These four cats are up to the challenge. This children’s graphic novel is almost too cute for words. These cats act like people but they act like cats too which accounts for a great deal of the charm of the book.

In this graphic novel, author and illustrator Drew Brockington breathes life into a world populated entirely by cats, brimming with jokes, charm, science, and enough big boxes and tuna sandwiches for everyone.

CatStronauts is a delightful and spirited graphic novel about solving a global energy crisis.

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3. Ella Says: I’m Going to be an Astronaut!

Ella gazes up at the sky thinking the universe is such an immense and undiscovered place bursting with stars, planets, galaxies, and endless possibilities. As she looks, the most amazing thing happens, and it leads to a  space travel adventure through our solar system. Ella, her brother Parker, and her little dog Ollie come to the aid of Leelo, the space alien who is lost and whose spaceship has run out of power.

Together they help search for Leelo’s home. In doing so, they visit all the planets in our solar system and meet another alien and robot, too. Their adventure has some twists and turns along the way but in the end, Leelo makes it home, and Ella makes a very important decision that she is going to be an Astronaut and fly in a rocket one day.

Ella Says: I’m Going to Be an Astronaut by Anu Misa is the perfect combination of science and adventure. With ‘out of this world’ illustrations, tiny mice, and well-researched scientific references scattered throughout Ella’s story is an adorable and entertaining one.

She’s inquisitive, friendly, brave, and full of brilliant imagination. The colorful descriptions of each planet make learning about space super fun.

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4. Attack of the Furball

Christina falls in love with a baby Nexu, a cat-like creature who’s fluffiness is impossible to resist when working on the planet Cholganna.

Christina has made some poor choices. She doesn’t think they’re poor. She thinks she’s doing the right thing when she picks up baby Nexu from her home planet and takes him to her dormitory to be with her. He thinks there is no one to take care of it, so he decides he will take care of it. Others in his dormitory help him take care of it and keep it a secret.

But Christina slowly begins to realize why it’s never a good idea to take wild animals for pets.

One day they all get sent out on a mission and then when they come back the baby Nexu is gone. It was apparently taken by an ex-apprentice of Master Ro. There was no way to get clear to Christina at this moment and to let everyone know what was happening and what had happened. Once everyone came to the same page, the other masters and Yoda decided that it was better to get involved and rescue the baby Nexus as well as other endangered animals.

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5. Queen of the Nile (Cleopatra in Space #6)

This is a high-quality graphic novel series that I think both kids and adults will enjoy greatly if you like science fiction graphic novels about space travel and prophecies.

As you looking for quite amusing and best graphic novels for elementary students, Queen of the Nile would be your first choice.

It covers a lot of ground, gets heavy with exposition at times, and the time travel paradoxes will give you a headache if you think about them too much, but the spunky heroine carries you past all that to moments of heroism from her and her friends that are quite exciting.

The time has come for Cleo to fulfill the ancient prophecy that declares her a savior and a hero, a prophecy she still struggles to accept. Cleo is joined by both old and new friends as they fight to defend the galaxy she’s come to call home against the evil Xaius Octavian. The Queen of the Nile must summon the strength to face down her enemy one last time, and keep her friends and herself alive.

Cleopatra and crew are desperate to stop Octavian and it will take all of her allies both past and present to do this. Elementary students learn some more interesting history about Octavian and get to learn more history about Cleopatra’s world as well.

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6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Graphic Novel Adaptation

Strongly brings events from the movie to the comics page, read on The Last Jedi as Ray and Finn’s resistance roles are looking at new challenges as they reach new heights. Here comes the next generation of Star Wars heroes as they approach new dangers and reveal old threats.

What happens when you meet Ray and Luke? Did Finn get a shot at Captain Phasma? Can Kylo Ren tempt another strong member for Snook?

Capturing the galaxy-spanning action of The Last Jedi, experience Episode VIII as a beautiful graphic novel combining the epic wonder of Star Wars with streamlined, young-reader-friendly designs. This all-ages graphic novel is a must-read for longtime fans and a great introduction for young newcomers.

I would like to mention that this graphic novel version follows the movie script perfectly. One of my favorite things about this graphic novel is that the first 4 pages show regular photographs of the main characters in this Star Wars story.

In this Star Wars story, Rey searches to explore Luke Skywalker on a remote island and finds someone who shows no interest in revising the Jedi warriors to help fight the evil first order. Like other Star Wars themes, the fight against freedom and dictatorship in the universe makes the fight against good and evil interesting to read. So it would be one of the best graphic novels for elementary students.

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7. Supernova (Amulet #8)

Emily has lost control of her Amulet and is imprisoned in the Void, where she must find a way to escape the influence of the voice. Meanwhile, Emily’s brother, Navin, travels to Lighthouse One, a space station where the resistance is preparing to battle the approaching Shadow forces that would drain planet Alledia of all its resources. Emily and Navin must be smarter and stronger than ever to ensure Alledia’s survival.

This is the eighth volume in the Amulet graphic novel series. The illustration remains amazing and the story makes some good progress too. Emily struggles to gain control of her Amulet and escape the Void. Meanwhile, Trellis is trying to take his place as the rightful king of the Elves.

The story is moving a bit slow and it jumps between a lot of people and places in this book.

There was quite a bit of character development in this series, despite all the jumping around. It was great to see what a force Emily is becoming, and there were some interesting twists around her character here. Overall this is another great volume in the top-notch fantasy graphic novel series.

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