Start Here with Non-Fiction Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are becoming more popular with readers of all ages. Despite the word “novel” in their name, these books aren’t limited to fiction lovers. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the world of non-fiction graphic novels, here are a few places to start.

Can’t get enough of Food Network?

Relish by Lucy KnisleyBring Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley along on your next picnic. Relish is a light-hearted, warm memoir told through connections with food and cooking. The art is simple and charming, with a homey feel. A big bonus for readers: each chapter includes an illustrated recipe either from Knisley’s family or of her own invention! If you enjoy food and its connections to our bodies, our families and friends, and the planet, be sure check out this book.

Do you enjoy learning about the past?

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate PowellStart with March, Book 1 by John Robert Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March is a first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong involvement with the Civil Rights Movement covering his boyhood in the South, meeting Martin Luther King Jr., training to be a nonviolent protestor, the start of the Nashville Student Movement, all the way to receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama. With gripping black-and-white pictures using heavy brushstrokes and ink-wash, Lewis’s story captures a vital piece of American history. This is the first in a trilogy.

What about a witty and poignant memoir?

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz ChastDive into Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast. Chast documents and celebrates the last few years of the lives of her elderly parents. Chast combines colored cartoons, photos, handwritten documents, and her mother’s poems to work through the laughter and the tears that accompany being a caregiver. This book is alternately funny, poignant, and comforting.

Or stories of struggle and survival in war-torn areas?

The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, Fréderic Lemercier The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, Fréderic Lemercier captures photographer Didier Lefèvre’s travels with Doctors Without Borders around war-torn Afghanistan in the 1980s.  Like Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, The Photographer flawlessly combines multiple types of images, drawings alongside Lefèvre’s photographs. The Photographer is sure to interest anyone who cares about the Middle East, humanitarian work, or photojournalism.

Calling all animal lovers!

Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks Cuddle up with Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks. The life work of three woman three women primatologists is celebrated here as they studied chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, fascinating creatures in their own rights that also help us better understand ourselves. The lives of these women and the charming illustrations should interest any child or adult who loves animals.

None of these titles catching your eye? Ask a librarian for a personalized recommendation!


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